Book review: Keep the Faith, Faith Evans

Keep The Faith: A Memoir
By Faith Evans and Aliya S. King (Released Aug. 29, 2008)

Any true 90s R&B fan knows Faith Evans. Back when P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Records absolutely owned the radio, Faith was the centerpiece of the label’s R&B division while her estranged husband, the Notorious B.I.G., was the crown jewel of hip hop. Their rocky relationship has been speculated on for years and Faith finally comes forward to set the record straight.

Written in a very laid-back, conversational tone, it’s very easily to get pulled into the story. Even though its more than 350 pages long, the memoir’s tone makes it a very light read – I knocked out the entire book in a couple of weekends.

Faith takes the reader on a journey through her childhood, the discovery of her musical talent, and the fateful day when she met Diddy and was immediately signed to Bad Boy Records. It’s after she’s signed to Bad Boy and meets Biggie when the story really takes off – detailing the romantic highs and devastating lows of their relationship.

Faith makes clear early on that the memoir is meant to be HER story – and early on, that’s certainly the case. Any aspiring artist should heed her advice on perfecting their craft musically and the importance of developing a sound mind for business. A ton of today’s artists would do well to learn from her.

But once Biggie comes into the picture, his large presence begins to overshadow Faith’s story, similar to what happened in her life. In fact, after Biggie’s death and burial, the book rushes to a conclusion. Although they were touched upon, I would have liked to read more about the efforts that went into her later albums.

I realize, however, that Biggie and the drama that surrounded him will be the biggest draw for most readers. And if it’s drama you’re looking for, whooo, you’ll find plenty here. Faith’s issues with Lil’ Kim, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Charli Baltimore, and of course 2pac are all covered. I give her props for her honesty about her occasional drug use and extra-martial affairs. And, oh yeah, she’s not afraid to deliver a few beat downs – some of your favorite artists get smacked around. It’s enough for a month’s worth of Maury episodes.

Much like Faith herself, Keep the Faith is far from perfect, but it’s entertaining, enlightening and real.


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