Published by TIME
November 19, 2021


Will Smith's memoir is a tale of epic proportions that reveals much more about the rapper and actor than what meets the eye. From growing up in West Philadelphia and becoming one of the biggest rappers of all time, to hitting rock bottom and having to start all over again, the book, out just as Smith is garnering awards buzz for his performance in King Richard , is an inspiration. The memoir, co-authored by Mark Manson, doesn’t just rely on the shocking elements of Smith’s life, such as his abusive childhood home or run-ins with the law, to carry the book. Instead, after each story, Smith writes about how each moment impacted his life and future, and what he would have done differently had he been older and wiser (The book has its fair share of Confucius quotes). The memoir is deeply introspective, inspiring and, like the Hollywood star himself, wildly funny.—Jenna Caldwell