I've read enough of these supposed tell-all books to know not to expect very much, whether it be just general writing style or the storytelling itself. There are plenty of people who feel the need to expose the industry for what it is and who can be mad at that? However, after reading this book, I don't believe for a single second that was Carmen's intention.
The title of this book is laughable. Hip Hop Helen of Troy? You really think too much of yourself. This story is less of how her activities sparked one of hip-hop's greatest rap beefs and more of an attempted assignation of the character and reputation of her child's father. The dedication was to single mothers and as a single mother, I'm offended by the sheer audacity to dedicate this badly written tale of basically greed and revenge to us.
After reading this book, with all of its inconsistencies and verifiable untruths, I feel like it should have one of those "based on a true story" disclaimers because clearly this is a work of fiction based on true events. Which true events are the question.
Carmen wrote this story about her life but her words don't uplift or encourage or even make her seem like a decent person. Is her dedication an indication that all single mothers should solely depend on their child's father as their sole provider? I don't doubt that she and Nas had a dysfunctional relationship. I can't imagine that being with someone like him would be easy. However, she comes across as jealous, vindictive and outright disrespectful. In her attempt to change the public perception of Nas, she fails to acknowledge her own lack of good judgement, morals, and responsibility. Instead, from her teenage years up until the end of the book, Carmen has no problem proudly depicting herself as an opportunist constantly on the prowl for her next big "score."
Reading her depiction of the Jones brothers' actions while their mother was dying was especially jarring, considering that her daughter lost her grandmother and could one day read this book.
Bitter and mean does not make a great storyteller. This is the worst kind of tell-all because it was pointless, heartless, and turned out to be just words on paper with a catchy bait and switch title. In the third or fourth chapter, Carmen states that being taught how to fight turned her and her friend into bullies. This book, as vindictive as it is, confirms that statement.