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The Rose That Grew From Concrete Hardcover – November 1, 1999

4.8 out of 5 stars 462 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About 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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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: MTV Books; New edition edition (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671028448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671028442
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (462 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac Amaru Shakur, is made up of 100 poems written by Tupac at the age of 19 before his fame, before getting shot five times and before going to jail for a crime many believe he never commited. This book shows the true Tupac. The sweet Tupac that was pure and never did anything but simply tell the truth. His poems show his honesty. They reveal his true intentions and the beliefs held so stronly in his passionate heart. A preface written by Afeni Shakur, Tupac's mother, starts off the book followed by Nikki Giovanni's foreword and Leila Steinburg's heart-breaking introduction. Steinburg, Tupac's first professional manager and adult friend, shares her treasured experience of meeting Tupac. She is responsible for releasing these poems to the public. Her introduction alone, is sure to leave readers drowning in tears and, if not already, in awe of Tupac. The first poem in the book, "The Rose that Grew from Concrete," is about how Tupac learned to strive for his goals against all of the obstacles in his life that tried bringing him down. "Sometimes I Cry" and "Life Through my Eyes" explain how alone Tupac felt and show his struggles through poverty. In other poems he talks about love, racism, liberty, heartaches and goals. Readers will be able to identify with at least one poem in this book if not all of them. The book is almost like a guide that can make a person feel better and be referred to whenever someone feels alone, lost or confused. It is as though Tupac reached into his hear and brought all his feelings out onto paper. Only great writers are able to express how they really feel and are not scared to speak the truth.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
"The Rose that Grew from Concrete" is a posthumous collection of poetry by rapper Tupac Shakur, whose career in both the recording and motion picture industries was cut short when he was murdered at the age of 25. The book includes a preface by Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur; a foreword by poet Nikki Giovanni; and an introduction by Leila Steinberg, who acted as Tupac's manager. Afeni Shakur notes that the poems in this book were written from 1989-91. Steinberg recalls how Tupac shared poems in a writing circle that she hosted.
The poems appear in this book as photos of handwritten text, with the typed transcriptions on facing pages. This format, combined with some photos of the author, adds to the visual appeal of the book.
Tupac's poems are about love, friendship, loss, social protest, personal goals, and disappointment. His poems touch on many moods: sadness, ecstasy, anger, pride, and hope. Along the way he cites Nelson Mandela, Huey P. Newton, and other figures.
I was particularly struck by "Only 4 the Righteous," a witty and funny poem about rapping; this piece has a great rhyme and rhythm. "The Shining Star Within!," dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, and "Starry Night," dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh, are intriguing tributes to artists whom Tupac describes as ill-treated by society. "God" is a moving profession of faith. I was also moved by "Nothing Can Come Between us," a free verse poem on friendship. "Jada" is one of his best love poems ("u R my Heart in Human Form").
Overall, these poems seem to reveal many facets of the author. In "For Mrs. Hawkins," he writes "I'm a Panther / with the blood of Malcolm in my veins." Other poems look at racism and poverty.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has read this book certainly knows that Tupac was certainly a genius! The man wrote with such raw talent & his poems were so real & beautiful. Some of them made me cry. He was probably the best poet/rapper of our time. The man was human & if you read this book, you'll know that he love, cryed, wanted, needed, & hurt like any human. People didn't know how creative & trouble Tupac was. People think because he was in the rap game that he doesn't have a positive message or talent. The man was a GREAT writer & he wrote about his life as a Thug, & he WAS a thug & he knows the life. But Tupac wanted to rid the world of violence & racism, & if you read his work & listen to his music, you'll notice this. He was true & kept it all real! Unlike most rappers these days. He & Kurt Cobain were the only REAL, RAW talents in the 90's & it's sad they're not with us anymore. They were hear to spread a message, & I hope everyone understands it. RIP Tupac, I LUV you, you were 1 in a 1,000,000!
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By A Customer on February 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
AS I WAS READING THIS I FOUND MYSELF LAUGHING, CRYING, MAD, SMILING AND MOST OF ALL UNDERSTANDING LIKE TUPAC SAY IN 'SOMETIMES I CRY' THE WORLD ESPECIALLY THE MEDIA DIDN'T STOP TO THINK THAT HE WAS A MAN THAT LIVES AND BREATHS LIKE THE REST OF US HE WAS A TRUE ARTIST BUT FIRST HE WAS A MAN AND NO ONE TOOK INTO CONSIDERATION THAT HE CRYS TOO. THIS BOOKS SHOWS PEOPLE A SIDE OF TUPAC THAT THE MEDIA CHOSE NEVER TO AIR. THEY WERE TO BUSY WORRY ABOUT HIS RAP SHEET. SO TO TUPAC WHERE EVER YOU MAYBE KEEP YA HEAD UP BECAUSE YOU STILL HAVE TRUE FANS THAT KNOWS THE REAL PAC.
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