New Book on Eminem Will Be Worth the Read

by Kenya Foy

Apparently, Eminem referring to himself as a "Rap God" roused the interest of some critics — in a good way. According to XXL Magazine, The Real Slim Shady will be the subject of a book set for a November release. But Eminem and Rap, Poetry, Race isn't one of those fluff-filled celebrity books that prompt you to immediately request a refund. Instead, the collection of essays features a foreword by fellow rapper Talib Kweli and doesn't simply stop at dissecting Em's lyrical prowess, or the fact that he's built a career off dissing other famous people. In fact, the book description sounds like the content could easily be used for a college course:

Eminem is the best-selling musical artist of the 21st century. He is also one of the most contentious and most complex artists of our time. His verbal dexterity ranks him among the greatest technical rappers ever. The content of his songs combines the grotesque and the comical with the sincere and the profound, all told through the sophisticated layering of multiple personae. However one finally assesses his contribution to popular culture, there’s no denying his central place in it.This collection of essays gives his work the critical attention it has long deserved. Drawing from history, philosophy, sociology, musicology, and other fields, the writers gathered here consider Eminem’s place in Hip Hop, the intellectual underpinnings of his work, and the roles of race, gender and privilege in his career, among various other topics. This original treatment will be appreciated by Eminem fans and cultural scholars alike.

Whether you know Eminem as a rapper who calls out pop stars, writes songs that require several rewinds to grasp the meaning of the lyrics or as the guy who has no problem acknowledging and resolving family issues through his music, it's refreshing to see that fans of Eminem and members of the hip hop community aren't the only ones taking note of his undeniable presence

and impact on hip hop.

Obviously, the rapper doesn't have time to stand by idly until this literary exploration of all things Eminem hits shelves later this year. He recently collaborated with Busta Rhymes on the song "Calm Down," and in August, he's scheduled to tour with Rihanna. In just a couple of weeks, he will make history by becoming the first rapper to perform at London's Wembley Stadium.Eminem and Rap, Poetry, Race ventures beneath the surface of Em's highly publicized and controversial image to explore equally contentious topics such as privilege, race and gender, which makes it similar to its subject's fearless approach to rapping. Eminem has never been one to avoid the tough subjects and the fact that this book appears to be taking that same path just might make it a worthwhile read.