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Inside A Thug's Heart Hardcover – May 1, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As deceased gangsta rapper Shakur closes in on Jimi Hendrix as the most prolific posthumous recording artist, new books about him proliferate. Ardis, his girlfriend, offers a more-intimate-than-usual perspective, though the acknowledgments may be sounding a note of warning by thanking Tupac's mother, former Black Panther Afeni Shakur, for "allowing this book to see the light of day." Given her efforts to control her son's legacy, this suggests that the contents of this peek inside Tupac's emotional life may be somewhat constrained, and its judgments, softened. Ardis is breezy and competent, and Tupac's letters and poems to her, presented as facsimiles of the originals, show that, even when writing a loved one, his style was much like his lyrics. The book delivers insight into Tupac's private thoughts and evidence that even a successful rapper with "thug life" tattooed on his body had gentle and introspective feelings as well as smoldering resentment and rage. Good fan stuff, a primary resource for things 2pak, and a likely circulation builder for hip-hop-intensive collections. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758207891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758207890
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #890,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
INSIDE A THUG'S HEART is a compilation of original poems and letters written and exchanged between Tupac Shakur and the author Angela Ardis. Through the letters, poems and phone conversations, the author gives us a glimpse into the heart of Tupac Shakur. Readers will find that behind the hard exterior and the media hype, Tupac was a very intelligent, deep, sensitive, sensual, funny and genuine human being. He was a true believer in keeping it real.

On a dare from her friends and co-workers, Angela Ardis writes to Tupac while he is incarcerated in New York. She is quickly surprised by a message left by Tupac, "Hi, Angela. This is Tupac..." Not only did she win the bet, she embarked on a very unusual pen pal relationship with the notorious Tupac Shakur. Their relationship quickly grows into friendship, lust and a unique kind of love. From the letters, you realize that Tupac is a contradiction in spirit and mind. His letters and poems envelop a sensitive and erotic feel, yet the thuggish persona is still apparent.

Angela Ardis shares these poems, letters and phone conversations to give readers a true sense of how complex and deep Tupac truly was as a person. He knew he was not perfect, but he had a good heart. She was able to convey all the facets of Tupac. Even after she met him behind prison walls and she realized he was under the influence of drugs, she never changed her perception of him. He was a man who was not perfect, who loved hard, gave freely from his heart and was genuinely a good person.

INSIDE A THUG'S HEART has some commentary interspersed between the letters that were sent back and forth. It was well written, but the real story lies within the letters and poems written by Angela and Tupac.
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Format: Hardcover
While I was looking over the book in my local bookstore I was unsure about buying it. First because it felt as though I was invading Tupac's privacy. Second because I thought that Ms.Ardis was nothing more that a groupie that was trying to use Tupac's name to make a quick dollar. Needless to say I went ahead and bought the book. The poetry from Ms.Ardis and Tupac is great. I hated the fact that some parts in the book were her fantasies instead of the matter at hand. When I got to the end of the book I felt as though Ms.Ardis had been played and she didn't even know it. The poetry in the book is great. The rest is just (in my opinion) useless information. I could have also done without Ms. Ardis discussing her need to defecate.
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Format: Hardcover
As a voracious reader, a serious hip hop head and a survivor of South Central Los Angeles, I have always been attracted to Tupac, his warmth, his lyricist skills/delivery and his angst.
I read Mrs. Ardis' book in about 4 hours, and wasn't impressed. In fact, it felt invasive reading this man's love letters written "exclusively for Angelea" and eavesdropping on his private telephone conversations. Nonetheless, I did purchase and read the book in its entirety.
The relationship between Mrs. Ardis and Tupac seemed too contrived, and well very calculated on her part. A case in point, who actually transcribes every telephone conversation and keeps every peice of correspondence. She lost all credibility with me, when she stated her desire to become a writer. I felt Tupac was simply her launching pad, an opportunity to spark her writing career. The media's portrayal of any African-American man, including Tupac is biased, sensationsalistic and ultimately negative. To know Tupac, listen to Tupac -- his lyrics speak his truths to you.
In as many books I have read about the life of Tupac, I still do NOT get his Thug Life philosophy. It appeared shallow, destructive, not well thought out and somewhat immature. The title of this book - "Inside A Thug's Heart" lead me to believe I would gain abetter understanding of his philosphy. I expected Mrs. Ardis to challenge him to think deeper about his ability to influence young African-American men and provide a framework for their economic, social and mental development. I was disappointed yet again - with Pac and with Ms. Lovely.
The convaluted dialogue re. Mrs. Ardis and Tupac's queen, his widow Keisha was disturbing. The subjugation of all women will remain until each woman learns to respect each other. I found Mrs.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
an accurate record, chronologically correct.
It shows how democratic Tupac was. The letters also reveal the effect of incarceration and betrayal on him and his loneliness. You get the sense that he was weighing up a lot of options, issues and beginning to emerge as Tupac the man with one destiny. The author is just being herself at that time in history and shouldn't be judged so viciously. The real depth in the book obviously comes from Pac's passion in his letters and poems.
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Format: Paperback
In the beginning, I found this story intriguing simply because Tupac had responed to the author's letter. Assuming that he received many letters, and he responded to hers, well, that kept me turning the pages. I wasn't surprised that Tupac was smart, witty, charming, intelligent and clever with the pen. I figured this out about him, despite the way the media portrayed him and the way he sometimes portrayed himself. I enjoyed a lot of the poetry in this book. Some of it was quite beautiful.

However, I wished, through his letters, that I could have learned more about him. Sometimes, he'd let out a small feeling about prison life, but I never got a real sense of why he felt he was really there. He proclaimed his innocence, but his
letters were more about seduction. At times, the letters became quite explicit and this all before he had even met her.
Once they did meet. . . I won't spoil it for you.

Angela also writes poetry to Tupac, along with her letters, but it is Tupac's poetry that makes this book worth the read.
I didn't do my usual research before buying this book. I took it for granted that this book would be a little more substantial. It wasn't, but I will read the poetry again and it's also inspired me to consider purchasing Tupac's actual book of poetry.
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