Tupac Shakur: The Life and Times of an American Icon

Tupac Shakur: The Life and Times of an American Icon

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by Tayannah Lee McQuillar, Fred L. Johnson PhD
     
 

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In 1996 Tupac Shakur, one of the most talented artists of his time, was murdered by an unknown gunman. Fred L. Johnson and Tayannah Lee McQuillar examine the theories surrounding his death and the story of Tupac’s lost legacy in this definitive biography.

For millions, Shakur gave voice to their stories, but there was also another side to him, revealed as his

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Overview

In 1996 Tupac Shakur, one of the most talented artists of his time, was murdered by an unknown gunman. Fred L. Johnson and Tayannah Lee McQuillar examine the theories surrounding his death and the story of Tupac’s lost legacy in this definitive biography.

For millions, Shakur gave voice to their stories, but there was also another side to him, revealed as his life spun out of control, as the whispered warnings from friends went unheeded and the denunciations of critics grew louder. Disturbingly, he sang and wrote about his impending death. When it came, it brought the music industry to its knees and ended an era when American rappers were leaders in using their art to speak the truth to corporate, government, and judicial power.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Since his untimely death in 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur has been memorialized in a wide range of books and documentary films, but few are as exhaustively researched and contextualized as this latest, unauthorized biography from author McQuillar (When Rap Music Had a Conscience) and history professor Johnson. Seeking to understand the enigmatic performer, McQuillar and Johnson have enlisted a psychologist to profile Shakur, looked into a century of his family history, and paid particular attention to the political background of his mother, Afeni, a former Black Panther. The result is insightful, enjoyable and expansive, even if it doesn't answer the questions that still linger regarding Shakur's celebrity lifestyle and still-unsolved murder. For casual fans with no prior exposure to Shakur's life, this biography will prove thorough and accessible, with lengthy but informative tangents that cover seemingly all of Tupac's collaborators and associates. Readers looking for glitzy speculation will not find it here, and Tupac enthusiasts may not learn much new, but this undeniably solid biography will deepen anyone's appreciation of the hip-hop legend.
Booklist
The Shakur who emerges here is no illiterate gangster-turned-gangsta but, rather, a bright, artistic, driven man whose life and career continue to inspire many people.
Buffalo News
Fine writing and deft analysis.
The Source
An in-depth and chilling analysis of the rap icon.
From the Publisher

Booklist, 2/15/2010
“The Shakur who emerges here is no illiterate gangster-turned-gangsta but, rather, a bright, artistic, driven man whose life and career continue to inspire many people.”

Library Journal, 1/29/10
“Original…As much a biography of Shakur as a history of racial struggle in America…Those looking for a compelling, no-holds-barred biography and an education regarding significant historical events should seek out this book.” 

Buffalo News, 1/31/10
“Fine writing and deft analysis.”

PublishersWeekly.com, 2/22/10
“Exhaustively researched and contextualized…Insightful, enjoyable and expansive…This undeniably solid biography will deepen anyone’s appreciation of the hip-hop legend.”

The Source, March 2010 “An in-depth and chilling analysis of the rap icon.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786745937
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
01/26/2010
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
386,714
Lexile:
1160L (what's this?)
File size:
431 KB

Meet the Author

Fred L. Johnson is Associate Professor of History at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

Tayannah Lee Mcquillar is the author of When Rap Music Had a Conscience and lives in New York City.

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