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It's No Secret: From Nas to Jay-Z, from Seduction to Scandal--a Hip-Hop Helen of Troy Tells All
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It's No Secret: From Nas to Jay-Z, from Seduction to Scandal--a Hip-Hop Helen of Troy Tells All

3.14  ·  Rating Details ·  312 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Carmen Bryan is no stranger to the rap world. Not only did she work at Def Jam and Capitol Records but she shares a daughter with hip-hop superstar Nas -- a relationship made extremely public through Nas's celebrity status, rap lyrics, and the ever-present media. Now, in It's No Secret, a strong, resilient Carmen bares all, telling her side of the story and leaving no deta ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published December 29th 2006 by MTV Books (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 08, 2007 Chele rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s really aggravating to have to keep reading books about woman that don't value themselves. I can't believe that as a mother with a daughter that she would publicize her scandalous ways. This is not the message to send to our young girls... All in all if you like drama, this will entertain you..
Oh Carmen, how you annoy me. Hip Hop Helen of Troy? Girl, sit down...

She dedicates this book to "all the single mothers who have struggled." As a single mother, I feel NO kinship with this woman.

I never understood why women want to air their dirty laundry, especially when they don't appear to have changed, become enlightened, or learned a damn thing throughout their 'journey.' After reading this book, I'm still at a loss for why Miss Bryan fills 259 pages with bad decisions, three abortions, an
Eva Leger
Jul 26, 2008 Eva Leger rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE WHO WANTS TO STAY SANE
Recommended to Eva by: first bad call in awhile
This book is TERRIBLE. I'm not sure how this even came to be a book. This book just told nothing over and over. I learned that Nas is "only" average in size (but she stuck around for nine years and some change). that Jay-Z really cared for her and wanted to marry her (yet her dogged her in his songs) but she didn't want to marry him, that she was content with sitting around the house, sleeping with numerous men right after one another and somehow trying to make it seem okay. There were a couple ...more
Vanessa Lewis
Mar 01, 2007 Vanessa Lewis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gossip junkies
To my surprise/dismay it's actually worse than the Karrine Stephans book. Both ladies have confused being used by men with being LOVED by them.

If you want to learn more about who Nas is as a person or how Jay washes his ass (not literally his ASS) in the shower...go for it. I'll even let you borrow it.
Jan 02, 2017 Tia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, hip-hop
This was actually great FOR WHAT IT WAS. No, I didn't read this expecting a work of literary genius. I read it expecting confessions of an ordinary around-the-way girl who happened to date Nas and Jay-Z, and that's exactly what I got. I couldn't ask for more.

I have to say, this genre of memoirs by women who dated rock stars or rappers is one of my ultimate guilty pleasures. I've always had a weakness for musicians, always got huge crushes on them in a way I never do other celebs like actors or
May 18, 2009 Annie.k rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you can get past revenge motivations and the large amount of "TMI" about sexual encounters with Nas, Jay-Z, and Allen Iverson this book is a worthwhile (QUICK) read to further consider the transformation of hip-hop from its origins to it's glamorous West Coast castrated form. The books dwells in some of hip-hop's gritty origins, from an alternative street movement to crack dealers delight. Admittedly, even early hip-hop mc's, bboys and girls had get-rich and famous hopes in many ways; but thi ...more
Jul 05, 2008 Ana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This scandalous girl wrote this book that was all bragging about her uncouth behavior and just straight up wrong actions and had the nerve to write about it. With pride.

I love Nas' music but to think that this broad was 'holding him down' makes me mad because she did him wrong. Straight up.

The book is lite, i read it in one, maybe two, sittings. Its kind of written like she's telling the story to one of her girls so it's hella casual. The only thing its good for is to get the back story on the o
Mar 05, 2008 Erica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
WHATEVER!!!!! This book was a sad imitation of Superheads book that explored her sexual escapades with some of hip-hops biggest names.

Carmen basically told her side of an on-again-off-again relationship with Nas. Blah, Blah, Blah. There was not enough meat to the story and honestly it was BORING as hell. Nobody cares about Carmen and it is so sad how she tried to gain some notoriety this way.....TRY AGAIN CARMEN!!!!!!
Kimberly Hicks
Now this book was good! Gave it five stars. And Carmen tells it all in this book. Her life with Nas, her life after Nas, etc. Like Faith Evans, she really goes into her background and life, and I felt she was very honest and genuine. She didn't lead a perfect life, and then again, who the heck does? I really enjoyed this book and was quite shocked at some things she revealed.

The glam life is not all it's cracked up to be, that's for sure!
Mar 16, 2014 Helena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hiphop
I know I shouldn't like this book much but it was a bit of a guilty pleasure. I don't have much respect for carmen after reading this and I do wonder how much is true. Being a big nas fan it changed my view on him slightly but then I think that was her main aim in writing it really.

I enjoy reading about hiphop and New York in general so I stayed interested throughout and found it a nice easy read.
Jun 16, 2009 Kiyanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel like she was going for the Superhead/Karrine Stephans novel. However, her life wasn't all that interesting and neither was the book.
Nathan Rabin
Aug 25, 2009 Nathan Rabin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Briskly readable trash. Spectacularly unedifying.
Apr 26, 2008 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
She deserves to get slapped for coming out with this book
Black Carrie
I don't like Carm but the book was okay

Good read sounded more like fiction she made both Nas & Jay Z seem soft and Jay Z gay as heck especially the shower scene. She sure through hella shade like she was the finest b*tch walking in the 90's. It's like every dude she came across said she had some bomb but they got what they wanted and bounced. Her life outside of Nas was dull I see why she tolerated his BS..... She mentions God but kept on sining she made Nas seem like such an asshole. Her s
Precious Williams
This is a dirty book. Not dirty in the sexual sense - in fact Carmen is not graphic at all about her sexual antics with Nas, Jay-Z, Iverson et al. But the premise of this book is so sordid that it's unclear why she decided to write it. There are details about her multiple (three, I think) abortions. She writes in detail about how a 'discharge' turns out to be Chlamydia and how she is not even clear about which of the men she's screwing at the time has given her the disease.

I first saw the author
Jackie Chanel
Dec 31, 2015 Jackie Chanel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

There are plenty of people who feel the need to expose the hip hop industry for what it is and who can be mad at that? However, after reading this book, I don't believe for a single second that was Carmen's intention. I came into this book with an open mind, despite seeing some of the Twitter rants I've seen this woman go on. I figured there was a reason behind her anger and maybe this book would shed some light on that. That's not what I got.
The title of this book is laughable. Hip Hop Helen o
Jun 20, 2013 Steph rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was going to just do a one-line review of this book and drop the mic, so to speak.

After all, "This is the craziest shit I've ever read" has a nice ring to it.

But then I really started thinking about it, and realized that although this book is terribly written, the material in it illuminated many things I simply don't know much about.

As a middle-class white girl who grew up in a mostly very safe place, I don't have experience with drugs. With young pregnancy. With drive-bys and violence. Thus
Jun 05, 2007 Phyllicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teens and Adults
Reading a book about someone's life and knowing how they lived and were while being with a rapper will be a book like this you will enjoy. When someone looks at this book like this they might infer it's about Carmen's whole life and that she's talks just about her and her family. Not necessarily in this book she talks about her life and the life she lived with Nas and JayZ. With reading this book Nas gave Carmen all she wanted and needed. If it wasn't for him she would still be struggling and no ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Gw rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it for what it was...I will say the same for KS. I read it out of morbid curiosity ( nosiness) abt celebrities. One of my guilty pleasures is reading abt my fav celebrities. Jay Z being one half of my fav celebrity's of all time couple! At the time I also liked AI. She wrote about herself. It isn't a novel or some great autobiography. It is trash talk.
I got what I expected out of her and the book. Gossip. LOL. If she was being truthful.. I give a 3. I don't care if she undervalues herse
Safra Ducreay
Carmen had pertinent content to work with, and if she had hired top tier biographer Andrew Morton to write the book, or just a skilled journalist with a strong hip hop background .i.e, Jeff Chang-like - it could have been something very important to hip-hop culture. Instead, it was executed very poorly concluding the book to be a fantastically epic fail - which is a shame. You can't read this with expectations, but if you're reading other books which provide a more extensive look at the industry ...more
Done in 2 days...would have been less if I didnt have a job and a life, lol...I wasnt expecting much since I knew this would be similar to Superhead's crap was ok. It was extermely general and unexciting. Honestly, its based on the lives of thousands of women out there; the only difference is that she was in the "limelight" and had more money than the avg girl. For a few moments, I felt bad for her and her struggle as men can be a handful but all in all it was a)uninspiring b)sad and c) ...more
This book is a good book if you are interested in the information bout the music industry. This is a auto-biograghy of a woman named carmen who used to date rap artist nas. She tells the hardships that her in her daughter have been through when her and nas wasnt talkin and when she had no one to depend on. Also this book includes pictures of her at some of her parties and big events that she have been through. I dont want to give up the ret of the book in detail but it is a great book and i reco ...more
Apr 14, 2011 Monique rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I guess I missed all the secrets. There a little drama with a few sexual liaisons but nothing that spoke secrets. The story is hard to follow as the timing is all convoluted. All the story shows is she is a person that lucked into the music industry which because of her looks with a sprinkle of being in the right place got her pregnant. Hooking her to a rapper forever...that ain't nothing new and wasn't nothing secret.
Christina Hanchett
It was very interesting because of the name-drops here and there. I do believe that this book was written as a means of attaining some sort of celebrity status. Despite her intentions, I liked it. Would I read it again? Honestly, no! I don't think that I can learn anymore than I already did in the 2 days that it took me to read it.
Nov 02, 2007 Mollie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes hip hop, drama, gossip and who knows about the jay-z and nas feud
this book was ok... the details she gave and the stories she had to tell were fun to read about. but she can't write a book to save her life!! it was difficult to read because it seemed like she was illiterate. but other than that, it was gossipy and fun to read.
Yvonne Lang
Mar 20, 2016 Yvonne Lang rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My thoughts

Totally dissatisfied and a waste of my money. Forced myself to read it because I paid for it. Don't understand why she put JayZ on blast when there was nothing to tell. I would not recommend this book to anyone. Carmen get over yourself.
Nov 03, 2012 Chene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not worth reading
Feb 12, 2008 Adela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not as juicy as the title implies... an ok read.
Feb 12, 2015 Shà rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this was very good
May 23, 2015 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This gave me an entirely new perspective on Nas as a father. Carmen is no angel but I have no respect for a parent abandoning their child.
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