Tupac the Rap Artist / Tupac the Poet

by Applejacque

It's not that often you hear of a rap artist whose humble beginnings were from his short stint as a poet. To me, it's not that that surprising as most people make it out to be. You would have to read Tupac Shakur's "The Rose That Grew From Concrete," to really understand the evolution from Tupac the Poet to Tupac the Rap Artist. Read poems from his book, then read the lyrics to his rap songs. The similarity found in both is the talented way he forms his verses, his vivid imagery and his creativity.

Tupac the Poet was in touch with his manhood to be comfortable enough to show his vulnerable side and made him transparent when it came to his feelings towards life and the loves that have broke his heart. His compassion, frustration, joy and pain could be felt in his poetry, accompanied by his artwork that surrounded each written piece of material. At first I was skeptical when I heard that a college in California offered a class seminar studying Tupac's poetry. But after reading the book, I warmed up to the idea that it was not such a bad thing for the college to do. Tupac's poetry sang in a way that a lot of his recorded albums do. Tight and on-point.

Tupac the Rap Artist must have emerged from his musical hip hop influences and recordings with a group in southern California called Digital Underground. Their hits "I Get Around", and "The Humpty Dance" from their "Sex Packets" album, drove this group into the mainstream of hip hop in the late 80's, early 90's. Tupac's solo album was successful enough for him to become one of the talented, but tragic icon/legends in the hip hop world. The message of violence, sexual promiscuity and wealth was the same as all of the other artists before, but Tupac gave it a flair that could only come from a genius like himself. A small percent of his recorded lyrics spoke of uplifting the black family as a whole (Keep Ya Head Up, You Are Appreciated), as well as rhymes that were conversations to his friends, foes, and God. It's accurate to say that Tupac's style paved the way for the up-and-coming rap artists of today.

Tupac in the end seemed to be at war with himself. One part of him wanted a life of civility, without all of the madness and negativity that came with the fame. The other part of him wanted to conquer the domain of the thuggish lifestyle portion of this street-stardom, and felt that the best way to do it was rough, rugged, and raw. His actions towards both of these two sides had its consequences. His civil side showed his inner beauty that was evident in his poetry. His "Thug Life" side, as pertaining to the tattoo on his torso that bear these words, eventually had him doing short stints in correctional facilities, albeit at times on trumped up charges. In his subconscious mind, he knew of his fate and drove in the fast lane frequently and often. Conspiracy theorists and those who just have a hard time accepting his death, reasoned that Tupac is alive. I'll agree to this to some extent, but only to the fact that his music and legacy will live on.

Tupac the Rap Artist / Tupac the Poet by Applejacque

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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