I love when rappers release books. It’s also been a minute since I’ve done a book review. The last was for K. Reid’s Fat Kills which, if this is the first time you’ve heard of it, is one to definitely check out. I believe it’s the first hip hop psychological thriller; think Silence Of The Lamb meets XXL.
When the first hype video for Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind And Naked dropped, it was three minutes of Malice narrating about letting down his family, being "demonized" by the media, quoting Bible verses, and praising the Lord. Huh? I was instantly intrigued.
Here is 1/2 of a duo, known for rhyming about cocaine by the ton and dope boy magic, releasing a borderline preacher-man type video? In retrospect, looking over The Clipse album titles it should have been obvious that religious themes have always been big part of The Clipse brand: Lord Willin’ (2002), Hell Hath No Fury (2006), Til The Casket Drop (2009). Honestly though when I saw that first hype video, I wasn’t thinking that deep.
Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind And Naked is an autobiography of Malice’s life. The book starts out in 1996, hanging out on the corner with his boys, a chance meeting with a seemingly religious zealot, and being "introduced" to Jesus Christ. Right after that, Malice starts to believe he has AIDS and describes in detail, through the first couple of chapters what he was going through mentally during this time.
What stood out most about Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind And Naked is Malice gives the reader an unglamorous and stripped down point of view of success. In hip hop all we ever see is the money, access, cars, fame, excess, and fine women (men) willing to do any and everything you want without asking questions.
But what about how a rapper is feeling on the inside? Many rhyme about it, very few write about it and put it in a book. How about their emotions as it relates to struggling with having "everything" but still feeling empty? Malice describes the experience of dealing with the frustrations of getting Til The Casket Drops released. Feeling betrayed by Pharrell. Deep confliction about sleeping with groupies, when deep down, he really loves his wife. Going through all types of money problems and almost losing everything.
The end of the book left me with a lot of questions. Is Malice going to become a full fledged preacher? Does he want to become a professor of religion? With all of his contempt for the game as described in the book, is he going to quit? Is he still having financial issues? With Pusha T continuing to be a part of the life, how does Malice view his brother? Will there be anymore Clipse records? With Pusha T recently releasing the Fear Of God mixtape, is he now struggling with some of the same issues Malice went through?
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Run That Back:
Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind And Naked Vignette #2 (Video).
Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind And Naked Vignette #3 (Video).
Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind And Naked Vignette #4 (Video).
Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind And Naked Vignette #5 (Video).