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

( 73 )

Overview

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 detail unturned -- with the true candor and raw emotion of someone who has been there, done that, and survived. ...
See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$10.50
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$14.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $8.15   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   
It's No Secret: From Nas to Jay-Z, from Seduction to Scandal--a Hip-Hop Helen of Troy Tells All

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.20
BN.com price

Overview

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 detail unturned -- with the true candor and raw emotion of someone who has been there, done that, and survived.

From a clandestine relationship with Nas's biggest rival, Jay-Z, that stirred up the biggest feud in hip-hop history, to seeing her reputation in tatters and a once loving relationship with Nas fall apart, Carmen depicts her trying journey to become the strong woman and mother she is today. After years of turmoil that included drugs, sex, greed, and violence -- and abandoning what she had always prized above all, her freedom -- Carmen took a stand, focusing on herself. After years of pursuit by the media, Carmen sets the record straight in It's No Secret -- and has no regrets.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416537205
  • Publisher: Gallery Books/G-Unit
  • Publication date: 11/6/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 203,981
  • Product dimensions: 8.94 (w) x 6.08 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Carmen Bryan lives in Long Island, New York, with her daughter.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

"Carm, is he talking about you?"

Nas's insistent voice penetrated the fog in my head. I must have picked up the ringing telephone in my sleep. Had it awakened our daughter, Destiny, too?

"What?" My bedside clock read midnight. It was 3 A.M. for Nas in New York. Uh-oh. Whatever prompted this call was troubling enough to keep him awake.

"I keep hearing about this Memphis Bleek song with Jay-Z. It's supposed to be about you."

The song was news to me, but at the mention of Shawn's name my heart sank down to my stomach, which tightened into knots. I sat up in bed and tossed aside the silk comforter. With the movement the diamond on my left hand caught a silvery ray of moonlight. I took a deep breath and calmed down. Nas and I were finally getting married. This was no time to panic.

"What song?" I asked, as neutrally as possible.

"'Is That Your Chick.' Carm, it's getting harder and harder for me to ignore the rumors about you and this dude — "

"They are just rumors, Nas." I put on what I hoped was a persuasively reasonable tone. "People talk. I put up with rumors about who you're supposed to be with all the time. Foxy, Beyoncè, Mary J. Every week they're saying it's someone new. You're just going to have to charge it to the game like I do."

Nas was silent. I could almost hear him balancing it out in his mind. On one side, there was my comforting explanation. A big part of him wanted to believe it. On the other hand, there was the growing weight of his suspicion. Nas wasn't exactly buying my little speech, but he let things drop for the moment. We hung up and I lunged for the bathroom, where I was sick.

Nas was very competitive in that he had two part-time jobs: he spent half his time talking up himself and the other half talking down others. In public, Nas tended to be more low-key and aloof than other entertainers. But at home, he was extremely opinionated and vocal about his peers' artistic efforts. Even if he was cool with someone personally, Nas always had a raw comment about their music. For example: in my opinion, Foxy Brown is the most talented female MC. Most will agree Foxy wears the crown, hands down. Not Nas. "You could just throw a few ingredients in a bowl, stir, and come up with another Foxy," he would rant. He had criticism of just about anyone. He would say Ja Rule was biting DMX's style, or Fat Joe was corny. These reviews always led up to the same point: "There is no real talent out there." The only lyricist Nas considered to be in his league was the late B.I.G. Nas's battle with Jay-Z was as much one of words as of the heart. I'd started seeing Jay finally doing to Nas what he'd been doing to me for years.

Nas and Jay-Z always had this bizarre competition. Nas would make comments to me like, "I don't remember that nigga being no ill drug dealer." In fact no one with any real credibility could confirm Jay-Z's "back in the day" drug dealer/baller status. Exaggeration is standard in the music industry. But according to Nas, Jay-Z had no merit to his claims and not one defender.

"Carm, this nigga Jay is so shallow," Nas would say. "He's a surface MC. He's plastic on stage. That's bad enough. But he doesn't even know what he's talking about. He hasn't done half the shit he's talking about in his rhymes. I don't believe him. Period."

Still, I couldn't imagine what might have motivated this "Is That Your Chick" song. Naturally Shawn would appear on Memphis Bleek's single — a fellow artist on the Roc-A-Fella label. And the song certainly could have something to do with me. Throughout our clandestine relationship Shawn had made many references to me in his lyrics. But he had never said anything negative or explicit and had never used his relationship with me to taunt Nas.

This was turning into an urban soap opera with me in a leading role as the femme fatale. I had to hear this Memphis Bleek song. After a few calls to friends in New York, I found someone to play the song for me over the phone. It went "How foul is she? And you wifed her" and talked about how he put the condom on "tighter."

At first I thought, Psss . . . I don't know who Shawn's referring to, but he damn sure ain't talking about me! The lyrics were rather racy and described a type of liaison that was the exact opposite of our relationship.

Shawn's disparaging lyrics gave no indication of the solid friendship we'd shared over the years. Not to mention the fact that it took a good year before we even became lovers or that I had recently been pregnant by him — 'cause he didn't wear a condom at all, let alone tight enough.

After listening to the song, it was evident that the record was designed to take a direct stab at Nas, making me a casualty of this ongoing and highly publicized strife.

I tried to put things in perspective and take it like a hard-nosed realist, but I couldn't feign callousness. Shawn's actions were a complete disappointment. Instead of being hurt, I was enraged. I knew what I had to do before this thing went any further. I had to bring Nas up to speed. It was time to reveal the truth, once and for all.

Throughout the next day, Nas gathered evidence that the song referred to me. That night he called back for another round of questions. As I quietly deflected them, I walked by Destiny's room to make sure she was asleep, then headed downstairs. I walked down the stairs with the cordless phone to my ear, my forehead breaking out into a sweat. My heart was racing, my breathing became heavy and my stomach was in knots. I even said a quick little prayer and turned off all the lights as if darkness provided an escape.

After some anxious pacing between the bathroom and kitchen, I ended up in front of my bathroom mirror, in darkness. My reflection was a vague silhouette, just barely visible. I was so tired of misrepresenting myself, of sneaking out, of lying and denying the truth. Of course, Nas had long done the same thing. It had been a rough and rocky nine years for us. But for all our drama, we were inextricably linked — we had a daughter and deep, deep history together. I couldn't let Shawn belittle Nas as a man. Nas deserved to have a fighting chance.

"Nas, it's true." My words tumbled out. "The rumors are true. I have been seeing Jay-Z."

"Carm, how could you?" Nas asked in disbelief. "Why that nigga? I can't believe what you're telling me right now."

"Nas, I'm sorry." I choked out my apology as I started to cry. "I am so sorry." I had always thought that when this day finally came I would feel vindicated. For so long I had craved the taste of bittersweet revenge. Nas would finally feel what I had felt over the years. But this was completely different. I felt horrible, not for my actions, but because I had hurt Nas and he was suffering from tremendous heartache. It just wasn't what I'd envisioned.

Nas was unmoved by my sobbing regret. He wanted details. "How long have you been fucking with this dude?"

"It's been a minute," I answered. Even though I'd resolved to tell him everything, it took a while to get my courage up.

"How long is a minute, Carm?"

"Like five years."

"Five years! Five years, Carm? What the fuck is wrong with you? What were you thinking? You mean all this time I been hearing rumors about you and this nigga, brushing them off like, 'Nah, not Carm. She may do her thing but she would never disrespect me like that. . . . Where did you meet this nigga at?"

"We met at a club in the city. It started as a friendship. Was for a year before we slept together."

Nas sucked his teeth. "I don't give a fuck if it took you ten years to sleep with him. You're supposed to be my wife, that shit wasn't supposed to happen, Carm! I don't deserve this. I want to know everything! You ever been to his crib?"

"Yes."

"You ever been to a hotel with him?"

"No. We always hang out at his crib."

"Did you ever take my car to go see this nigga?" I thought to myself, What kind of question is that? But I continued to answer.

"Uh huh."

These intimate details would give Nas enough material to spin some elaborately jealous story lines in his mind. Still, I had to answer the questions to prevent his imagination from getting the best of him. He would drive himself crazy with speculation if he didn't have this chance to grill me.

"Does he hold you at night?"

"Yes."

He hesitated. I realized what he really wanted to ask. Guys may feign disinterest about the matter, but they're all anxious to know: Is he bigger than me? For the moment Nas avoided the size question.

"Did you go down on him?" he asked.

"Once."

"Once, I don't believe that! You're such a fucking slut! I can't believe you sucked that nigga's dick, Carm. Come on, you're gonna tell me you only did it once. You're such a fucking liar."

"It's true. You can ask him."

"What? Ask him? Carm, I'm gonna kill that nigga! I fucking hate you!"

Nas hung up on me. I called back. He just kept screaming through his extensive vocabulary of derogative terms: I was a slut, a whore, a dirty bitch and more. He hung up, but then immediately called back, hoping to find some release in another diatribe. It had the opposite effect: Ranting only sustained his sense of violation, kept his feelings raw. We went back and forth with a few more rounds of confession and condemnation until he finally stopped answering the phone. Nas was done with me for the night. Maybe forever.

I turned on the bathroom light and looked in the mirror, still crying. Tears seemed to be washing away my features, making an anonymous mask of my face. So I had finally confessed to Nas. I looked at myself a little more closely. It was time for me to get real with myself.

I was crying tears of frustration. Shawn had stripped me of the opportunity to divulge our relationship in my own private way. I was mortified that Nas found out in such a public manner. But that's the way it goes down in a love triangle, the unholiest of trinities.

I stared in the mirror until I finally stopped crying, then washed away the residue of my tears. Facing the truth gave me a new clarity. Self-realization smoothed my forehead and conviction strengthened my jaw. I was naïve enough to believe the uncovering of my affair with Jay-Z would bring closure to my relationship with Nas. I was ready for it to end.

But it wasn't the end. In fact, it was only the beginning.

Copyright © 2006 by Carmen Bryan

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER 1: In the Beginning

CHAPTER 2: Growing Pains

CHAPTER 3: "Ready for the World"

CHAPTER 4: Turning Over a New Leaf

CHAPTER 5: The Bridge

CHAPTER 6: Music Biz

CHAPTER 7: Destiny

CHAPTER 8: Parenthood

CHAPTER 9: Trouble in Thug Paradise

CHAPTER 10: Back to Eden

CHAPTER 11: Change of Heart

CHAPTER 12: Acts of Faith

CHAPTER 13: Awakening Carmen

CHAPTER 14: Escape from New York

CHAPTER 15: City of Angels

CHAPTER 16: Hollywood High

CHAPTER 17: The Beginning of the End

CHAPTER 18: All Eyes on Me

CHAPTER 19: Point of No Return

CHAPTER 20: Fatal Attraction

CHAPTER 21: Uncle Daddy

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 73 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(13)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 73 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2009

    I love the truth

    I personally loved the book but only because the men were celebrities! I read it in two days. It is basically a book about a woman scorned at the end of a long realtionship with men who end up becoming big time celebrites. Carmen tells her story well and defiently wan't you to know that she could have had Nas is she wanted and Jay Z if she wanted to. She puts Kelis and Beyonce on blast. Some parts were to funny and i dont blame her for telling it like it is. I would recommend it if you love celebrity Gossip this is the book for you!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2008

    Wow!

    If you wanted to know about Nas, it is all here. I must say I enjoyed Carmen's book as well as her. She keeps it real.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    BEST BOOK EVA

    I love this book i am a young teenage girl,its very intresting and exciting, i dont believe that this book is what you'd call a waste of money cus this book got me hooked. Everything in it keeps me focused it took me 2 days to finish it , and it gives you the info on how she had to spend her life, I love carmen, the choises of words she usues and how she describes every detail in the storey.. good job girl cus u got me saying u ma ro model, is a good book , but just because carmen sleep with all the famous african americans dosent mean she's a ho, its just how life is sometimes, she wus just lucky enough to find these stars who wanted her back, every body got to break up sometimes, this is the best book and i'd recomend it to any one of ma friends cause she kno what shes talking about, and i love nas to, they were such a cute couple... to bad they broke up, but i bet they still sleeping toghether, go ahead girl do yo thang and get down lol lmao

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book is poorly written with tons of x-rated language. I guess you can get anything published today but save your money because this pitiful book will be on the bargain table. Carmen is quite the roll model: high school dropout, abortion, child out of wedlock, sleeping with two men at once, cheating on her fiance for 5 YEARS! Whoo! I believe they have a name for a girl like that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2006

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

    I loved this book!!! I'm on my third read. At first I wanted to hate this girl Carmen, because of all the things I've heard about her. But, after reading her story I ended up loving her. She's just like most women,the only difference is she's not afraid to be real with it and tell her story, which happens to be extremely entertaining! Especially the part about Jigga and the wash-cloth...LMAO. On a whole, it's a great read and an inspiration for women who are victims of society's double-standards.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Hated it !

    One word: TRASH.
    Don't waste your time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Michelle

    Love this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Interesting

    I liked the book, but if your easily influenced this probably isnt the book for you. Its a good story but very sad at the same time. If anything the book makes her look like a whore with few morals, and Nas a straight dog. But overall I wasnt disappointed just annoyed at times.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Somebody lend me this

    I want to read dis somebody lend it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2012

    BSD

    Bishh suck dike. Go wash dishes

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    VERY ENTERTAINING

    GREAT READ!!! Couldn't put it down

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 18, 2010

    Buy and support a good can't put down Book!

    I loved everything about the book it was REAL. Carmen went through a lot with Nas and Jigga and I feel like a lot of women can relate to what she went threw. I'm happy I could support her and Destiny!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Oh My - Glad I only paid a few bucks for this...

    I brought this book as it was on clearance and was curioous about all the stories I've heard about this young lady. Her lifestyle as the wife of a rapper and the side dish to so many other industry men. As raw and real as the intro was, I expected the remainder of the book to mirror it, as it was a great opener, but it was dull and boring. It was just another industry person bragging about what they did and didn't do, which in her case, I probably would not have written the book, since it's not worth talking about. There was no record set straight as she did not clear up any misconceptions for me, more than anything, she validated rumors and created the image for others to portray. Carmen - Your reputation is what others make, your character is who you are. Good luck and God bless on your future endeavors.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 2, 2009

    A Good Tell-All

    Got a few juicy tidbits, but it's pretty much the typical tell all book. I do appreciate how Ms. Bryant was more honest about who she was/is and what she's done. She didn't try to hide her "life lessons" while telling everyone else's. The book was more about her story than it was about the celebrities she knows.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    AND THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK IS WHAT?

    As I was reading this book, I just started shaking my head. I'm at a lost for words. I don't know what to say. Carmen was faced with choices, and I believe she made the best of them for herself, but why now disclose all the dirt? I personally Don't what to know who you slept with, whose penis is the largest, or how many and what types of cars you are driving. How is this helping me or any other young ladies out here. We already know that if you open your legs to the right person, you can get a little something something. But Carmen why not try this, keep your legs closed and your eyes & mind open. Get what you need through hard work and education. I would not recommend this book to anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    This is the real world

    I really enjoyed reading her book I think younger ladies need to read this book. Because a lot of them think that this rap game is the way of life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2007

    Keeping it Reall throughtout the whole book.

    To me, this was one of the most exciting books to read and I enjoyed the whole book. As a matter of fact, when my sister Lisa brought it home so she could read it, I immediately grabbed it and start reading.Usually, I don't read alot of books but it was something about the title of the book that made me interested. I did not stop until I've read 8 chapters. The next day I finished the whole book. The reason I say this book is keeping it real is because she is. This book was not just exploiting Nas, Jay-Z, and whoever, she was also talking about what she went through and how she was unfaithful. That's why I enjoyed reading this book because some females who were involved with artist before will poor out their dirty laundry about how trifling the artist was instead of talking about the mistatkes they made. I loved it and if she bring another one out I will read it again. Her mom reminded me of mines.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2007

    Carmen Carmen Carmen...

    I liked reading the book it gave me insight on the signs to look out for with grimey men just because those men she spoke of were famous there is no exception to the rule hey to me she kept it real and needed no extra details the main focus IF YALL READ THE TITLE WAS ABOUT NAS AND JAY-Z so brace ya selves and look at it from two sides of a story.. Carm keep ya head up and only teach ya daughter BETTER...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2007

    what you give is what you get

    Carmen went throuth alot in her life like meeting and hanging with the wrong people. Having a baby by an up coming rap star.Being mistreated and unappreciated.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2007

    what was the point???

    this book was horrible, what was the lesson? with Confessions Karin had a moral this book really made no sense.don't buy it all!all thats in the book are lies and hating!!!Nas did not deserve this nor did Destiney!!what will part 2 be like?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 73 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)