Synopses & Reviews
does eminem matter?
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.
"It is Bozza's relationship with Eminem that lends credibility to this bio....Bozza's unprecedented access to Mathers then and now has given rise to one of the only fully honest accounts of the now brilliant star." Publishers Weekly
"Eventually, Bozza produces shrewd chapters on the music industry...but only zeitgeist-chasers and youngsters who love Eminem are likely to make it that far. Written from the amen corner, nothing here will perturb the rapper's worshippers." Kirkus Reviews
"Although [the book] sometimes bogs down in the minutiae of hip-hop rivalries and cites endless critical yammering about the star's importance, it will still interest anyone seriously impressed with Eminem's abilities and his prospects." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Bozza's personal insights alone would have given the book credibility, but he digs deeper....Bozza deftly weaves intimate details about the star's past and his burgeoning celebrity with revelations from those closest to him." Steve Jones, USA Today
"Though the book would have benefited from a few more insights from Eminem rather than quotes from the established rock press...it nevertheless provides a provocative look into the world of recent rap..." Library Journal
As his celebrity rises from infamy to superstar proportions, and with an acting debut lauded by mainstream media and unparalleled record sales, here is the definitive profile of Eminem as a rap artist and a key figure in the current American cultural landscape.
Author Anthony Bozza broke the Eminem story nationally with a 1999 cover story for Rolling Stone and has since enjoyed a level of access to Eminem unique among journalists. Eminem is the hottest, most discussed, and most controversial figure on the current musical and pop cultural scene. He has been blasted for what many of his critics regard as overly homophobic and misogynistic lyrics and resented for his record-breaking commercial success as a white man in a black genre. But Eminem's talent and appeal to millions of fans has transcended his detractors and established him as the most important figure to come out of popular music since Kurt Cobain and a phenomenon that must be acknowledged by anyone who wants to understand how America is changing today.
Whatever You Say I Am illustrated with dozens of exclusive photographs and containing interviews with key figures in hip-hop, members of Eminem's camp, sociologists, and critics is the first book to get to the heart of the man behind the controversy and his extraordinary career. Placing him in the context of hip-hop, popular music, and the larger culture, Anthony Bozza answers the big question: Why does Eminem matter? Bozza finds the answer in Eminem's unlikely life story, in his peculiar rise to fame, and in an analysis of his music and lyrics. Much like Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain, Whatever You Say I Am is riveting reading for Eminem's fans and a revelation for everyone else who wants to know why he has so many of them.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -278).
About the Author
ANTHONY BOZZA worked as a writer and editor at Rolling Stone from 1995 to 2002, where he wrote several major stories on Eminem as well as cover stories on a range of artists, from Jennifer Lopez to Nine Inch Nails. His writing has appeared in Maxim, Paper, Elle, Allure, Arena (UK), and The Face (UK). This is his first book. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
This looks like a job for me -- I only cuss to make your mom upset -- Damn! How much damage can you do with a pen? -- This rap game -- Became a commodity because I'm w-h-i-t-e -- We call it Amityville -- If I'm a criminal, how can I raise a little girl?