The Rose That Grew from Concrete

The Rose That Grew from Concrete

4.9 175
by Tupac Shakur
     
 

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Tupac Shakur's most intimate and honest thoughts were uncovered only after his death with the instant classic The Rose That Grew from Concrete.

His talent was unbounded — a raw force that commanded attention and respect.
His death was tragic — a violent homage to the power of his voice.
His legacy is indomitable — as vibrant and

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Overview

Tupac Shakur's most intimate and honest thoughts were uncovered only after his death with the instant classic The Rose That Grew from Concrete.

His talent was unbounded — a raw force that commanded attention and respect.
His death was tragic — a violent homage to the power of his voice.
His legacy is indomitable — as vibrant and alive today as it has ever been.

For the first time in paperback, this collection of deeply personal poetry is a mirror into the legendary artist's enigmatic world and its many contradictions.

Written in his own hand from the time he was nineteen, these seventy-two poems embrace his spirit, his energy — and his ultimate message of hope.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
When nineteen-year-old Shakur joined the writing circle of Leila Steinberg, as she relates in her introduction to this collection, he became its leading force. The young rapper-to-be wrote love poems, distressed poems, depressed poems. There is passion here, including anger, but this poetry is far more gentle, albeit less powerful, than the rap lyrics that would make him infamous. Each poem is presented in his handwriting as well as in typeface, an engaging device. Poems such as "What Can I Offer Her" and "Government Assistance or My Soul" bemoan unemployment, and the title poem celebrates growth in spite of obstacles. The love poetry is gentle; the theme is often responsibility. The misogynist of some of the rap lyrics does not appear on these pages, and the object of the writer's affections is not always female. This book will fly off the shelves. Many teens will see themselves as future poets/lyricists; from gangsta rap to Paul Anka, it is all poetry. Nevertheless Shakur's rap lyrics, none included here, are much more effective poetry. However one might wish to clean up both their words and intent, they sing from a place that many are, mercifully, unlikely to experience. Was Shakur a dangerous gangsta wannabe who precipitated his own murder by attacking a Crip, or was he a misunderstood but talented poet and performer—or was he both? This slim volume of Shakur's youthful poems, collected by his manager, Steinberg, and published with the permission of the rapper's mother, will not answer the question. Nevertheless it might allow the reader to see the hopelessness that the author felt as a young black male, a poet who thought he had to be tough to survive and whose posturing killedhim. It is strongly recommended that librarians and teachers read his rap lyrics if they have not already done so. Shakur's lyrics are currently posted on the Internet at http://www.tupac.net/lyrics. After reading this poetry collection, the raps are not only frightening, they are also sad. To paraphrase the poster from the United Negro College Fund, a mind is, indeed, a terrible thing to waste. Illus. Photos. VOYA CODES: 3Q 5P J S (Readable without serious defects; Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 1999, Pocket Books/S & S, 151p, $20. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Lynne Hawkins

SOURCE: VOYA, October 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 4)

School Library Journal
YA-A collection of poetry written by the rapper between 1989 and 1991, before he became famous. The poems are passionate, sometimes angry, and often compelling. Selections are reproduced from the originals in Shakur's handwriting, personalized by distinctive spelling and the use of ideographs (a drawing of an eye for I, etc.), and complete with scratch outs and corrections. With the exception of "In the Event of My Demise," all of the pieces are accompanied by typed text, which leaves his spelling intact. Some poems are also accompanied by his drawings. A few black-and-white photographs appear throughout. A preface by Shakur's mother, a foreword by Nikki Giovanni, and an introduction by his manager, Leila Steinburg, in whose writing group the poems were written, complete this unique volume.-Susan Salpini, Purcellville Library, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671028459
Publisher:
MTV Books
Publication date:
02/03/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
882
Product dimensions:
7.28(w) x 6.14(h) x 0.48(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Rose That Grew from Concrete
Autobiographical

Did u hear about the rose that grew from a crack
in the concrete
Proving nature's laws wrong it learned 2 walk
without having feet
Funny it seems but by keeping its dreams
it learned 2 breathe fresh air
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else even cared!

In the Depths of Solitude
Dedicated 2 Me

I exist in the depths of solitude
pondering my true goal
Trying 2 find peace of mind
and still preserve my soul
CONSTANTLY yearning 2 be accepted
and from all receive respect
Never compromising but sometimes risky
and that is my only regret
A young heart with an old soul
how can there be peace
How can I be in the depths of solitude
when there R 2 inside of me
This Duo within me causes
the perfect opportunity
2 learn and live twice as fast
as those who accept simplicity

Sometimes I Cry

Sometimes when I'm alone
I cry because I'm on my own
The tears I cry R bitter and warm
They flow with life but take no form
I cry because my heart is torn
and I find it difficult 2 carry on
If I had an ear 2 confide in
I would cry among my treasured friends
But who do u know that stops that long
to help another carry on
The world moves fast and it would rather pass u by
than 2 stop and c what makes u cry
It's painful and sad and sometimes I cry
and no one cares about why.

Under the Skies Above
After the Miscarriage

My child is out there somewhere
under the skies above
waiting anxiously 4 u and me
2 bless it with our love
A part of me a part of u
and a part of this love we share
will protect my unborn child
who lives dormant out there somewhere
Sometimes in my dreams
I imagine what it would be like
How could I properly guide him
when even I don't know what's right
Whether he is born in wealth or poverty
there will be no deficiency in love
I welcome this gift of life
given from GOD under the skies above

Copyright © 1999 by The Estate of Tupac Shakur

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Meet the Author

Tupac Shakur recorded twelve landmark albums — nine of which went either platinum or gold. A consummate actor, he also appeared in six major motion pictures, including Poetic Justice, Juice, GridLock'd, and Gang Related. He was murdered at the age of twenty-five.

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The Rose That Grew from Concrete 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 175 reviews.
Michellesays More than 1 year ago
The Rose That Grew From Concrete is a compelling collection of poetry. Tupac Shakur appreciated the sound and rhythm of words and the powerful affect they could have on people. He wrote these poems at 19 when he was part of a writing group conducted by Leila Steinberg, a writer and producer working in the music industry. The book captures Shakur's passion and anger in a unique format. On the right side of the page is the typed version of each poem. On the left side is a copy of Shakur's own handwriting on notebook paper. Shakur drew an eye for "I" or used symbols to replace words like peace and love. Two women who loved him dearly - his mother, Afeni Shakur, and poet and close friend Nikki Giovanni, share their thoughts in the preface and forward of the book. One of my favorites is the autobiographical poem "The Rose That Grew from Concrete". Tupac writes (in part): "Did u hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete Proving nature's laws wrong it learned 2 walk without having feet." Tupac was that rose. He grew up in the projects and homeless shelters of New York City. Click on the links below to learn more about Tupac's life in the Shvoong reviews by hezi entitled Tupac Amaru Shakur 1971 - 1996 and by ALAQUA entitled Tupac Shakur Not Dead. Tupac also starred in several motion pictures, including Juice, Gang Related, and Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson (click on link below to read my Shvoong review on Tupac's co-star Janet). You may have never heard his music or seen his movies. You may disregard this book because of all the controversy that surrounded his life. But as Afeni Shakur writes, "Tupac's work speaks for itself." His words are "a raw force that commanded attention and respect. " You should read them for yourself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am deeply in love with him for many reasons. he spoke the truth. no one could change his mind about what he knew was right. and this book has been for me sunlight through a storm on many days. it is excellent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many older adults feel that Tupac was just another rapper. This book proves that Tupac is a very powerful person that expressed his life in music, poetry, and much more. Tupac is my idol and he will be missed by millions of people he didn't even know. RIP Tupac Amaru Shakur June 16, 1971 - September 13, 1996
DonyG More than 1 year ago
Recommendable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such beautiful lyrics from a beautiful soul
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I honestly expected a little more and was a little disappointed with it. The book didn't "live up" to the description provided for it.
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FRANKDEJESUS More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because i am a tupac fan and i wanted to read what he wrote free hand. He was a talented person very deep with his words and when i recieved the book and started reading it and reading every poem he wrote and in his own hand writing i was mezmerized by his words and you can feel how he felt writing it i recommend everyone read his work and see the other side of tupac R.I.P tupac thanks for the insperation...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HE IS A EXCELLENT BROTHER.
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I loved this book!! I go back and read it all the time. You must go get the book especially for the people who thought Tupac was JUST a "gangster" rapper because this book would definitely change your mind. It would really make you realize how unique, deep, and just the opposite of what others and the negative public eyes thought of him.
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