hoos

(online)

Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

realer than most

There is a moment about four hours into My Infamous Life when Johnson finds himself in the early hours of morning, zigzagging down the expressway, flying high on angel dust, Raekwon's "Glaciers of Ice" rattling through "Lil Nigga," his beat-up old car. It sounds glorious, and he nearly dies. This is another version of fearlessness—but it is in the service of a youthful stupidity, and Johnson's dull recitation communicates a kind of shame. It would have made a good line in a song, but here it reminds us that self-analysis does not always mean self-control. That some of the choices that comprise his life can't be explained only makes Johnson's story seem realer than most.

--Hua Hsu reviews the audiobook of My Infamous Life, the memoir of Mobb Deep's Prodigy.