50 weighs in on the literary scene

A quick blast through the first 50 pages (in the spirit of numerological appropriateness) of 50 Cent's new autobiography "From Pieces to Weight" has been a bit of an odd experience. Tucked inside the title page is the offhand acknowledgment "This book was written with Kris Ex." That might explain who came up with such prose gems as the gangsta primer on cocaine to start things off ("Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology, called coke 'magical' and couldn't get enough of the stuff.") and odd bits of political insight ("Most politicians don't have any respect for the people who vote for them . . . but come election time, they're at the voters' mercy."). In fairness, it's a straightforward, decent read, and

it's filled with tons of details about 50's crazy upbringing and the intricacies of his well-regarded (in its time) drug franchise. Having logged some time in the murky world of the as-told-to autobiography (try as told to a tape recorder, and transcribed, and significantly embellished upon, in many cases), I know that the voice that emerges from the collaboration often bears only a passing resemblance to the voice of the "autobiographer." The book's main strength is its no-bullshit tone and a somewhat surprising restraint from self-aggrandizement. And lest you think 50 has gotten all touchy-feely, just have a look at who's among those thanked in the acknowledgments: Violator Management, Reebok, "Formula 50" Vitamin Water, and Vivendi Games. Oh, 50. You old softy.

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