In the first three pages of Scarface’s new memoir, Diary of a Madman, a young Brad Jordan downs an entire bottle of his mother’s heart medication. "If you'd asked me then, I would have told you straight up: I was ready to go," he writes. He also recalls slashing his wrists with a box cutter, and leveling a loaded gun at his head.
These grim recollections won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows the lyrics to the rapper’s 1991 track that gives this book its namesake: “Ain’t no use in trying/ We might as well face it, we were all born dying.” But seeing it all laid out on the page is stark and chastening. In the end, he chooses life, albeit just barely: "If you really want to go, dying is the easy part," he muses at the close of the first chapter. "It's the living that's hard. That shit takes a lifetime. And it will test you every step of the way."