"God sent me to piss the world off," Eminem boasts on his breakthrough hit "My Name Is." A grandiose claim to be sure, but it's hard to imagine another rapper generating as much controversy and outrage as this bleach-blonde Detroit MC outlaw while still selling millions of records and becoming a hero to pop fans and hardcore hip-hop purists alike. The sharp-tongued product of crushing poverty and an unstable homelife, Eminem is much more than the goofy smartass he usually portrays himself as. Beyond the artist's inventive rhyming skills and appealingly warped lyrical persona, the multi-platinum major-label albums The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP present a dark, psychologically complex character whose vivid, vengeful rhymes embody a timely collision of Midwestern white trash and urban hip-hop cultures, while portraying an unpredictably violent yet absurdly hilarious world. Adopting the cartoonish yet unsettling persona of Slim Shady, Eminem spins colorfully absurd narratives involving sadistic violence while reflecting the tortured psyche of a deeply conflicted character whose real-life pain lurks beneath the surface of his outrageous alter ego.
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.
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Martin Huxley is the author of Nine Inch Nails, Aerosmith, and AC/DC, all for St. Martin's Press. He lives in New York City.
This is the latest book by Huxley, author of several musician biographies. Skimpy and superficial, it's little more than an attempt to cash in on the popularity of rapper Eminem (n? Marshall Mathers). Huxley's tendency to focus on Eminem's rise to fame, leaving the majority of his youth untouched, begs the question of whether this book is really necessary; two major label albums and a few hit singles do not an icon make. Similarly questionable is Huxley's biased prose. While he does mention the uglier, well-publicized side of Eminem's character, these instances are rare and tempered by ridiculous descriptions of him as a "mischievous man-child" and "a sensitive soul whose confidence can still be bruised by a careless callous comment." On the plus side, the discography, which lists every record that Eminem has ever performed on, will be helpful to true "Em" fanatics. Overall, however, this biography is little more than a piece of merchandise to reside next to the CDs, all of which have infinitely more heart and soul invested in their creation.AVincent Au, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Plexus Publishing Ltd, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0859653463