The Rose That Grew from Concrete

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Overview

This collection of more than 100 poems that honestly and artfully confront topics ranging from poverty and motherhood to Van Gogh and Mandela is presented in Tupac Shakur's own handwriting on one side of the page, with a typed version on the opposite side. Targeted mailings. (Poetry)
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Overview

This collection of more than 100 poems that honestly and artfully confront topics ranging from poverty and motherhood to Van Gogh and Mandela is presented in Tupac Shakur's own handwriting on one side of the page, with a typed version on the opposite side. Targeted mailings. (Poetry)
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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: 9781416511656
  • Publisher: Gardners Books
  • Publication date: 9/4/2006
  • Sales rank: 851,155

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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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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Table of Contents


Contents

Acknowledgments

Preface by Afeni Shakur

Foreword: Tupac, C U in Heaven by Nikki Giovanni

Introduction by Leila Steinberg

THE ROSE THAT GREW FROM CONCRETE

The Rose That Grew from Concrete

In the Depths of Solitude

Sometimes I Cry

Under the Skies Above

Life Through My Eyes

When Ure Heart Turns Cold

Untitled

The Eternal Lament

Only 4 the Righteous

What of Fame?

The Shining Star Within!

Starry Night

If I Fail

What Is It That I Search 4

The Fear in the Heart of a Man

God

NOTHING CAN COME BETWEEN US

Nothing Can Come Between Us

My Dearest One!!

If There Be Pain...

Things That Make Hearts Break

Black Woman

And Still I Love U

The Mutual Heartache?

1st Impressions

A Love Unspoken

Forever and Today

When I Do Kiss U

Carmencita of the Bronx!

Untitled

Love Is Just Complicated

Elizabeth

I Know My Heart Has Lied Before

From First Glance

1 for April

Wife 4 Life

Tears from a Star

March 1st -- The Day After April

Why Must U Be Unfaithful

The Power of a Smile

Genesis (The Rebirth of My Heart)

Love Within a Storm

What Can I Offer Her?

Jada

The Tears in Cupid's Eyes

Cupid's Smile II

What I See!

In the Midst of Passion

2 People with 1 Wish

Hours Pass By

JUST A BREATH OF FREEDOM

Just a Breath of Freedom

For Mrs. Hawkins

The Sun and the Moon

"Fallen Star"

Government Assistance or My Soul

Family Tree

Or My Soul

When Ure Hero Falls

Untitled

"U R Ripping Us Apart!!!"

A River That Flows Forever

Can U C the Pride in the Panther

Tears of a Teenage Mother

"Where There Is a Will...."

LIBERTY NEEDS GLASSES

Liberty Needs Glasses

How Can We Be Free

The Promise

And 2morrow

No-Win

The Unanswerable?

Nightmares

So I Say GOODBYE

In the Event of My Demise

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 175 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 175 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A powerful book of poetry written by Tupac Shakur, the charismatic but controversial hip hop artist who was mysteriously murdered at the age of 25.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2006

    What many people fell 2 realize,is that this was and will always be a brilliant man.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2005

    Tupac Shakur

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Recommendable.

    Recommendable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2014

    Such beautiful lyrics from a beautiful soul

    Such beautiful lyrics from a beautiful soul

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2014

    A little disappointed...

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 28, 2012

    Highly recommend

    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...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    HE IS A EXCELLENT BROTHER.

    HE IS A EXCELLENT BROTHER.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2011

    A Musted Have!!

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    I literally just finished this book, and had to give my scoop. Tupac was a good, wise man, contrary to what many think. Read this book and you will find out. I have been able to relate alot of the poems in this book to my life. A couple of the poems had me in awe, I would often stop reading and think about what was just said and how it was so true...VERY powerful!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2007

    Tupac

    i think that tupac is a good poet. he did a lot of rapping when he was alive and his poetry is still important to people even though he died many years ago. i recommend tupac's books to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    2pack was 2 god 4 us so god tock him up and we hav his pomes 2 no him this buck is so god that every1 shuld read it and the world wold b beter

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2006

    Tupac is the GREATEST!!!

    Tupac is the greatest and i love him because he has many talents. He was a rapper, poet and actor. He most likely had more hidden talent, but he did not have a chance 2 express. He was the type of person that when he spoke people listened. I know I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2006

    Tupac The Greatest Poet/Rapper alive

    I thought this book was great this was the best poetry book that I have read. He tells about his life and he gets into it really deep. I really didn¿t know that Tupac was a poetry writer. I think that I could do something like this if I had the chance. If I was able to tell about my life in poetry. This book was so amazing he got really deep into it I mean he dedicated some of his poems to different people. I really look up to Tupac to me he really writes great poetry I have never known a rapper that can rap and write poetry at the same time. If you ever had the chance to read this book you should it is about 210 pages long I think, he had some break up poems, he also had poems about his his ex-girlfriends it was really great. When I read the first poem I thought that this book was going to be boring but when I started reading more poems I really thought it was really good poems in the book there was a little drama in the book between him and his ex-girlfriends. He also talks about his bestfriend and I really didn¿t know that his bestfriend. This book really had a lot of drama in it. He even wrote a poem and dedicated it to his mother. Some of his poems were a little emotional, he talks about some of his cousins that die I think the genre of this poetry book is poetry. Many of his poems were boring but interesting at the same time. He wrote about some girl that he met in the club and how she told him that she was single and little drama things like that. I didn¿t think that Tupac had feelings like the way he does. I really thought that he would not get all emotional like he did. I didn¿t thing that girls could hurt tupac¿s feelings through all of the music that I heard of his I thought that he wouldn¿t care about little things like that. But when you read this book then you would really know how he felt inside. To be honest I really think that if you read this book you would really enjoy it. In this book I thought that he would tell about his life and how he got killed but instead he told us about how his life was and he expressed it in poems. I had to skip a few pages in order to really get into it. The little things that people do I didn¿t know that they would really hurt him inside but I guess they did and I don¿t think that it was fair to break his heart and don¿t feel bad about it. I think that if you ever read this poetry book and you and your girlfriend ever got into an argument u should recite one of these poem s and maybe you will just become friends again. He gives you advice on what to do in a bad relationship and what to do if your bestfriend gets out of hand. Now my final opinion is that one of the good things throughout this book is that it will keep you wanting to read it and keep flipping the page until you are all finished , you will probably be able to finish this poetry book in a day but it took me a while because I read a number of pages so that way I wouldn¿t stay up all night. Overall I think this is the best book to read if u really like poetry.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2006

    Very Thought-provoking

    Tupac is truly original. His poetry provides a whole other dimension to his music and his whole personality. It's clear from his work that he really pays attention to the world around him. He had so much potential, and so much drive, it's a shame it was cut short. This is a must-have book for anyone, even those who don't read poetry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2005

    c u there

    I fell in love with this book before I even opened it. I read, In the Event of my Demise on the back and already knew that this book was going to be beyond great. He is my the greatest poet in my eyes, and that for me is saying a lot given all the masterpieces that have been written over time. If you appreciate poetry and are ready to really open up your heart and listen then I reccomend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2005

    The Heart of a Gangsta Rapper

    This book shows the world the real Tupac Shakur, not just the gangsta rapper everyone saw in his music. The poems showed a side of Pac' that only those close to him knew. The Rose That Grew From Concrete gave us, the true and loving fans, a side of Pac' that we were never able to expierence. Although his death was tragic, his memory lives on in the hearts of his family and his dearest fans. R.I.P TUPAC

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2005

    A Wonderful Read!!!!

    I greatly enjoyed this book. It was so insightful and moving. I would recommend this book to anyone who appreicates honest poetry and loves the late great Tupac!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2005

    The Langston Hughes of his generation

    An excellent poetry collection from an extraordinary young man. If you get to read this, you will understand Tupac and his contradictions. He was the rebel and the saint, the revered and scorned, the charismatic and disturbed young man we are all fascinated by. Too bad he died. I sensed a hint of Langston Hughes in that young man.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2005

    The honest man

    Many of us struggle to find that true honesty in others let alone in ourselves. Tupac Shakur (R.I.P) was honest with himself and that's what made his music and poetry reach out to his fans. He had the courage to search the places of darkness within him...he feared not being sinful, yet at the same time his conscience never died. On the one hand he was burdened with the guilt of staying in the 'crack game' wanting 'changes' and on the other hand he felt hopeless to gather the strenght to pull himself out ... confessing all of this in his songs. He kept true to himself and that's why whenever i hear his earlier more sensitive songs..i just cant help but cry. Thanks pac, for staying true!

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