Eminem: The Way I Am

Eminem: The Way I Am

Yes, I know.  Eminem's The Way I Am is officially autobiography more than biography. But my guess  is that it is enough ghost written to qualify, despite the fact that it presented in first person.Like many queer/feminist people I have a hard time with Eminem. His lyrics are grossly homophobic, misognistic, sometimes even racist. He's  not someone I want to give my money to support, especially since he has a lot more of it than I do. At the same time,  as a former mid-westerner (much of my family is originally from Detroit) I am inclined to listen, for a moment at least, to what he has to says. An angry white man is not so unusual, but it is unusual that he is honest about his anger, and its origins in class battles, child abuse and feeling “not enough.”

I was startled by the tone of The Way I Am. In his music, Eminem makes a dramatic point of refusing to apologize, refusing to answer critics except in a general way or by counterattack. In much of the writing of the book (whether penned by Eminen himself or his likely team of ghost writers) the tone if much more consilatory. For example, his account of his relationship with the mother of his child/sometimes lover/sometimes wife/sometimes enemy Kim is measured and doesn't hestitate to address his own responsibility in their ongoing friction which, at times, has been violent. This book will doubtless be an interesting read for fans of Eminem, but it will be equally interesting to people for looking for answers to their own anger and their own feelings of masculined inadequacy.