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    Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man

    By: Ja Rule

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    Ja Rule is a rapper, songwriter, and movie star. He's been married for twelve years to the same woman and has several children. As we know, celebrities exist in a whole different world than your average, everyday person. However, Ja Rule got the opportunity to be up close and personal with his fan base of primarily young black men, when he served time in prison for tax evasion. While he was locked up he witnessed an attempted suicide of an 18 year old, labeled a sex offender. The kid was locked up because when he was 14 he started dating a 12-year-old girl. They were longtime childhood sweethearts. The moment he turned 18, her parents had him arrested for statutory rape. Ja Rule became acquainted with inmates who happened to be serving time in the same prison as their sons. The star listened to story after story of the dumb mistakes and life choices black men had made that ruined their lives and landed them in prison. Raw Contradictions is a memoir that addresses black men's misperceptions of manhood, often the reason they make poor choices. In a conversational tone, it reveals that being a man is about building a family and protecting it; working a legitimate job; and learning as much as one can in order to contribute to society and enrich your community. The narrative is complemented by never-before-revealed anecdotes from Ja Rule's troubled youth and vulnerabilities as a father of a teenage boy. It presents invaluable information for single mothers on what their son is going through at various stages of his development in order to keep them out of danger. These are not new and original concepts of masculinity, but coming from Ja Rule, a popular performer, they may get heard and become cool. What is original is Ja Rule's rich and powerful anecdotal materials, as he has been a victim of misguided masculinity.

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