Scarface is one of the best writers to ever grace the world of hip-hop. A pioneer for both the South and the genre writ large, the Houston legend has an unimpeachable catalog built on his gift for narrative and his ability to communicate paranoia and self-doubt (see "Mind Playing Tricks on Me"). Now, he's turning his pen to a new medium. Next week, on April 21, Scarface is releasing a memoir, Diary of a Madman: The Geto Boys, Life, Death, and the Roots of Southern Rap. Written with Benjamin Meadows-Ingram, the founder of Brooklyn Bound, the memoir is strikingly candid. In particular, Face gets into the details of the spotty mental health with which he struggled in his younger days. Interestingly, he says that he believes his repeated suicide attempts were ultimately cries for attention. He writes:

"Looking back, I think I just wanted the attention. I see that now. But back then, I felt like attention was the last thing I wanted. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you if it was any one specific thing that had pushed me to that point. I just know that I was mad. Mad and sad. I felt like no one wanted me. My daddy was dead, and my mama didn’t want me. I didn’t really get along with my stepdad, and my grandma already had nine kids of her own, so there wasn’t really a place for me at her house either. I felt like I couldn’t do shit right, and the only way I could get any attention was by fucking up. No one would come watch me play football or check out my baseball games or any shit like that, but as soon as I popped some kid in the face or busted somebody’s head open in class, everyone was there, telling me I was fucked up for what I’d done, trying to take away my privileges and shit like that. That was the attention I was getting: for being a fucked up."

Ultimately, Scarface has come to a place of resolve. Confident in his ability to now persevere, he writes, "If you really want to go, dying is the easy part. It’s the living that’s hard. That shit takes a lifetime. And it will test you every step of the way. "