More like Decoded
• Over 30 minutes of never-before-seen video* interviews with Jay-Z discussing the back-story and inspiration for his songs
• Two bonus videos*: “Rap is Poetry” and “The Evolution of My Style”
• The full text of the book with illustrations and photographs
*Video may not play on all readers. Check your user manual for details.
Expanded edition of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller features 16 pages of new material, including 3 new songs decoded.
Decoded is a book like no other: a collection of lyrics and their meanings that together tell the story of a culture, an art form, a moment in history, and one of the most provocative and successful artists of our time.
The RZA, the Abbot of the Wu-Tang Clan and hip-hop culture's most dynamic genius, imparts the lessons he's learned on the journey that's taken him from the Staten Island projects to international superstar, all along the way a devout student of knowledge in every form he's found it-on the streets, in religion, in martial arts, in chess, in popular culture. Part chronicle of an extraordinary life and part spiritual and philosophical discourse, The Tao of Wu is a nonfiction Siddhartha for the hip-hop generation-an engaging, seeking book that will enlighten, entertain, and inspire.
The legions of Wu-Tang fans are accustomed to this heady mix-their obsession with the band's puzzlelike lyrics and elaborate mythology has propelled the group through fifteen years of dazzling, multiplatform success. In his 2005 bestseller The Wu-Tang Manual, the RZA provided the barest glimpse of how that mythology worked. In The Tao of Wu, he takes us deep inside the complex sense of wisdom and spirituality that has been at the core of his commercial and creative success.
The book is built around major moments in the RZA's life when he was faced with a dramatic turning point, either bad (a potential prison sentence) or good (a record deal that could pull his family out of poverty), and the lessons he took from each experience. His points of view are always surprising and provocative, and reveal a profound, genuine, and abiding wisdom-consistently tempered with humor and peppered with unique, colloquial phraseology. It is a spiritual memoir as the world has never seen before, and will never see again.
THE INSPIRATION FOR THE VH1 SERIES THE BREAKS
The Big Payback takes readers from the first $15 made by a “rapping DJ” in 1970s New York to the multi-million-dollar sales of the Phat Farm and Roc-a-Wear clothing companies in 2004 and 2007. On this four-decade-long journey from the studios where the first rap records were made to the boardrooms where the big deals were inked, The Big Payback tallies the list of who lost and who won. Read the secret histories of the early long-shot successes of Sugar Hill Records and Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC's crossover breakthrough on MTV, the marketing of gangsta rap, and the rise of artist/ entrepreneurs like Jay-Z and Sean “Diddy” Combs.
300 industry giants like Def Jam founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons gave their stories to renowned hip-hop journalist Dan Charnas, who provides a compelling, never-before-seen, myth-debunking view into the victories, defeats, corporate clashes, and street battles along the 40-year road to hip-hop's dominance.
That's what this book is about--the good times and the bad times. I wrote this book to explain the world I come from. To a lot of people, I may be too young to reflect on life. And they may be right. But I'd be wasting my blessings if I didn't use the attention I'm getting to shed light on the experiences that have caused me to say the things I say and make the kind of music I make. I want to explain my environment to those who don't come any closer to it than the records they buy or the images they see on television. People want the truth. Even if they can't handle it, they want it. I let you know that I survived nine bullets not to sell records, but because it's the truth. Every time I sit down for an interview, I'm asked, "Well, 50, how did it feel to get shot nine times?" But those stories don't hold the weight, the pain, or the hope of my experience. It just can't. This is my mindset and these are the things that go on. This is why I say the rhymes that I say. This is what happened when I was trying to get rich before I died in Southside Queens.
So begins From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens, a violent and introspective memoir that reveals not only 50's story but the story of a generation of youth faced with hard choices and very little options. A tale of sacrifice, transformation and redemption, but it is also one of hope, determination and the power of self. Told in 50's own unique voice, the narrative drips with the raw insight, street wisdom, and his struggle to survive at all costs...and behold the riches of the American Dream.
50 Cent has sold over 20 million records worldwide. His record-breaking debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin' has sold over 12 million units worldwide, with the largest debut in SoundScan history. While his sophomore effort, The Massacre, sold over 1.14 million copies in its fi rst four days of release, he has since become the fi rst artist to have four songs in the top ten of Billboard's Hot 100 since The Beatles in 1964.
His business empire includes: a record label (G-Unit Records, a division of Interscope Records), apparel/footwear ventures (G-Unit Clothing and footwear, joint ventures through the Ecko Clothing Company and Reebok, respectively), vitamin water (Formula 50, through Glacéau's Vitamin Water), watch line (G-Unit Watches, through Jacob & Co), and a video game (50 Cent: Bulletproof, through Vivendi Games). His future plans are to dominate the film and television worlds through two new G-Unit ventures in film and television...and his most prized project: the nonprofit organization The G-Unity Foundation, which aims to better the life of urban youth.
Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop became the Esperanto of youth rebellion and a generation-defining movement. In a post-civil rights era defined by deindustrialization and globalization, hip-hop crystallized a multiracial, polycultural generation's worldview, and transformed American politics and culture. But that epic story has never been told with this kind of breadth, insight, and style.
Based on original interviews with DJs, b-boys, rappers, graffiti writers, activists, and gang members, with unforgettable portraits of many of hip-hop's forebears, founders, and mavericks, including DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Chuck D, and Ice Cube, Can't Stop Won't Stop chronicles the events, the ideas, the music, and the art that marked the hip-hop generation's rise from the ashes of the 60's into the new millennium.
The Rap Year Book takes readers on a journey that begins in 1979, widely regarded as the moment rap became recognized as part of the cultural and musical landscape, and comes right up to the present. Shea Serrano deftly pays homage to the most important song of each year. Serrano also examines the most important moments that surround the history and culture of rap music—from artists’ backgrounds to issues of race, the rise of hip-hop, and the struggles among its major players—both personal and professional. Covering East Coast and West Coast, famous rapper feuds, chart toppers, and show stoppers, The Rap Year Book is an in-depth look at the most influential genre of music to come out of the last generation.
Complete with infographics, lyric maps, hilarious and informative footnotes, portraits of the artists, and short essays by other prominent music writers, The Rap Year Book is both a narrative and illustrated guide to the most iconic and influential rap songs ever created.
In this often violent but always introspective memoir, Mobb Deep’s Prodigy tells his much anticipated story of struggle, survival, and hope down the mean streets of New York City. For the first time, he gives an intimate look at his family background, his battles with drugs, his life of crime, his relentless suffering with sickle-cell anemia, and much more. Recently released after serving three and a half years in state prison due to what many consider an unlawful arrest by a rumored secret NYPD hip hop task force, Prodigy is ready to talk about his life as one of rap’s greatest legends.
My Infamous Life is an unblinking account of Prodigy’s wild times with Mobb Deep who, alongside rappers like Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, and Wu-Tang Clan, changed the musical landscape with their vivid portrayals of early ’90s street life. It is a firsthand chronicle of legendary rap feuds like the East Coast–West Coast rivalry; Prodigy’s beefs with Jay-Z, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Ja Rule, and Capone-N-Noreaga; and run-ins with prodigal hit makers and managers like Puff Daddy, Russell Simmons, Chris Lighty, Irv Gotti, and Lyor Cohen.
Taking the reader behind the smoke-and-mirrors glamour of the hip hop world, so often seen as the only way out for those with few options, Prodigy lays down the truth about the intoxicating power of money, the meaning of true friendship and loyalty, and the ultimately redemptive power of self. This is the heartbreaking journey of a child born in privilege, his youth spent among music royalty like Diana Ross and Dizzy Gillespie, educated in private schools, until a family tragedy changed everything. Raised in the mayhem of the Queensbridge projects, Prodigy rose to the dizzying heights of fame and eventually fell into the darkness of a prison cell.
A truly candid memoir, part fearless confessional and part ode to the concrete jungles of New York City, from the front line of the last great moment in hip hop history.
On assignment for his first cover story for Rolling Stone, the very first national cover story on Eminem, Anthony Bozza met a young blond kid, a rapper who would soon take the country by storm. But back in 1999, Eminem was just beginning to make waves among suburban white teenagers as his first single, “My Name Is,” went into heavy rotation on MTV.
Who could have predicted that in a mere two years, Eminem would become the most reviled and controversial hip-hop figure ever? Or that twelve months after that, Eminem would sit firmly at the pinnacle of American celebrity, a Grammy winner many times over and the recipient of an Oscar.
did eminem change or did america finally figure him out?
Whatever You Say I Am attempts to answer this question and many more. Since their first meeting, Bozza has been given a level of access to Eminem that no other journalist has enjoyed. In Whatever You Say I Am, original, never-before-published text from Bozza’s interviews with Eminem are combined with the insight of numerous hip-hop figures, music critics, journalists, and members of the Eminem camp to look behind the mask of this enigmatic celebrity. With an eye toward Eminem’s place in American popular culture, Bozza creates a thoughtful portrait of one of the most successful artists of our time. This is so much more than a biography of a thoroughly well-documented life. It is a close-up look at a conflicted figure who has somehow spoken to the heart of America.
From the Hardcover edition.
MO' META BLUES
The World According to Questlove
Mo' Meta Blues is a punch-drunk memoir in which Everyone's Favorite Questlove tells his own story while tackling some of the lates, the greats, the fakes, the philosophers, the heavyweights, and the true originals of the music world. He digs deep into the album cuts of his life and unearths some pivotal moments in black art, hip hop, and pop culture.
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is many things: virtuoso drummer, producer, arranger, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon bandleader, DJ, composer, and tireless Tweeter. He is one of our most ubiquitous cultural tastemakers, and in this, his first book, he reveals his own formative experiences--from growing up in 1970s West Philly as the son of a 1950s doo-wop singer, to finding his own way through the music world and ultimately co-founding and rising up with the Roots, a.k.a., the last hip hop band on Earth. Mo' Meta Blues also has some (many) random (or not) musings about the state of hip hop, the state of music criticism, the state of statements, as well as a plethora of run-ins with celebrities, idols, and fellow artists, from Stevie Wonder to KISS to D'Angelo to Jay-Z to Dave Chappelle to...you ever seen Prince roller-skate?!?
But Mo' Meta Blues isn't just a memoir. It's a dialogue about the nature of memory and the idea of a post-modern black man saddled with some post-modern blues. It's a book that questions what a book like Mo' Meta Blues really is. It's the side wind of a one-of-a-kind mind.
It's a rare gift that gives as well as takes.
It's a record that keeps going around and around.
"The Teacha" also discusses the origination of Hip Hop Kulture and relays specific instances in history wherein one can discover the same spirit and ideas that are at the core of Hip Hop’s current manifestation. He explains Hip Hop down to the actual meaning and linguistic history of the words “hip” and “hop,” and describes the ways in which "Hiphoppas" can change their current circumstances to create a future that incorporates Health, Love, Awareness, and Wealth (H-LAW).
Committed to fervently promoting self-reliance, dedicated study, peace, unity, and truth, The "Teacha" has drawn both criticism and worship from within and from outside of Hip Hop Kulture. In this beautifully written, inspiring book, KRS ONE shines the light of truth, from his own empirical research over a 14-year period, into the fascinating world of Hip Hop.
Some people think Jay-Z is just another rapper. Others see him as just another celebrity/mega-star. The reality is, no matter what you think Jay-Z is, he first and foremost a business. And as much as Martha Stewart or Oprah, he has turned himself into a lifestyle.
You can wake up to the local radio station playing Jay-Z's latest hit, spritz yourself with his 9IX cologne, slip on a pair of his Rocawear jeans, lace up your Reebok S. Carter sneakers, catch a Nets basketball game in the afternoon, and grab dinner at The Spotted Pig before heading to an evening performance of the Jay-Z-backed Broadway musical Fela! and a nightcap at his 40/40 Club. He'll profit at every turn of your day.
But despite Jay-Z's success, there are still many Americans whose impressions of him are foggy, outdated, or downright incorrect. Surprisingly to many, he honed his business philosophy not at a fancy B school, but on the streets of Brooklyn, New York and beyond as a drug dealer in the 1980s.
Empire State of Mind tells the story behind Jay-Z's rise to the top as told by the people who lived it with him- from classmates at Brooklyn's George Westinghouse High School; to the childhood friend who got him into the drug trade; to the DJ who convinced him to stop dealing and focus on music. This book explains just how Jay-Z propelled himself from the bleak streets of Brooklyn to the heights of the business world.
Zack O'Malley Greenburg draws on his one-on-one interviews with hip-hop luminaries such as DJ Clark Kent, Questlove of The Roots, Damon Dash, Fred "Fab 5 Freddy" Brathwaite, MC Serch; NBA stars Jamal Crawford and Sebastian Telfair; and recording industry executives including Craig Kallman, CEO of Atlantic Records.
He also includes new information on Jay-Z's various business dealings, such as:
*The feature movie about Jay-Z and his first basketball team that was filmed by Fab 5 Freddy in 2003 but never released.
*The Jay-Z branded Jeep that was scrapped just before going into production.
*The real story behind his association with Armand de Brignac champagne.
*The financial ramifications of his marriage to Beyonce.
Jay-Z's tale is compelling not just because of his celebrity, but because it embodies the rags-to-riches American dream and is a model for any entrepreneur looking to build a commercial empire.
Born into deep poverty, married at thirteen, mother of six, and a grandmother by the time she was twenty-nine, Loretta Lynn went on to become one of the most prolific and influential songwriters and singers in modern country music. Here we see the determination and talent that led to her trailblazing career and made her the first woman to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association and the first woman to receive a gold record in country music.
Angie Martinez is the “Voice of New York.” Now, for the first time, she candidly recounts the story of her rise to become an internationally celebrated hip hop radio icon.
In her current reign at Power 105.1 and for nearly two decades at New York’s Hot 97, Angie Martinez has had one of the highest rated radio shows in the country. After working her way up as an intern, she burst on the scene as a young female jock whose on-air “Battle of the Beats” segment broke records and became a platform for emerging artists like a young Jay Z. Angie quickly became known for intimate, high-profile interviews, mediating feuds between artists, and taking on the most controversial issues in hip hop. At age twenty-five, at the height of the East Coast/West Coast rap war, Angie was summoned by Tupac Shakur for what would be his last no-holds-barred interview—which has never aired in its entirety and which she’s never discussed in detail—until now.
Angie shares stories from behind-the-scenes of her most controversial conversations, from onetime presidential hopeful Barack Obama to superstars like Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown, and describes her emotional, bittersweet final days at Hot 97 and the highly publicized move to Power 105.1. She also opens up about her personal life—from her roots in Washington Heights and her formative years being raised by a single mom in Brooklyn to exploring the lessons that shaped her into the woman she is today.
From the Puerto Rican Day Parade to the White House—Angie is universally recognized as a powerful voice in the Latino and hip hop communities. My Voice gives an inside look at New York City’s one-of-a-kind urban radio culture, the changing faces of hip hop music, and Angie’s rise to become the Voice of New York.
From the Hardcover edition.
When the brothers began clashing in 2003, the flashy and beloved Big Meech risked it all on a shot at legitimacy in the music industry. At the same time, a team of investigators who had pursued BMF for years began to prey on the organization's weaknesses. Utilizing a high-stakes wiretap operation, the feds inched toward their goal of destroying the Flenory's empire and ending the reign of a crew suspected in the sale of thousands of kilos of cocaine — and a half-dozen unsolved murders.
Before Carrie Brownstein became a music icon, she was a young girl growing up in the Pacific Northwest just as it was becoming the setting for one the most important movements in rock history. Seeking a sense of home and identity, she would discover both while moving from spectator to creator in experiencing the power and mystery of a live performance. With Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein and her bandmates rose to prominence in the burgeoning underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s. They would be cited as “America’s best rock band” by legendary music critic Greil Marcus for their defiant, exuberant brand of punk that resisted labels and limitations, and redefined notions of gender in rock.
HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL is an intimate and revealing narrative of her escape from a turbulent family life into a world where music was the means toward self-invention, community, and rescue. Along the way, Brownstein chronicles the excitement and contradictions within the era’s flourishing and fiercely independent music subculture, including experiences that sowed the seeds for the observational satire of the popular television series Portlandia years later.
With deft, lucid prose Brownstein proves herself as formidable on the page as on the stage. Accessibly raw, honest and heartfelt, this book captures the experience of being a young woman, a born performer and an outsider, and ultimately finding one’s true calling through hard work, courage and the intoxicating power of rock and roll.
From the Hardcover edition.
For millions, Shakur gave voice to their stories, but there was also another side to him, revealed as his life spun out of control, as the whispered warnings from friends went unheeded and the denunciations of critics grew louder. Disturbingly, he sang and wrote about his impending death. When it came, it brought the music industry to its knees and ended an era when American rappers were leaders in using their art to speak the truth to corporate, government, and judicial power.
"Honest and moving...Her painful tale is engrossing."
WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
From the Paperback edition.
It’s a sad fact: hip-hop album liners have always been reduced to a list of producer and sample credits, a publicity photo or two, and some hastily composed shout-outs. That’s a damn shame, because few outside the game know about the true creative forces behind influential masterpieces like PE’s It Takes a Nation of Millions. . ., De La’s 3 Feet High and Rising, and Wu-Tang’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). A longtime scribe for the hip-hop nation, Brian Coleman fills this void, and delivers a thrilling, knockout oral history of the albums that define this dynamic and iconoclastic art form.
The format: One chapter, one artist, one album, blow-by-blow and track-by-track, delivered straight from the original sources. Performers, producers, DJs, and b-boys–including Big Daddy Kane, Muggs and B-Real, Biz Markie, RZA, Ice-T, and Wyclef–step to the mic to talk about the influences, environment, equipment, samples, beats, beefs, and surprises that went into making each classic record. Studio craft and street smarts, sonic inspiration and skate ramps, triumph, tragedy, and take-out food–all played their part in creating these essential albums of the hip-hop canon.
Insightful, raucous, and addictive, Check the Technique transports you back to hip-hop’s golden age with the greatest artists of the ’80s and ’90s. This is the book that belongs on the stacks next to your wax.
“Brian Coleman’s writing is a lot like the albums he covers: direct, uproarious, and more than six-fifths genius.”
–Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
“All producers and hip-hop fans must read this book. It really shows how these albums were made and touches the music fiend in everyone.”
–DJ Evil Dee of Black Moon and Da Beatminerz
“A rarity in mainstream publishing: a truly essential rap history.”
–Ronin Ro, author of Have Gun Will Travel
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Costello continues to add to one of the most intriguing and extensive songbooks of our day. His performances have taken him from strumming a cardboard guitar in his parents’ front room to fronting a rock and roll band on our television screens and performing in the world’s greatest concert halls in a wild variety of company. Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink describes how Costello’s career has endured for almost four decades through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning, even managing the occasional absurd episode of pop stardom.
This memoir, written entirely by Costello, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best-known songs and the hits of tomorrow. It features many stories and observations about his renowned cowriters and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations of the less appealing side of fame.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink provides readers with a master’s catalogue of a lifetime of great music. Costello reveals the process behind writing and recording legendary albums like My Aim Is True, This Year’s Model, Armed Forces, Almost Blue, Imperial Bedroom, and King of America. He tells the detailed stories, experiences, and emotions behind such beloved songs as “Alison,” “Accidents Will Happen,” “Watching the Detectives,” “Oliver’s Army,” “Welcome to the Working Week,” “Radio Radio,” “Shipbuilding,” and “Veronica,” the last of which is one of a number of songs revealed to connect to the lives of the previous generations of his family.
Costello recounts his collaborations with George Jones, Chet Baker, and T Bone Burnett, and writes about Allen Toussaint's inspiring return to work after the disasters following Hurricane Katrina. He describes writing songs with Paul McCartney, the Brodsky Quartet, Burt Bacharach, and The Roots during moments of intense personal crisis and profound sorrow. He shares curious experiences in the company of The Clash, Tony Bennett, The Specials, Van Morrison, and Aretha Franklin; writing songs for Solomon Burke and Johnny Cash; and touring with Bob Dylan; along with his appreciation of the records of Frank Sinatra, David Bowie, David Ackles, and almost everything on the Tamla Motown label.
Costello chronicles his musical apprenticeship, a child's view of his father Ross MacManus' career on radio and in the dancehall; his own initial almost comical steps in folk clubs and cellar dive before his first sessions for Stiff Record, the formation of the Attractions, and his frenetic and ultimately notorious third U.S. tour. He takes readers behind the scenes of Top of the Pops and Saturday Night Live, and his own show, Spectacle, on which he hosted artists such as Lou Reed, Elton John, Levon Helm, Jesse Winchester, Bruce Springsteen, and President Bill Clinton.
The idiosyncratic memoir of a singular man, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is destined to be a classic.
From the Hardcover edition.
Now at last Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere. Dropping his guitar's sixth string to create a new sound that allowed him to create immortal riffs like those in "Honky Tonk Woman" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash." Falling in love with Anita Pallenberg, Brian Jones's girlfriend. Arrested and imprisoned for drug possession. Tax exile in France and recording Exile on Main Street. Ever-increasing fame, isolation, and addiction making life an ever faster frenzy. Through it all, Richards remained devoted to the music of the band, until even that was challenged by Mick Jagger's attempt at a solo career, leading to a decade of conflicts and ultimately the biggest reunion tour in history.
In a voice that is uniquely and unmistakably him--part growl, part laugh--Keith Richards brings us the truest rock-and-roll life of our times, unfettered and fearless and true. Richards' rich voice introduces the audiobook edition of LIFE and leads us into Johnny Depp's performance, while fellow artist Joe Hurley bridges the long road traveled before Richards closes with the final chapter of this incredible 23-hour production, which includes a bonus PDF of photos.
Janet Jackson emerged from the shadows of an already famous family to become one of the most beloved, recognizable, and influential performers in the world. But at what cost?
From the age of ten, when she made her acting debut on Good Times, Janet was told by Hollywood that she needed to slim down. Her well-meaning brothers, especially fun-loving Michael, teased her relentlessly until she began to believe that who she was wasn’t good enough. It was an idea that no amount of critical acclaim in television and film or, later, international platinum success in music could change.
Janet turned to food for comfort and escape. She developed a self-destructive pattern familiar to so many of us: fear and uncertainty led to bad feelings about herself and ultimately depression. The depression led to overeating. And her yo-yoing weight was painfully obvious in the bright lights of the entertainment world.
It has taken Janet most of her adult life to come to terms with who she is. But she has finally broken free of the attitudes that brought her down and has embraced realistic goals that help her eat better, exercise better, feel better, and ultimately be better.
This book is about meeting those challenges that face all of us. With candor and courage, Janet shares her painful journey to loving herself. She addresses the crazy rumors that have swirled around her for most of her life, shines an intimate light on her family, and pulls us behind the velvet rope into her unforgettable career. She also shares lessons she has learned through contact with friends and fans and reveals the fitness secrets she has learned from her trainer. Finally, her nutritionist, David Allen, unveils the wholesome, delicious recipes and lifestyle-changing tips that helped Janet get in shape—mind and spirit, heart and soul.
True You is a call to tune in to your own fundamental wisdom, to let go of the ugly comparisons, and to understand that who you are, the true you, is more than enough.
“I’m loved, I’m valued, and I’m capable of achieving balance in my life. I can learn to eat well. I can exercise. I can express gratitude for the simple act of being able to breathe in and breathe out. I can move away from darkness and depression to light and hope. I can be happy with who I am, not what I should be, or what I might have been, or what someone tells me I must be.
I am me, the true me; you are you, the true you—and that’s good. That’s beautiful. That’s enough.”
After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was "Hot Karl," the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend—and then almost became a star.
When 12-year old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend's bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey—one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. Now, in Kanye West Owes Me $300, Karp finally tells the true story of his wild ride as "Hot Karl," the most famous white rapper you've never heard of.
On his way to (almost) celebrity, Jensen shares his childhood run-ins with rock-listening, southern California classmates, who tell him that "rap is for black people," and then recounts his record-breaking rap battling streak on popular radio contest “The Roll Call”—a run that caught the eye of a music industry hungry for new rap voices in the early ‘00s. He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and will.i.am. Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory.
Full of rollicking stories from his close brush with fame, Karp’s hilarious memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion—trying to crack the rap game—despite what everyone else says. It’s 30 Rock for the rap set; 8 Mile for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley.
From the Hardcover edition.
In The Hip-Hop Wars, Rose explores the most crucial issues underlying the polarized claims on each side of the debate: Does hip-hop cause violence, or merely reflect a violent ghetto culture? Is hip-hop sexist, or are its detractors simply anti-sex? Does the portrayal of black culture in hip-hop undermine black advancement?
A potent exploration of a divisive and important subject, The Hip-Hop Wars concludes with a call for the regalvanization of the progressive and creative heart of hip-hop. What Rose calls for is not a sanitized vision of the form, but one that more accurately reflects a much richer space of culture, politics, anger, and yes, sex, than the current ubiquitous images in sound and video currently provide.
Legendary singer and songwriter Neil Young’s storied career has spanned over forty years and yielded some of the modern era’s most enduring music. Now for the first time ever, Young reflects upon his life—from his Canadian childhood, to his part in the sixties rock explosion with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, through his later career with Crazy Horse and numerous private challenges. An instant classic, Waging Heavy Peace is as uncompromising and unforgettable as the man himself.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
It's those contradictions that help make Eminem a uniquely compelling artist whose primal appeal transcends boundaries of race and musical genre. Eminem: Crossing the Line, the first biography ever written of this unique pop-culture icon, offers a fascinating peek into the strange and twisted world of Slim Shady.
This book follows the career and thoughts of Onika Maraj, starting from her move to America from Trinidad, growing up in New York and slowly working the scene to make a name for herself. You will be able to see how a hard life and incredible influences have helped to shape the Queen of the Rap Scene. Once you get a glimpse of her 'Never Back Down' attitude, fearless sense of personal style, and her ability to drop beats and lyrics on the fly, you'll see why the world can't seem to stop talking about Nicki Minaj.
From family to music to the future, all you need to know about Nicki Minaj is right here, right now, in the most up to date coverage of her life.
For years, rappers from Nas to Ja Rule have hero-worshipped the legendary drug dealers who dominated Queens in the 1980s with their violent crimes and flashy lifestyles. Now, for the first time ever, this gripping narrative digs beneath the hip-hop fables to re-create the rise and fall of hustlers like Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols, Gerald “Prince” Miller, Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, and Thomas “Tony Montana” Mickens. Spanning twenty-five years, from the violence of the crack era to Run DMC to the infamous murder of NYPD rookie Edward Byrne to Tupac Shakur to 50 Cent’s battles against Ja Rule and Murder Inc., to the killing of Jam Master Jay, Queens Reigns Supreme is the first inside look at the infamous southeast Queens crews and their connections to gangster culture in hip hop today.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Scar Tissue is Anthony Kiedis's searingly honest memoir of a life spent in the fast lane. In 1983, four self-described "knuckleheads" burst out of the mosh-pitted mosaic of the neo-punk rock scene in L.A. with their own unique brand of cosmic hardcore mayhem funk. Over twenty years later, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, against all odds, have become one of the most successful bands in the world. Though the band has gone through many incarnations, Anthony Kiedis, the group's lyricist and dynamic lead singer, has been there for the whole roller-coaster ride.
Whether he's recollecting the influence of the beautiful, strong women who have been his muses, or retracing a journey that has included appearances as diverse as a performance before half a million people at Woodstock or an audience of one at the humble compound of the exiled Dalai Lama, Kiedis shares a compelling story about the price of success and excess. Scar Tissue is a story of dedication and debauchery, of intrigue and integrity, of recklessness and redemption--a story that could only have come out of the world of rock.
“If you enjoy Empire, then you must read Terrance Dean’s entertaining, yet, enlightening memoir, Hiding in Hip Hop. This is a real insiders look at the secret lives of Hollywood’s and the music industry’s elite.” —Travis Hunter, filmmaker and author of The Hearts of Men and Married But Still Looking
“If you’re a fan of the hit show Empire and its characters Cookie, Lucious, Hakeem, Jamal, and Andre, then you have to check out Terrance Dean’s provocative memoir Hiding in Hip Hop. Dean writes a compelling story about black gay men in Hip Hop and Hollywood, and what it takes for them to make it the entertainment industry.” – JL King, New York Times bestselling author of On The Down Low
Celebrated blogger and former MTV insider Terrance Dean reveals a hidden side of Hollywood and hip hop in this explosive and illuminating memoir.
Terrance Dean worked his way up for more than ten years in the entertainment industry from intern to executive, and has lived the life of glitz and bling along with Hollywood and Hip Hop’s most glamorous heavy hitters. As a gay man immersed within the world of the famous and the fabulous, Dean knows well the industry’s secrets and the façade that is kept, that for men, promotes machismo and hetero-normative behavior.
Most of what Dean unveils in this book is fascinating and salacious but all of it is true. He also shares his own secrets, and an account of the pain of his mother’s addiction, and the poverty and molestation he experienced as a child.
Hiding in Hip Hop is not a traditional tell-all. It’s personal. It’s poignant. It’s a provocative and honest look at stardom and sexuality.
Demi is a platinum-selling recording artist whose latest album—DEMI—is already a smash hit. She's about to embark on her second season as a judge on X-Factor, and just launched The Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program. And she is an outspoken advocate for young people everywhere.
Demi is also a young woman finding her way in the world. She has dealt deftly with her struggles in the face of public scrutiny, and she has always relied, not just on friends and family, but daily affirmations of her self-worth and value. Affirmations that steady her days and strengthen her resolve.
Those affirmations have grown into STAYING STRONG, a powerful 365-day collection of Demi's most powerful, honest, and hopeful insights. Each day will provide the readers with a quote, a personal reflection and a goal.
These are Demi's words. Words she lives by and shares with the people she loves and total strangers alike. They are a powerful testament to a young woman standing up and fighting back.
"Filled with real tools and overflowing with inspiration, this comprehensive how-to manual examines the art and craft of rap. . . . Both newcomers to rap and more experienced listeners and artists can gain insights in the time-honored tradition of learning from the past, as told straight from the artists’ mouths. . . . Highly recommended." --Library Journal
Featuring an array of rap techniques never before explained or cataloged--such as flams, triplets, lazy tails, and vibrato--HOW TO RAP 2 is a must-read for MCs looking to take their craft to the next level, as well as anyone fascinated by rapping and its complexity. Filled with exclusive insights from hip-hop's most innovative artists, such as Tech N9ne, Crooked I, The Pharcyde, Das EFX, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Big Daddy Kane, this book takes you through the intricacies of rhythm, rhyme, and vocal delivery, delving into the art form in unprecedented detail.
Paul Edwards is a writer and researcher of hip-hop. He is regarded as a leading expert on hip-hop and rap, and has been referred to as "the Aristotle of hip-hop poetics" by internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet Dana Gioia. He is the author of How to Rap. Gift of Gab, of the group Blackalicious, is noted as one of the most dexterous and versatile MCs of all time.
Are you ready to see your fixer upper?
These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like—Who are these people?What’s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America’s new best friends.
The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.
They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.
In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover:The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping babyJoanna’s agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their childrenWhen Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreckJoanna’s breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful homeHarrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial coupleMemories and photos from Chip and Jo’s weddingThe significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they doThe way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the way
And yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? “Oh yeah,” says Joanna. “He was, and still is, my first fixer upper.”
Superstar comedian and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.
The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: What does Kevin Hart have that a book also has?
According to the three people who have seen Kevin Hart and a book in the same room, the answer is clear:
A book is compact. Kevin Hart is compact.
A book has a spine that holds it together. Kevin Hart has a spine that holds him together.
A book has a beginning. Kevin Hart’s life uniquely qualifies him to write this book by also having a beginning.
It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.
The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero, just like the odds that are stacked against the release of a new book in this era of social media (where Hart has a following of over 100 million, by the way).
But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, JK Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes the reader on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.
And that man happens to be the biggest comedian in the world, with tours that sell out football stadiums and films that have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion.
He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent: It was through his unique way of looking at the world. Because just like a book has chapters, Hart sees life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself.
“Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the next chapter,” he says. “So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life the best?”
LIVING THE DREAM
Duck calls—though the source of his livelihood—are not what makes Phil Robertson the man he is today. When asked what matters in his life, he’s quick to say, “Faith, family, ducks—in that order.”
It isn’t often that a person can live a dream, but Phil Robertson, aka The Duck Commander, has proven that it is possible with vision, hard work, helping hands, and an unshakable faith in the Almighty. Phil’s is the remarkable story of one man who followed the call he received from God and soon after invented a duck call that would begin an incredible journey to the life he had always dreamed of for himself and his family. In the love of his country, his family, and his maker, Phil has finally found the ingredients to the “good life” he always wanted.
If you ever wind up sitting face-to-face with Phil, you’ll see that his enthusiasm and passion for duck hunting and the Lord is no act—it is truly who he is.
If you’ve watched the exceedingly popular A&E® program Duck Dynasty®, you already know the famed Phil Robertson. As patriarch of the Robertson clan and creator of Duck Commander duck calls, he fearlessly leads his family in a responsible work ethic and an active faith.
But what you don’t know is his life before the show. In the pages of this book, you’ll learn of Phil’s colorful past and his wild road to the “happy, happy, happy” life he leads today. Before the “happy,” Phil’s passion for the outdoors and wild living led him down some shady paths. As a young husband and father, he became the proprietor of a rough bar and lived a life, as he says, of “romping, stomping, and ripping” for a number of years. He even left his wife and young boys for a short period of time.
Through it all, Phil Robertson has lived his life as a “called” man. Called to live off the land, called to leave a starring role in Louisiana Tech football (playing ahead of Terry Bradshaw) for duck hunting, called to wild living, called to create a new kind of duck call—and finally, called to follow God and lead a life of faith.
In this eye-opening and rousing book, you’ll find stories that will shock you, as well as those that will inspire you. You’ll get to know the man behind the legend, and you’ll come away better for it.
Tyrese and Rev are unlikely best friends—Rev is married with six kids and Tyrese is a single dad still hesitant to settle down. But after an unexpected disagreement in which Rev insisted that marriage is forever, and Tyrese pushed that you could bail when the sex went bad, the two decided not just to agree to disagree but to team up and open their debate to a larger audience. Even though they’re at different points in their journeys, both have clear insights on what it takes to make a relationship work and what can sink it instantly.
Manology is a guide to regaining your relationship confidence and weeding out the cheaters, MANipulators, and pimps from the good men. Just follow Tyrese and Rev’s advice and finally understand the reasons behind your man’s actions. Some men’s behavior can’t be changed, but it’s better to face the truth. No matter how painful or distressing that truth might be, if you know it, you can confront it and move past it. Tyrese and Rev acknowledge that it can be difficult for men to open up, but they present real strategies for men and women to have honest and open discussions about relationship expectations.
With Rev’s hard-earned knowledge on what it takes to make a marriage work, and Tyrese’s sometimes uncomfortable but always straight talk on the single man’s mind-set, Manology is your one true source of knowledge to help you take control of your love life and truly understand your man.
What Remains is a vivid and haunting memoir about a girl from a working-class town who becomes an award-winning television producer and marries a prince, Anthony Radziwill. Carole grew up in a small suburb with a large, eccentric cast of characters. At nineteen, she struck out for New York City to find a different life. Her career at ABC News led her to the refugee camps of Cambodia, to a bunker in Tel Aviv, and to the scene of the Menendez murders. Her marriage led her into the old world of European nobility and the newer world of American aristocracy.
What Remains begins with loss and returns to loss. A small plane plunges into the ocean carrying John F. Kennedy Jr., Anthony’s cousin, and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Carole’s closest friend. Three weeks later Anthony dies of cancer. With unflinching honesty and a journalist’s keen eye, Carole Radziwill explores the enduring ties of family, the complexities of marriage, the importance of friendship, and the challenges of self-invention. Beautifully written, What Remains “gets at the essence of what matters,” wrote Oprah Winfrey. “Friendship, compassion, destiny.”
We all read the same stories and found ourselves believing the rumors. The stories of drug use and drunken nights out, her problems with money and marriage, and even those about how much Kevin Costner despised working with her on the film, The Bodyguard, because of her diva-like ways. But quotes like the one above, along with everything else Kevin Costner shared about his friendship with Whitney Houston, can't help but make you wonder just how misunderstood she really was.
This book takes you full circle through Whitney Houston's life, starting with her first solo in her mother's choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in New Jersey to her funeral in that very same church. Every page will give you more and more insight into the tragic superstar, leaving you with an understanding of just how incredible she was, even when the tabloids were declaring otherwise.
Fans have been waiting for Brandi’s scoop on one of the biggest divorces of the decade, since her husband of eight years abandoned her and their two sons to marry country singer LeAnn Rimes. Not only does Brandi spill the beans about her side of the split, the lovable housewife shares the incredible wild ride that took her from a life in the ghetto to Hollywood’s most elite circles. For the first time, Brandi talks about how she escaped a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Sacramento and stumbled into a successful modeling career that swept her into a world of Paris Fashion Weeks, private jets, and uncircumcised penises. Before she knew it, Brandi was the perfect Hollywood trophy wife—at least until her marriage exploded.
Today, the refreshingly filter-free housewife and unapologetic mom is the newest full-time cast member of Bravo’s juggernaut franchise, where she often elicits raised eyebrows and gossip from her costars for her refusal to be the scorned ex-wife, to be bullied, to change her sarcastic sense of humor, or—on most occasions—to wear a bra. Sassy, raunchy, and compulsively readable, Drinking and Tweeting perfectly captures Brandi’s open-book attitude, as she dishes about everything from her DUI, her cheating ex, her one-night stands, and the secret plastic surgery that made her “seventeen” again. You’re sure to enjoy every page of this funny, upbeat, honest tale. Clear your schedule for an afternoon and grab your favorite cocktail, a comfy seat . . . and maybe a Xanax. But that’s for later.
“Raw, powerful and disturbing—a head-spinning take on Mr. Tyson's life.”—Wall Street Journal
Philosopher, Broadway headliner, fighter, felon—Mike Tyson has defied stereotypes, expectations, and a lot of conventional wisdom during his three decades in the public eye. Bullied as a boy in the toughest, poorest neighborhood in Brooklyn, Tyson grew up to become one of the most ferocious boxers of all time—and the youngest heavyweight champion ever. But his brilliance in the ring was often compromised by reckless behavior. Yet—even after hitting rock bottom—the man who once admitted being addicted “to everything” fought his way back, achieving triumphant success as an actor and newfound happiness and stability as a father and husband. Brutal, honest, raw, and often hilarious, Undisputed Truth is the singular journey of an inspiring American original.
From a clandestine relationship with Nas's biggest rival, Jay-Z, that stirred up the biggest feud in hip-hop history, to seeing her reputation in tatters and a once loving relationship with Nas fall apart, Carmen depicts her trying journey to become the strong woman and mother she is today. After years of turmoil that included drugs, sex, greed, and violence -- and abandoning what she had always prized above all, her freedom -- Carmen took a stand, focusing on herself. After years of pursuit by the media, Carmen sets the record straight in It's No Secret -- and has no regrets.
In her very first tell-all memoir, Teresa comes clean on all things Giudice: growing up as an Italian-American, starting a family, dealing with chaos on national television, and coming to terms with the reality of life in prison. Featuring scans from her coveted prison diary, Turning the Tables captures some of the most memorable moments of her stay, including the fights she witnessed, the awkward conundrum of being trapped when a fellow inmate had a…guest…over, and the strength she found while confined between four concrete walls.
Now with an exclusive bonus chapter, Teresa reflects on the days following her December 2015 release, and the heart-wrenching weeks leading up to the night she had to say good-bye to her husband, Joe…who has left to serve his own prison sentence.
Even at her lowest of lows, Teresa was able to live la bella vita by staying positive and realizing her purpose. Friends, foes, and fans have speculated about Teresa’s life off-camera, but nothing will prepare you for the revelations she makes in this entertaining and ultimately heartwarming memoir.
In 1984, at the age of twenty, Duff McKagan left his native Seattle—partly to pursue music but mainly to get away from a host of heroin overdoses then decimating his closest group of friends in the local punk scene. In LA only a few weeks and still living in his car, he answered a want ad for a bass player placed by someone who identified himself only as “Slash.” Soon after, the most dangerous band in the world was born. Guns N’ Roses went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide.
In It’s So Easy, Duff recounts Guns’ unlikely trajectory to a string of multiplatinum albums, sold-out stadium concerts, and global acclaim. But that kind of glory can take its toll, and it did—ultimately—on Duff, as well as on the band itself. As Guns began to splinter, Duff felt that he himself was done, too. But his near death as a direct result of alcoholism proved to be his watershed, the turning point that sent him on a unique path to sobriety and the unexpected choices he has made for himself since.
In a voice that is as honest as it is indelibly his own, Duff—one of rock’s smartest and most articulate personalities—takes readers on a harrowing journey through the dark heart of one of the most notorious bands in rock-and-roll history and out the other side.
“These hands are so fast, I can get your wallet before you know it. In a minute, you’ll be standing there buck naked and won’t know what hit you!” “Look here—if it wasn’t for my tripped knee, I’d be playing in the NBA today.” “Hey, Jack!” Any of these sound familiar? If they do—or even if they don’t—you’re in for a good laugh. The brother of patriarch Phil Robertson, Uncle Si has a limitless supply of stories about his childhood, duck hunting adventures, his days in Vietnam, and everything in between. Now the best of those tales are gathered into this roaring book.
And as Uncle Si recounts his outlandish tales, he weaves in an up-close look into his personal life. You’ll learn about his childhood as the youngest son in the Robertson family, his college days, and how he came to use a green Tupperware cup for his ever-present tea.. And in many of these never-before-heard tales, Si openly talks about his wife Christine and two children, Scott and Trasa—who are never seen and rarely mentioned on the show.
Sure to please die-hard fans and curious newbies alike, Si’s one-liners are presented alongside fun, expressive photographs, as well as photos of his family. As you learn about his behind-the-scenes life, this smattering of zany stories will have you falling over with laughter and retelling them to all your friends.
Survival is a recurring theme of 50 Cent’s lyrics, and his life. That’s why, with obesity rates soaring and fitness levels declining, he wants to give everyone an all-access pass to his premium plan for lifelong fitness. In Formula 50, the mega-successful entertainer and entrepreneur unleashes the power of metabolic resistance training (MRT), the key ingredient that has helped him achieve the famously buff physique that makes his music videos sizzle.
Through MRT, 50 Cent’s fitness plan breaks down the barriers between traditional weight training and cardio workouts, accelerating fat loss while building muscle and improving overall fitness. Designed for a six-week rollout for total mind-body transformation, the Formula 50 regimen builds willpower while it builds physical power. In addition to motivation, nutrition is another key element; readers will discover the unique dietary combinations that fuel 50 Cent’s workouts. Coauthored with Jeff O’Connell, health journalist and editor-in-chief at Bodybuilding.com (the world’s largest fitness website), the book delivers a payoff that goes beyond six-pack abs and flab-free pecs: This is a fitness plan that boosts energy, endurance, flexibility, and mobility. The result is a body you’ve always dreamed of—and the mindset to attain the rest of your dreams.
From rap superstar Lil Wayne comes the long-awaited Gone ’Til November, a deeply personal and revealing account of his time spent incarcerated on Rikers Island for eight months in 2010.
In 2010, recording artist Lil Wayne was at the height of his career. A fixture in the rap game for more than a decade, Lil Wayne (aka Weezy) had established himself as both a prolific musician and a savvy businessman, smashing long-held industry records, winning multiple Grammy Awards, and signing up-and-coming talent like Drake and Nicki Minaj to his Young Money label. All of this momentum came to a halt when he was convicted of possession of a firearm and sentenced to a yearlong stay at Rikers Island. Suddenly, the artist at the top of his game was now an inmate at the mercy of the American penal system. At long last, Gone ’Til November reveals the true story of what really happened while Wayne was behind bars, exploring everything from his daily rituals to his interactions with other inmates to how he was able to keep himself motivated and grateful. Taken directly from Wayne’s own journal, this intimate, personal account of his incarceration is an utterly humane look at the man behind the artist.
Igniting a firestorm of controversy in the music industry and the Los Angeles media, the hardcover publication of LAbyrinth helped to prompt two lawsuits against the LAPD (one brought by the widow and mother of Notorious B.I.G., the other brought by Poole himself) that may finally bring this story completely out of the shadows.
In Face the Music, Paul Stanley—the co-founder and famous “Starchild” frontman of KISS—reveals for the first time the incredible highs and equally incredible lows in his life both inside and outside the band. Face the Music is the shocking, funny, smart, inspirational story of one of rock’s most enduring icons and the group he helped create, define, and immortalize.
Stanley mixes compelling personal revelations and gripping, gritty war stories that will surprise even the most steadfast member of the KISS Army. He takes us back to his childhood in the 1950s and ’60s, a traumatic time made more painful thanks to a physical deformity. Born with a condition called microtia, he grew up partially deaf, with only one ear. But this instilled in him an inner drive to succeed in the most unlikely of pursuits: music.
With never-before-seen photos and images throughout, Stanley’s memoir is a fully realized and unflinching portrait of a rock star, a chronicle of the stories behind the famous anthems, the many brawls and betrayals, and all the drama and pyrotechnics on and off the stage. Raw and confessional, Stanley offers candid insights into his personal relationships, and the turbulent dynamics with his bandmates over the past four decades. And no one comes out unscathed—including Stanley himself.
“People say I was brave to write such a revealing book, but I wrote it because I needed to personally reflect on my own life. I know everyone will see themselves somewhere in this book, and where my story might take them is why I’m sharing it.” —Paul Stanley
When Felicia Day was a girl, all she wanted was to connect with other kids (desperately). Growing up in the Deep South, where she was “home-schooled for hippie reasons,” she looked online to find her tribe. The Internet was in its infancy and she became an early adopter at every stage of its growth—finding joy and unlikely friendships in the emerging digital world. Her relative isolation meant that she could pursue passions like gaming, calculus, and 1930’s detective novels without shame. Because she had no idea how “uncool” she really was.
But if it hadn’t been for her strange background—the awkwardness continued when she started college at sixteen, with Mom driving her to campus every day—she might never have had the naïve confidence to forge her own path. Like when she graduated as valedictorian with a math degree and then headed to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting despite having zero contacts. Or when she tired of being typecast as the crazy cat-lady secretary and decided to create her own web series before people in show business understood that online video could be more than just cats chasing laser pointers.
Felicia’s rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Ever candid, she opens up about the rough patches along the way, recounting battles with writer’s block, a full-blown gaming addiction, severe anxiety, and depression—and how she reinvented herself when overachieving became overwhelming.
Showcasing Felicia’s “engaging and often hilarious voice” (USA TODAY), You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should celebrate what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.
This biography tells the story of a young, talented woman's meteoric rise in the entertainment industry. From a shy, demure Catholic schoolgirl growing up in Houston, Texas, Beyonce Knowles eventually morphed into the first African-American woman to win the Songwriter of the Year Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Pop Music Awards. The once-shy suburban schoolgirl has gone far beyond her original dream of becoming a first-rate musician and vocalist. With the assistance of her manager-father--former Xerox executive Mathew Knowles--and as lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny's Child (the world's all-time bestselling female group), Beyonce has won 10 Grammy Awards and two Golden Globe nominations. Her albums have reached more than 20 million people worldwide, and she has become a cultural icon to music lovers everywhere as well as a role model for young women. Author Janice Arenofsky gives students and general readers alike an insightful look at a music and fashion icon who has a unique niche in popular culture today. Complete with photos, a timeline, and a thorough bibliography.
"Unvarnished. Funny. Leaving no stone unturned."
. . . So say the publishers about this book I've written.
What I say is that this is the story of my life, told as clear as a Texas sky and in the same rhythm that I lived it.
It's a story of restlessness and the purity of the moment and living right. Of my childhood in Abbott, Texas, to the Pacific Northwest, from Nashville to Hawaii and all the way back again. Of selling vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias while hosting radio shows and writing song after song, hoping to strike gold.
It's a story of true love, wild times, best friends, and barrooms, with a musical sound track ripping right through it.
My life gets lived on the road, at home, and on the road again, tried and true, and I've written it all down from my heart to yours.
Perry offers detailed readings of the lyrics of many hip hop artists, including Ice Cube, Public Enemy, De La Soul, krs-One, OutKast, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Tupac Shakur, Lil’ Kim, Biggie Smalls, Nas, Method Man, and Lauryn Hill. She focuses on the cultural foundations of the music and on the form and narrative features of the songs—the call and response, the reliance on the break, the use of metaphor, and the recurring figures of the trickster and the outlaw. Perry also provides complex considerations of hip hop’s association with crime, violence, and misogyny. She shows that while its message may be disconcerting, rap often expresses brilliant insights about existence in a society mired in difficult racial and gender politics. Hip hop, she suggests, airs a much wider, more troubling range of black experience than was projected during the civil rights era. It provides a unique public space where the sacred and the profane impulses within African American culture unite.
The closer we look at the Robertson family, the more we discover the substance and authenticity below the surface of these well-known TV characters. In this enlightening book, Jase Robertson gives us a deep look behind his funnyman exterior. In addition to stories of life in the Robertson family and epic tales of hunting of all kinds, readers will get an inside look at Jase’s personal faith in the Creator of the outdoors he so dearly loves:
“My first thoughts about God came in a duck blind as I gazed upon the diversity and beauty of creation. There is nothing in nature that can be reproduced or equaled by humans. None of our computers, microchips, or cell phones can duplicate what God has put forth. Viewing the details of this magnificent earth is better than any sermon from any preacher I have heard about the evidence of God.”
More than a behind-the-scenes look at this beloved Duck Dynasty character, readers will be inspired and encouraged to implement Jase’s “good call” reflections on faith, family, and fowl into their own lives.
–Tupac Shakur, from “Until the End of Time”
Tupac Shakur was larger than life. A gifted rapper, actor, and poet, he was fearless, prolific, and controversial–and often said that he never expected to live past the age of thirty. He was right. On September 13, 1996, he died of gunshot wounds at age twenty-five. But even ten years after Tupac’s tragic passing, the impact of his life and talent continues to flourish. Lauded as one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time, Tupac has sold more than sixty-seven million records worldwide, making him the top-selling rapper ever.
How Long Will They Mourn Me? celebrates Tupac’s unforgettable life–his rise to fame; his tumultuous dark side marked by sex, drugs, and violence; and the indelible legacy he left behind. Although Tupac’s murder remains unsolved, the spirit of this legendary artist is far from forgotten. How long will we mourn him? Fans worldwide will grieve his untimely death for a long time to come.
From the Paperback edition.