Book Review: My Infamous Life

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This is from my Books page, on which you will find reviews of all of my favorites.

“I was reminded that I was just another inmate like anybody else. DIN #08A1481. My Department Identification Number represents the year I got locked up, ’08; the facility code A for Downstate, the prison I was initially in; and then 1,481 indicates that I was the 1,481st inmate to get locked up in that prison year. We were all the same while stuck inside.”

“I prefer a savage mind over a square one, because without money, expensive houses in safe neighborhoods, cars, and the other materialism that gives a false sense of security in their little fake-ass world, a square couldn’t survive in the real world where poverty and savages are king. Just imagine for a moment, the apocalypse hits. Armageddon. Babylon (the corporate world) is falling. No electricity, bank accounts, gas stations, no calling 911, because there’s no phone service. Who will survive longer, if at all? Mr. ad Mrs Square-Ass Lame with their master’s degrees and Prada suits? Or Mr. and Mrs. Savage Mentality, who are used to having nothing and are close friends with all the neighborhood criminals?”

So far in 2012, I’ve read books by an enlightened hip-hop mogul, a self-made motivational speaker/ educator, and a social media maven/ wine connoisseur. My Infamous Life, written by a hard-core gangsta rapper, is easily the best of all of them so far.

If you don’t know, Prodigy is one half of the rap group Mobb Deep — you can look them up if you need to know more. P’s book is written in a way I like autobiographies: start from the beginning, and going through everything, with no gaps. P is brutally honest, even revealing times he cried, like when he found out his future wife was cheating. All the groupie stories are in there too, and what’s a hip-hop memoir without those?

If you grew up on East Coast rap music like I did, this book is like a damn history lesson with so many stories (P’s book is 3x longer then any of the others I’ve read so far this year) about so many people: Nas; N.O.R.E.; Diddy; Russell Simmons; 50 Cent; Jay-Z; Young Jeezy; Lindsay Lohan; Keyshia Cole; Cormega; Ja Rule; Ashanti; The Game; G-Unit…. everyone. I laughed out loud at least 20 times reading the stories about other artists P crossed paths with.

Besides the entertainment factor, P gets into a lot about the business side of his career and his business dealings with other industry folks. Even though I don’t rap, the principles P talks about apply across all businesses.

Funny thing is, I’ve had Infamous Life for months in my iBooks library, passing over it several times for other books. I’m thankful I finally got to it.

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