Cover Image: The Book of Jose

The Book of Jose

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Member Reviews

"The Book of Jose" reads just like a Fat Joe interview, its authentic and true to his voice as a Puerto Rican from the Boogie Down Bronx. Joey Crack has a distinct style of vivid storytelling and making readers/listeners take a walk in his shoes. A truly eye-opening read about a hip-hop mainstay.

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This was a decent read never been a fan of Fat Joe he has a few songs I like but again not a big fan. I wanted to read his memoir since I love rap and it’s always a great experience learning about how other rappers came up in the game. Some parts of his book were more interesting than others. I really enjoyed hearing how he got the name Joey Crack and learning things about him that I hadn’t already heard in one of his interviews.

But his book definitely takes you on a ride from his early childhood having to deal with trauma and being bullied, growing up in the Bronx, to the days where he sold drugs and continuously got into trouble before his career took off. I guess you can say he showed some vulnerability with his memoir and really let us in on who Fat Joe really is and why he’s become the man he is today. My only downside is a lot of what he mentioned I felt was a little fabricated; honest but it’s like he added a little extra to make it sound good just my opinion. Overall, it wasn’t a bad book but not a fav. Special thanks to the author, random house publishing, and netgalley for my advanced copy.

Rating: 3.5

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This book was throughly entertaining, a real opener, and at time if felt like he over exaggerated on certain topics. Also it felt like he rushed past a couple of subjects that was brought up. I definitely recommend to a hip hop head

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In The Book of Jose by Fat Joe he discusses his journey going from prey to predator, from black sheep of the family to OG in the hood, from playboy to active father and honestly shares all the losses and wins he encounters along the way. As someone from the Bronx who works with men in therapy I could not wait to read Fat Joe's memoir. We are all so curious about how people become who they are. Growing up in the Bronx, especially being from the Forest Projects in the South Bronx, is a unique experience with many risk factors to navigate along the way. He was honest about struggling with thoughts of unaliving himself at the age of 17-18 and all of the factors that contributed to how he became a menace. He also discusses all of the consequences he faced that changed his mindset and all the friends he lost in the game as a result of the chaos of street life.

As a huge fan of The Terror Squad, I enjoyed the parts that explored his friendship with chosen family members such as Big Pun, Remy Ma, and DJ Khaled among others. I especially appreciated his vulnerability shared around raising his children and the initially alarming and eventually tender experience of raising a son diagnosed with down syndrome and autism. I know that these portions of the book are going to be incredibly validating for so many families especially families from the Bronx that hold him in high regard.

One out of many passages that stick with me:

"But so many of us came up on the same streets, whether we were the predator or the prey. Even when we survived physically we carry so much inside of us, so many scars and traumas, old fears, nightmares, regrets. You just don't know what anyone is carrying. But man, God bless everybody who's going through it. Life is a gift."

Thank you to the author and the publisher for the e-arc copy!

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The Book of Jose is a memoir from one of the greatest rappers of all time. It's raw, cutthroat, dark, and powerful. Fat Joe writes the book with flow and intent.

Fat Joe is one of my favorite rappers. Growing up in a Latinx house meant that his music was played at home, at family gatherings, and everywhere in between. It's also nice to see a fellow Latinx person succeed and so to say I'm proud to listen to his music is like wearing a badge of honor. I didn't know too much about his personal life and this is where the book comes in. Beyond the music and fame is a guy who grew up in a tough neighborhood but who found a way to come out on top.

He really tells it like it is in this memoir. He describes his early life and how he was known to be a troublemaker. In the book, he mentions how he was bullied by kids and even betrayed by his best friend at the time. That was a moment that really changed him. It made him feel like no one really had his back and he needed to become someone tough and who people didn't mess with. It's really crazy how one experience acts as a catalyst to different paths. He went on a dark and tough path. He became a tough one on the streets. No one dared to cross him. That also lead to more violence. Not only did he become the bully with words but he started to use force to get his message across. You could tell that he is a good guy and that choosing a life of drugs and violence wasn't his purpose. And he felt that too. He turned to music and started to find his way. He was tired of looking every which way making sure it wouldn't be the moment the cops got him for good.

Music was a lifesaver. It helped him find his path, meet lifelong friends, and make money that was legal. What helped him along the way was his confidence in himself. He knew his worth and dared anyone to challenge him. Once he started to see big success, that's where you begin to see even more hard times. So many of us think money solves all problems but the truth is sometimes it just ignites new ones. It gave him issues trusting people because if his close friends could betray him in the blink of an eye why wouldn't anyone else?

I think this book is so powerful and eye-opening. It reminds you that no matter what life throws your way if you want to change you can make it happen. Sure it's gonna take a toll on you and test you both physically and mentally, but it can happen. Fat Joe proved that. The odds were against him and look at him now. What I think readers will enjoy most is how loyal he is and how much family means to him. His family means so much to him and you can see that when he talks about his wife, kids, and immediate family. But even if you aren't blood-related and you rock with him through the ups and down, you are his family. If you are in his life, you are lucky because this man will be with you through thick and thin. I think his vulnerability will also stick with people. He is open and honest about even his darkest times.

I give The Book of Jose 5 stars. You can expect to be taken on a wild ride in this memoir. Fat Joe bears it all and leaves readers feeling like change is possible. If he could do it, then so can you.

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I did not like this book at all. It felt like Fat Joe just talked into a recorder while kinda tipsy and then that was transcribed into a book. His life is clearly interesting, but it was told way too casual to be impactful - he did things like say "waaaaayyyy" and "sooooooo" which I don't think I've ever seen a person do in a book before, that wasn't dialogue of some sort. And he just kept skipping around all over the place - there was absolutely no cohesion to this book whatsoever. He mentions the Terror Squad and random stories about them throughout the entire book, but doesn't actually explain the origins or what this group comprises of until 80% into the book. That's crazy. I vaguely knew, from my own knowledge and context, but you still should give a reader context to what you're talking about at the time in which its relevant.

Also, Joe just seems like an asshole, which never helps make a book more readable.

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The Book of Jose: A Memoirby FAT JOE; Shaheem Reid is an interesting and enlightening memoir that I enjoyed.

This book gave me a real insight into the trials, struggles, biases, and triumphs that the author has experienced growing up as also as he balanced the tightrope of his past, present, and what he hoped to achieve. He definitely has talent, and his battles were hard-won. The hills he had to pass over to make his way towards making some of his dreams a reality, really showed me how much perseverance, drive, and passion he had, and still has, and I wish him all the luck and positive vibes that he’s able to continue onward.

4/5 stars

Thank you NG and Random House for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 11/15/22.

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