Artists employ each note and lyric to paint life’s canvas with their personal stories, convictions and aspirations. However, their storytelling abilities should not be confined to music alone. In recent decades, there has been a noticeable surge of wordsmiths using their pens to craft immersive chronicles ranging from autobiographies to enlightening self-help books. While these artists' music catalogs provide a deeper understanding of who they are as individuals, their books offer readers an entirely new perspective.

The majority of these entertainers had to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, such as poverty, single-parent households, violence, drug addiction and criminality, which could have significantly altered their lives if they had succumbed to them. But despite everything, music turned out to be a lifesaver and propelled them into stardom. Here are 13 rappers who have penned books.

1. Jeezy

Jeezy, known for his influence on trap music, has dabbled in authorship with books such as "Adversity for Sale: Ya Gotta Believe" and "Trust Ya Process: How to Hustle from the Block to the Boardroom." His writings provide an unfiltered glimpse into his life -- from childhood to his professional achievements. In "Trust Ya Process," Jeezy provides actionable advice to achieve success. His books contain personal anecdotes and motivational insights designed to inspire readers to overcome adversity and pursue their dreams.

2. Gucci Mane

It’s clear from the stories in his raps that the rise of Gucci Mane was unexpected given the circumstances he was born into. Despite his efforts to avoid the allure of street life, he found himself incarcerated, where he began writing his autobiography. On the pages, the rapper-turned-author gets candid about his absent father’s struggle with legal troubles and his relocation to Atlanta, which exposed him to a harsh environment. After his release, he emerged transformed and focused, and his book, "The Autobiography of Gucci Mane," was released in 2017.

3. Rick Ross

Rick Ross burst onto the scene in 2006 with “Hustlin'” serving as his debut single and first Billboard Hot 100 smash hit. Despite his presence in the rap game as the CEO of Maybach Music Group, few people knew the true story behind his rise to the top. That all changed in 2019 with the publication of "Hurricanes: A Memoir," co-written with Neil Martinez-Belkin.

In the captivating book, Ross took readers on a journey through the mean streets of Carol City, Florida, right in the heart of Miami's crack epidemic. From there, he painted a vivid picture of his football days at Albany State University, his time as a correctional officer, and the ups and downs of music industry entrepreneurship.

4. JAY-Z

JAY-Z's book “Decoded” was released in 2010. Through its pages, Hov dug into 36 of his songs and shed light on the inspiration for his lyrics, and his rise from the Marcy Projects to legendary status. The over 300-page book, co-written by Dream Hampton, does not shy away from discussing his past struggles with drugs and street violence, his rap roots, the rise of Roc-A-Fella Records and the trappings of fame. For fans of JAY-Z's music, "Decoded" is a must-read as it provides an intimate portrait of one of Hip Hop's most iconic figures.

5. Fat Joe

Fat Joe's upbringing in the South Bronx could have easily led him in the wrong direction. Joseph Antonio Cartagena, born into a Puerto Rican and Cuban family, wrestled with street life before discovering his calling in Hip Hop. "The Book of Jose: A Memoir," co-authored by Shaheem Reid, was released in 2022 and recounts Fat Joe's challenging close encounters with death as well as his resilience in the face of obstacles.

6. 50 Cent

50 Cent's journey exemplifies strength and determination. In "From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens," written with Kris Ex in 2005, he discussed the traumatic loss of his mother, surviving a near-fatal assassination attempt and his journey from street hustler to chart-topping rapper. This memoir encapsulates the essence of the American Dream, showcasing the drive that propelled the Queens emcee to success. Beyond this influential work, 50 Cent has written other influential books such as "The 50th Law" and "Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter," each of which provides additional insights into his outlook on life and career trajectory.

7. DMX

In 2002, DMX bared his soul in his autobiography, "E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX," which provided a profound glimpse into the Ruff Ryders legend's turbulent life. The book revealed how he grew up in Yonkers, New York, where his father abandoned him and his mother. X found solace in Hip Hop, which gave him a sense of purpose and allowed him to confront his inner demons through music. Despite his success, DMX struggled with a crippling drug addiction that resulted in numerous jail stints before his tragic death in 2021. His autobiography is a brutally honest account of his struggles and triumphs during his 50 years on earth.

8. Lil Wayne

"Gone 'Til November: A Journal of Rikers Island" is a memoir written by Lil Wayne and published in October 2016. The book provides a firsthand account of his time incarcerated at Rikers Island in 2010. It takes the form of a journal, documenting his thoughts, experiences and reflections while serving an eight-month sentence for a weapons charge. Throughout the book, Weezy discusses his daily routine, interactions with other inmates and the challenges he faced while incarcerated. He also shares personal stories, insights into his music career, and messages to his fans.

9. Mase

Imagine delighting in the glitz and glamor of wealth, fame and success before leaving it all to pursue a higher calling. Mason "Mase" Betha discussed his journey from Bad Boy Entertainment to pastor and inspirational speaker in his book “Revelations: There is a Light Behind the Lime.”

Despite the platinum-selling success of his debut album, Harlem World, and the excitement surrounding his sophomore project, Double Up, Mase made the risky decision to walk away from a multimillion-dollar contract with Bad Boy. "Revelations" is a thought-provoking and enlightening testament to the enduring power of faith and the limitless potential of a life guided by God's will.

10. Common

Common has penned two impactful books about self-love and personal growth. "Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir," published in 2019, is an honest look at Common's journey to love and healing that provides valuable insights into forgiveness and empathy.

In his 2021 book, "And Then We Rise: A Guide to Loving and Taking Care of Self," he offers practical advice and strategies for promoting mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Both books appeal to readers seeking guidance on their journeys of self-discovery and fulfillment. Common's books, with their authenticity and wisdom, are empowering resources for developing a healthier relationship with oneself.

11. Boosie Badazz

Boosie Badazz, known for his outspoken nature, seized the opportunity to share his journey firsthand with the release of "Cross The Tracks: A Memoir" in 2022. In this moving book, the Baton Rouge native reflected on his incredible journey from death row inmate to respected rapper. Boosie let fans into his battles with kidey cancer and life-threatening diabetes in 16 chapters. This open and honest exploration leaves readers with an honest look at the challenges he's overcome on his journey to success.

12. RZA

RZA, widely regarded as the guiding force behind the Wu-Tang Clan, exudes a profound sense of wisdom — so much so that he earned the moniker "The Abbot," which means supreme knowledge. In 2009, he shared his insights in "The Tao of Wu," a follow-up to "The Wu-Tang Manual." Within its pages, RZA candidly discusses his brush with a murder charge, reveals his "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" and shares his creative process in music production. He draws on a wide range of influences, including various religions and Bruce Lee, to weave lyrics, personal anecdotes and parables that give readers a better understanding of his life and philosophy.

13. Will Smith

Published in November 2021, Will Smith's memoir provides authentic insights into his life from his childhood in West Philadelphia to his rise to fame as one of the biggest rappers and actors. Written with the assistance of Mark Manson, "Will" is the story of how one person mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help others do the same. The book examines Smith’s personal and professional experiences, including his accomplishments, challenges and lessons learned. Through "Will," readers gain a better understanding of the man behind the iconic persona.