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 alive today as

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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:
30,727
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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