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Whatever You Say I Am


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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.


The demand for all things Eminem is big, and rock journalist Bozza aims to fill in the gaps with some personal notes of his own. Culling from his own past interviews with the often-reviled rapper, Bozza's portrait begins four years ago, when he first met and interviewed 27-year-old Marshall Mathers III. He stumbled upon a young man growing into his fame and struggling with the demons of his past life. Eminem's music-propelled by Dr. Dre's beats and Mathers's own controversial lyrics-gave rise to a new era. But it was before this big break, before the awards, movie offers and protests, that Bozza met and connected with Eminem. The two would become irrevocably linked-Bozza gained prominence after writing a remarkable in-depth piece on Em for Rolling Stone, which took the cover and helped catapult the artist to superstardom. It is Bozza's relationship with Eminem that lends credibility to this bio, as well as his ability to fold personal reminiscence into longer analytical sections on Eminem's life, the Detroit rap scene and pop culture. 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. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Bozza, a freelance journalist who introduced Eminem to the world with a 1999 cover story in Rolling Stone, offers the first bona fide biography of the bad-boy rapper. He first charts his subject's rags-to-riches rise to superstardom in concert, on CD, and in the film 8 Mile, continuing with the press reaction to his outrageous public persona and a sketchy history of hip-hop. In the strongest sections, Bozza links the melding of black and white cultures so evident throughout rock history to the intricate confluence of race in Eminem (n? Marshall Mathers), who created white yet authentic rap in his class-divided and racially tense birthplace of Detroit. The author ends with an examination of Eminem's homophobia and misogyny, the latter exemplified in part by his strained relationships with his mother and ex-wife. Though the book would have benefited from a few more insights from Eminem rather than quotes from the established rock press (Bozza did not interview the rapper for the purposes of this book, but he did gain an audience with his manager and entourage), it nevertheless provides a provocative look into the world of recent rap and the violent, sensationalist, and many times dysfunctional American culture that serves as its bedrock. Recommended for serious music fans and the scores of people interested in America's new pop icon.-Dave Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"While most scribes, with eyes closed, have long been pushing pens in hot pursuit of international rap phenom Eminem, Anthony Bozza has wisely devoted his time to exploring the trials and tribulations of Detroit native Marshall Mathers III. And he who understands Mathers understands the fabric of American society--beautiful stitches, stains, rips, and all."--Sacha Jenkins, former Vibe magazine music editor, writer at large for Spin magazine, and coauthor of Ego Trip's Big Book of Racism! and Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists

"Anthony Bozza was granted an access to Eminem that no journalist is likely to see again soon--and so Whatever You Say I Am offers the most intimate glimpses yet of the most towering, complicated figure of our culture."
--Alan Light, former editor in chief of Vibe and Spin magazines, and editor of The Vibe History of Hip-Hop.

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