The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur
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.
I was in high school in the 90’s (class of 95). I lived in small town Illinois that was almost all white. I had no idea what type of problems happened in big cities and with minorities. I was brought up to think all police were good. I listened to a lot of music, but my high school boyfriend (one of the handful of Hispanic students) listened to a ton of rap. I started listening with him and liked most of it. But there was a standout to me. Tupac Shakur. There was something so powerful in his lyrics. I admit I thought he was hot, too. But it was more about his message. He made me feel and want to learn. I cannot pretend to know or understand the life of a black man. But he made me want to pay attention to what was going on around me. To see outside of my little town.
Fast forward to 2019 and I still find myself moved by Tupac’s lyrics. It makes me sad that so much of what he spoke about hasn’t changed. I hate that his life was cut so short. The talent in this man was endless and I would have loved to see how he would speak out and lead right now.
The Rose Beneath the Concrete was full of handwritten and typed poems that Tupac wrote when he was younger. While I loved everything, there were a few that really stood out to me. “Where There Is A Will”, “The Promise”, and “And Tomorrow”. “In The Event Of My Demise” was heartbreaking.
If you’ve never listened to Tupac, please check him out. I’ll share some of my favorites below, but definitely check out the songs that never made it to the radio. We (humans) lost an amazing soul way too soon.
I obviously suggest reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
Are you a Tupac fan? Have you read The Rose That Grew From Concrete?