With his venomous raps about raping his mom and murdering his wife, Eminem's outrage is even more potent than the previous generation's angry white punk, Johnny Rotten. But this earnest, exhaustive and unauthorized bio reveals little about the tortured soul behind that anger.
New details about the rapper's crushing childhood poverty and volatile home life are precious few. Born in Kansas City, he was six months old when his father, Marshall Mathers II—described by Eminem's mother, Deborah, as an abusive drinker and drug user, charges the older Mathers has denied—left home for good. Despite some excellent reporting, including details of a backstage scene of Eminem tripping on Ecstasy, Bozza bogs down in endless parsings of the cultural impact of a rapper with three albums to his credit. There is one surprising revelation: Eminem, the self-described "Mr. Potty-Mouth King," allows his 7-year-old daughter to listen only to sanitized versions of his records. "Being a father, I limit the swear words." Roll over, Johnny Rotten.