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am 21. Mai 2000
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. But as Giovanni says in her foreword, "I guess it will always be the case that when someone brings a new idea or, mosre accuratley, a truthful idea there will alway be those people who are wrong, who try to shut the truth and daring down." In his poems he talks about real issues and the ultimate truth of life. But since so many do not want to admit Tupac, the young black rapper who rose above poverty and the streets, is actually right, they make up ignorant excuses such as "they are always cursing" and "profane language is bad." Since this book is free of any profane language, maybe now people who were ready with excuses before, will realize that they have no reasons to hide from the truth Tupac shows. They will realize they have no reason to make Tupac seem low just to put him down. Readers who always thought Tupac was deep, will be shocked to see how deep he really was and still is. Tupac's 12 recorded landmark albums and six major motion pictures are still here to remember him by, and now his collection of poems have been released to the public to remember Tupac's beautiful face and precious thoughts as well. Hopefully, readers will realize that the point of reading this book is to understand Tupac and see that was not just another rapper. Tupac writes about Vincent van Gogh's life and accomplishments in his poem "starry Night." He writes about Nelson Mandela, Newton and his mother in some of the other poems. There is a poem called "For Mrs. Hawkins" where Tupac adresses his sorrow for a mother who lost her son, Yusef, to a racist society. He covers subjects ranging from adultery to God. He dedicated and wrote poems about Marilyn Monroe all the way to a girl named April. Anyone who claims to adore Tupac Shakur needs to read this book which is compressed with his deepest thoughts and truest feelings about love, life and even the government. Especially those that are so quick to judge Tupac never giving him a fair chance need to read this book and see Tupac is special. Teachers, counselors, kids everywhere should read The Rose that Grew from Concrete. Steinburg says in the book that Tupac's poems can teach us about universal needs that textbooks rearely adress. Poems such as "and 2morrow" and "Still I Wait for Dawn" explain the need to survive for a better day. "They also teach us that humanity as a whole suffers if anoyone starves. Unfortunatly it took his [Tupac's] death to teach us that when one man dies we all bleed," Steinburg said. If after reading this book, people still think of Tupac as just another gangsta rapper trying to be poetic, then all that can be said is who cares. Besides, Tupac always said "Only God can judge me." Good for him.
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am 1. Juni 2000
Tupac Shakur's collection of poetry is as dynamic as his life and songs. Tupac has touched on many subjects that cross the racial barriers in his book. He seems a young man full of hope and promise. The gangster mentality is almost nonexistent in The Rose That Grew From Concrete. His thoughts on love and relationships are wonderul and moving. Even his poem about death is insightful. Some of the poetry really touched my soul. I have been a Tupac fan for many years and when I saw the book in the store, I immediately started reading. The poems are compelling and remind me of his life. I couldn't wait to share The Rose That Grew From Concrete with my family and friends. If you love poetry and the African American culture than this is a book to add to your collection.
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am 22. März 2005
Eine Sammlung der schönsten Gedichte des Ermordeten Rappers, jeweils auf Computer geschrieben, daneben Kopien seiner handschriftlichen Versionen. Ganz sicher kein Buch zum einfach mal so durchlesen (was wohl bei den wenigsten Gedichtbänden klappt), vielmehr etwas für Liebhaber.
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am 15. August 2001
`The Rose That Grew From Concrete` ist ein sehr schönes und temperamentvolles Gedichtbuch.Es enthält ca. 70 Gedichte vom besten Rapper aller Zeiten , hiermit beweist Tupac Shakur dass er nicht nur in seinem `Thug Life` Rap-Style spitze ist , sondern dass er auch intelligente und sehr faszinierende Gedichte schreiben konnte. Besondere Higlights sind , z.b. das herzergreifende Gedicht `Sometimes I Cry` ,die Danksagung für Gott in `God` und natürlich das Titel-Gedicht `The Rose That Grew From Concrete` , als ein biographisches Gedicht. Ein fantastisches Buch von einem genialen Menschen.
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am 26. Juli 2000
Throughout Tupac's short life and career, he manages to fortell his own future. The same is the case in this book of poems. He speaks of a rose that flourishes against all odds. Wheather he new it or not, he was discribing his own life. No one had hope for him. No one thought that he would be anything, but look were his life took him. Fame and fortune, what more could he want. I can't even begin to imagine how he could be so deep. He had a hard life and limited education, but still there was something special in him. He had an amazing way with words even when he was 19. He dipicts his life in the ghetto, but he always seems to have hope for the future. I would suggest that anyone read this book because it shows a side of Tupac Shakur that he hid from the media in his latter days.
You will be forever missed. Thank you for giving the world a little insite into the mind of probably the greatest visionary of the 90's.
R.I.P. Tupac Amaru Shakur
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am 2. September 2001
Dieses Buch gab mir Inspiration, Hoffnug,Freude... Besser als jeder andere schreibt Tupac über Träume, Enttäuschungen und die harte Realität. Tupac wird, nicht zuletzt durch seine Gedichte, auf ewig unsterblich sein.
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am 17. November 1999
I read excerpts from this book in the November edition of Source Magazine and was stunned at the heart-felt and moving nature of TuPac's words. I've always been a big fan of TuPac, loving all of his albums and this book was so perfectly touching and moving. It portrays Pac in a very different light from the image that was painted by many people; a cold, heartless gangster with a severe authority complex and an attitude. I've always known the truth about Pac, that he was a living, feeling person with strong emotions and a large heart. But this book really made my beliefs ring true. I'd recommend this book to anyone, those who love Pac, those who love to hate him, and those who don't know him at all.
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am 13. April 2000
In a time of increasing violence and desperate poverty it is difficult for many of us to picture a brighter tomorrow. And as an outsider myself, never having to deal with the "ghetto," it is even harder for me to imagine living in the midst of it all. I wonder how a person can look to the stars when all the smoke blurs his vision? How he can dream when the gunshots don't allow him to close his eyes? And how a rose can find a way to grow when it has to plant itself in concrete? I would imagine that, more often than not, the stars are never seen and the dreams are never dreamt in these neighborhoods. But the rose that can find the light of tomorrow will also find a way to grow from a crack in the concrete. In Tupac's poem "The Rose That Grew From Concrete" we find art imitating life. But this is not a new idea. Throughout history, poets and writers alike have centered their works on the beauty of roses, using contrasts and comparisons with this seemingly simple flower as metaphors for their themes. In fact, Shakespeare once wrote, "Would not a rose by any other name smell as sweet". And in Shakespeare's time it seems that there would probably be nothing more beautiful. But Tupac writes, "Long live the rose that grew from concrete." In affect, beauty is no longer focused on the rose alone, but rather beauty is a rose and the concrete it has grown from. It prompts us to ask, what is beauty? Is it a common rose found in our backyards or a rose standing on its own in the middle of the sidewalk? In one situation we have a rose planted in a rich soil, away from weeds, and with plenty of water and sunlight. In the other situation we have a rose in the direst of circumstances, amongst the weeds, lacking soil and water. Indeed both are roses and beautiful in their own respects, but there is something even more beautiful about a rose flourishing against all odds. Ironically, Tupac titles one of his later albums "Me Against the World." It would prove not to be the first piece in which Tupac writes more or less an autobiography. Looking closely at his life, and then analyzing the poem, it is clear that Tupac is the rose and his neighborhood the concrete. Like a rose that many don't imagine could grow within the confides of concrete, no one ever imagined Tupac to grow within the confides of his neighborhood to reach success. He points out how he overcame the odds by saying, "Funny it seems but by keeping its dreams/ it learned 2 breathe fresh air." Though specifically referring to the poem, it is evident that it speaks metaphorically to the struggle he endured and overcame "when no one else even cared!" And we must not overlook the fact that Tupac wrote this piece at age of 19 before all of his success, when he was yet to be tainted by the money and the fame. This adds more to the poem, increasingly its authentic effect. Tupac didn't write it after he had achieved his success. Rather, he wrote it when he was still envisioning his glorious future. It is thus easier to connect with the idea drawn from the poem, to believe that a rose can grow from concrete since Tupac, unknowing to himself, actually accomplished it. He didn't write the poem looking back at his life and then drawing the parallel between his life and that of a rose. Instead of imagining that something as frail as a rose could grow within something as lifeless as concrete, he actually lived it. He wrote it before he, the rose, found space to grow outside of the concrete. Almost predicting his successful future, Tupac's poem was ironically true. Considering this fact when reading the poem, "The Rose the Grew From Concrete" takes on a new, more profound light. "The Rose That Grew From Concrete" is arguably Tupac Shakur's most profound piece in his collection of writings. Many poets have attempted to depict the harsh realities of the inner city, but many have fallen short. What sets Tupac apart from other poets is his raw style. Although reflecting a harsh reality, it is complemented by the complexity of his thoughts. In a sense, it is not what he writes but how he writes it. His words evoke images that we ourselves can internalize. But most importantly the poem allows us not only to peer into a part of ourselves, but into the poet as well.
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am 29. Mai 2000
This book shows Tupac as he was before the fame, before his soul was twisted by lies, and his name tarnished by rumors. It shares his most sacred thoughts before the anger within in him surfaced to make an ustoppable revolutionary. It proves that Tupac was not heartless, and he did care. But he did not care about the smaller things in life, instead he focused on the really important things. I think that this book shows that he cared, but once he entered the rap game, he was forced to mask these cares so he would succeed and be able to make his dreams despite the color of his skin. He wrote most of these when he was 19, and they clearly show different levels of thought, feeling and understanding, and also show that even after his mother got addicted to crack that he was not filled with hate. That two years after he moved to Marin City, that he had still hung on to the hopes and dreams within his heart for a better world, especially for blacks. I beleive that this book proves that fame can twist souls and break hearts without slower down and without care. That nothing, not even Tupac's hero being defeated could fill him with rage, until he discovered fame. The book shows his mind develope and see the world around him different than anyone else could. Tupac was the rose that grew from the concrete and despite the murder, drug dealings, and everything else that tried to keep him from greatness, his pedals were still spread wide and were a bright red, full of life and love. When fame came along it caused the pedals to turn dark read and close in tightly to protect itself. He survived like that, closed off, and safe from emotions that would be looked upon as weak, for years, and still had a light than shined brighter than the sun. Finnally, even the stronger will and the most determined soul lost the battle. the battle was finally lost on September 13th, 1996. Much love to Tupac, may he rest in peace. It's time for someone else to follow in his footsteps and continue the fight against prejudice.
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am 19. November 1999
First of all, I must say that I am the biggest Tupac Shakur fan of all time. I have all of his stuff; from his music, posters, and books; but this book, "The Rose that Grew From Concrete" was so superb. It really touched my heart to be able to actually have the poetry that Tupac wrote during his life. It's just a treasurable thing for me, because it's like I feel even closer to him now. Tupac's poetry is so fulfilling, and all of his poetry says a lot; it inspires me deeply. I love Tupac. I just want to say to anyone that is reading this that you won't be disappointed if you purchase this book; it's a masterpiece, and regardless of how anyone feels about him, his skills and talents have no choice but to be appreciated and acknowledged for its perfection and brilliance. This book,along with him period, really has given me so much inspiration. Tupac really surprises me so much with all of his excellence. I strongly give this book, his music,his movies,and HIM five stars and I urge you to buy this book of poetry by Tupac Shakur. It will change your life. (R.I.P Tupac LOVE YOU! )
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