I saw this book on my library's "new" table and the cover is one of my favorite colors. So I was intrigued. I flipped to a random page and the author was talking about a personal experience with racism. Well I could always stand to learn more on that front, I thought to myself, and decided to check the book out.
I'd never heard of Common before--mostly I steer clear of rap. I've definitely heard uplifting raps and some great hip-hop, but most of what I get exposed to in that genre is really negative, woman-hating, gay-bashing, etc. When I brought the book home, my boyfriend was like, "OMG it's Common!!" That also surprised me. This is the guy who told me, "Yeah, I'm not really into music..." and then gave me ~~the most awesome compilation CD in the world~~ the next time I saw him. So when he likes an artist I don't know, I listen up. ;)
I'd have to say that's the best thing about this book--that it introduced me to Common's music. I listened to it and I was like, damn that's awesome!!
As far as the book itself--it's not the greatest. Personally I liked the input from his mother and thought I probably would've liked to hear the story of her life a little more than his. She seems like a really awesome woman. In the later part of the book, it just seems like Common is name-dropping, or giving tons of shout outs or something.
There was one part that kind of disturbed me--when he's a kid and coerced a little girl into kissing him and letting him grind on her, and then tried to get his cousin in on it too. He admits he coerced her but doesn't say how wrong that is. I'm not sure if we're supposed to think it's cute or something but I thought it was creepy and sad and it rubbed me the wrong way.
Also he's talking about this sex he's having all the time but never once mentions protection.Maybe that's why you knocked three(?) ladies up dude. He's like "I just knew she was gonna be the mother of my child." Yeah well when you're not using protection/birth control, making a prediction like that isn't, like, some Nostradamus-level shit. I just think that a lot of young guys (and girls) who look up to him could use that extra push to use condoms.