From Gucci Mane to Rick Ross, here are the rappers who used their pens for more than just chart-topping lyrics. Behold, Boardroom’s best-selling rap memoirs list.
Autumn is the perfect season to grab a warm beverage and curl up with a good book. But what if you don’t know which book to start with? Don’t worry, Boardroom has you covered with the ultimate list of the best-selling memoirs written by your favorite rappers.
If you’re a hip-hop lover wanting to hear your favorite emcee’s personal journey and story in their own words, here are some of the most memorable and best-selling rap memoirs, written by artists that are also at home in your music catalog.
Best-selling Rap Memoirs & Autobiographies
“Adversity for Sale: Ya Gotta Believe” by Jay “Jeezy” Jenkins
As of Sept. 2023, Jeezy’s sat in the top 10 of The New York Times Best Sellers list in the 10th position for Hardcover Nonfiction Books. Published in August in celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, the rapper’s HarperCollins-published memoir gives fans an inside look into his life and his battle with mental health issues and depression.
“Let Love Have the Last Word” by Common
The 2021 New York Times best-selling novel written by Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award-winning actor and rapper Common is named after his mantra. From forgiveness and personal experiences of childhood molestation to penning prose about building a stronger relationship with his daughter, “Let Love Have the Last Word” shares topics of God, self-love, partners, children, family, and community from the raptivist’s point of view.
“I Am Restored” by Lecrae
The two-time Grammy award-winning rapper added the title of New York Times bestselling author following the 2020 release of his book, “I Am Restored.” The memoir vulnerably tells Lecrae’s story as he heals from his dark past, pain, and trauma of sexual abuse, physical trauma, addiction, and depression while shaping his bright future through his relationship with his family, community, church, and God. Lecrae’s book illustrates lessons of forgiveness, healing, joy, and authenticity while battling inner demons at the height of his music career.
“The Autobiography of Gucci Mane” by Gucci Mane
Co-written by New York Times bestselling co-author Neil Martinez-Belkin, Gucci Mane’s 2018 bestselling memoir climbed to the top of the best-sellers list almost as quickly as his hits climbed to the top of music charts. The rapper’s autobiography chronicles the love story between himself and Keyshia Ka’oir, the ups and downs of his journey through music, violence, and crime, and thorough revelations that made Gucci Mane the man and musician that he is today.
“Decoded” by Jay-Z
In 2010, mogul Jay-Z became a best-selling author when “Decoded” hit the shelves on Nov. 16. Upon release, the “Big Pimpin'” rapper’s book reached No. 3 in the Hardcover Nonfiction category on The New York Times Best-Sellers List behind former President George W. Bush’s autobiography “Decision Points” and Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken.” Did you know that “Decoded” was also cosigned by Oprah Winfrey’s “Ultimate Things List” just three days before the book’s release as she bought books for her entire audience? You get a book!
“Hurricanes: A Memoir” by Rick Ross
As a boss, it’s only right that Rick Ross adds another title to his resume — best-selling author. Co-written by Martinez-Belkin, the rapper’s highly anticipated memoir tells the tale of the rapper born as William Leonard Roberts II as he grew up through Miami’s crack epidemic, his first major label deal, and his arrests and public controversies.
“The Keys” by DJ Khaled
Award-winning music producer DJ Khaled penned a book that serves as both an autobiography and a rundown of his major keys to success. The top takeaways from “The Keys” include glorifying your success, keeping two rooms cooking at the same time, and not ever playing yourself. The book also went on to be featured on The New York Times Best-Sellers list.
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