Eminem Eminem

The real Slim Shady may finally be standing up — not through lyrics, but via a forthcoming memoir.

Four years after his last major studio album, Eminem is releasing a tell-all that reveals his struggles with poverty, drugs, fame, heartbreak and depression, according to MSNBC.com. In The Way I Am, Marshall Mathers III (that would be Em's given name), walks readers through his childhood, his introduction to the rap scene and his eventual struggles therein, from the loss of his father as a child to his experience as an outsider in high school in Detroit and, most recently, the loss of his best friend, Proof, who was shot in 2006.

Em's comments on Proof's death offer a glimpse of his surprising candor. "After he passed, it was a year before I could really do anything normally again," he writes. "I have never felt so much pain in my life," he continued. "It's a pain that is with me to this day. A pain that has become a part of who I am."

Yet, the tome isn't all gloom. Along with the feelings-laden prose, Eminem also shares stories about his rise to fame. He got his signature bleached-out hair, for example, after popping two ecstasy pills when his mentor, Dr. Dre, insisted he find a more rapper-like look.

Plus, it seems that Eminem's worldview might be evolving. Comments on controversies past are peppered throughout the memoir, such as his take on his purported homophobia. "Ultimately, who you choose to be in a relationship with and what you do in your bedroom is your business," he writes. Just maybe, Eminem has come a long way from his diplomatic Elton John duet.

With the bass beats stripped away and the veneer of fame presented as not all it's cracked up to be, is The Way I Am could be a look at the "real" Eminem, without the hype. Will you be reading to find out?