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The Rose That Grew from Concrete

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  10,316 ratings  ·  1,050 reviews
This collection of more than 100 poems that honestly and artfully confront topics ranging from poverty and motherhood to Van Gogh and Mandela is presented in Tupac Shakur's own handwriting on one side of the page, with a typed version on the opposite side. ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published November 1st 1999 by MTV Books
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Michelle Borrow a book from the library or purchase a book from a bookstore or online.

When book is in your hands open to first page, begin reading.…more
Borrow a book from the library or purchase a book from a bookstore or online.

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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  10,316 ratings  ·  1,050 reviews

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Aug 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Tupac's story is incredibly fascinating. Although he's popularly portrayed as a cold-hearted gangbanger, those who dig deeper will find that he was an incredibly complex, soulful person with a deep sensitivity that the mainstream media misses.

This book of his original poetry, written when he was 19 on scraps of notepaper, really surprised me by giving a glimpse into that sensitive side. While some of the poetry is trite, there are a number of poems that border on profound, expressing Tupac's de
Jon Nakapalau
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites
Poems are the reflections of an individual soul; we should look at the reflections and ask what we see in our own soul reflected back - good, bad or indifferent it is one of the purest ways we can connect as human beings. As such I find these poems filled with pure reflections of Tupac and appreciate the fact that he shared them with us.
Tupac Shakur.

Tupac Shakur.

Tupac Shakur.
I've resurrected you a gazillion times in my mind, but I realize that you're truly gone. gone. gone.

"How did you know through your rhymes it was your time to go? You predicted it in every line, all in your flow" - Nas

In the event of my Demise
when my heart can beat no more
I Hope I Die For A Principle
or A Belief that I had Lived 4
I will die Before My Time
Because I feel the shadow's Depth
so much I wanted 2 accomplish
before I reached my Death
I have come
Brown Girl Reading
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kim Lechelle read a poem from this collection by Tupac for Poetry thursday over on You Tube and I had to get this. I devoured it upon its arrival. Such a fantastic collection of poems. His original hand written poems are on the left page and a typed version on the right page. The poems cover so many themes from love, fear, devotion, youth, desires, family, etc. There was a lot going on this young man's head. A lot more than anybody could have imagined. Tupac would have been 43 years old this yea ...more
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Honestly written with no pretense. I am not a fan of his music. Reading this book made me see the beauty of this man's soul. ...more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this poetry collection. I had no idea that Tupac had actually written poetry, though I'll always be a big fan of his music, especially the socially-conscious songs. A lot of the poems are heartfelt, bemoaning social issues, injustices and racism. A few are also very poignant, especially the one where he talks about his girlfriend suffering from a miscarriage. There are also some poems dedicated to the loves of his life,Marilyn Monroe, Nelson Mandela, Vincent Van Gogh, etc. The poems show ...more
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
"The Rose That Grew from Concrete" has a personal journal theme. It did take me longer to read versus the latest poetry style that has been elevated. Nonetheless, it is worth reading. The poems were close to the same length as the new aged poems and you could experience Tupac's mind as you read. I believe it showed a slightly different style/side of him compared to some of his songs. I liked the fact that you could drift through the book with every emotion from Love-Pain-Trauma-and Regular thoug ...more
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: black-writers
This is a beautiful collection of poems which give insight into the brave and clever soul Tupac Shakur really was.

Stylistically, the poems are fairly simple and not outstandingly beautiful, nonetheless, their content is incredible. Tupac was a 19 years old when he wrote these, and his social commentary, his love letters and his devotion to his mama just show how complex his thoughts were, even at such a young age.
“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving na
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book at Barnes and Nobles and it what a bit pricey for a book of poetry but let me tell was definitely worth it.

For starters if you love to read poetry, then this is actually a really good book because it has such deep, and powerful meaning.
If you like writing poetry, this book will make you want to write poetry like him (as in to have real meaning to your poetry).
But aside from that, you guys should definitely read this book because although Tupac may be a "thug" this gu
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"The Rose That Grew From Concrete" is a really inspiring book to me. I personally think that Tupac was a great writer and rapper. Just a great human being all around, that had a pretty rough life. Like it says in” If I Fail","There was never a life as hard as mine. No father-no money-no chance and no guide." Although I don't know much of his history by logic and I don't really hear a lot of his rap, I thought I would give this book a chance.

I have a classmate that all he hears is pretty much Tu
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Tupac Shakur is the only rapper I like. Some of his rap songs could be classified as brilliant urban poetry.

Since I adore poetry I decided to read this book that I found at the library. I had already read the title's poem The Rose That Grew from Concrete online. I wasn't sure I would like Tupac's poetry and if it would really touch me, but some of it did.

Many of the poems in the collection were written in his teen years. Tupac's poems talk about growing pains, teenage love and lust, being a yo
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
There are definitely a few poems in here, specifically toward the end, that I thought-yes, this is good stuff. Does this show another side of him, absolutely. Did I like seeing this side of him? Absolutely. Would I consider all of it great poetry? No. But, with that said, I think it's a good place to start when you look at his life. His famous life was replete with controversy, this book would say otherwise. While he may have been perceived as a rougher man, the love he had for people is very ap ...more
Eva Marie
Jan 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: a-nonfiction
I'm glad I finally took the time out to read this. It was awesome seeing Tupac's words in his own writing for me. I agree with most of the others who have reviewed the book on the poems, they really aren't much to get excited about but I don't think the poems themselves were what was/is supposed to be concentrated on. I think his words in general, his feelings, moods and beliefs, etc. were and are what should be looked at.
I got a kick out of all the poems that were dedicated to a different chic
Michael Tavon
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tupac as an artist and misunderstood advocate was always a huge inspiration for me growing up and this book solidified it. I loved the written language, it’s very informal
Ex using 2 instead of to, or 4 instead of for
I could literally hear his voice as I read it.
The subject matter tackles the plight of urban youth, death, love, and his life. I absolutely loved it
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I dont know the exact date i finished this book but I loved it. I was in study hall when i first saw it on the book shelf (10th grade). Its poetry that tupac had done. After i got done reading all of the poetry that was inside of it, i started to write down all of the poems that i like on a piece of paper. Now out of high school i still have them till this day! This book actually inspired me to start writting my own poetry.
Miya (struggling with pain, doing my best)
Beautiful, deep, honest, compassionate...this collection is beautiful. It made me feel very emotional thinking about how talented and wise he was, and how he was taken so early. His words show a very vulnerable part of him. I really enjoyed this and didn't want it to end. ...more
Who would have known Tupac was so perfect. His love poems really spoke volumes to me, they really put his heart on the page for everyone to read.
B. P. Rinehart
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-stuff
[update: 8/4/2016]:
This book has been long overdue for a reappraisal by me. When I initially reviewed, I was not in good form for analysis. I went back and reread this book and will give a better review. Though I still think Tupac's ultimate calling was as an emcee, his lyricism and touch with words was supreme. The wit and emotion is something that comes from a place he did not often show in his music, but it is still his voice on the page. The poems are short, but urgent and reminded me of the
Nov 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is about Tupac's life. It starts off with poems and the first one talking about the rose that grew from concrete which he said thats deep because you dont see nothing growing from the concrete. There's poems about his life and what he belives in like the rights for blacks. Like theres a chapter where he says he believes Lady Liberty and STatue of Liberty needs glasses. Did you know he was a Black Pantha?
I like this book because I look up too Tupac. No I dont look up too him because o
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I've always loved Tupak and even more have respected him. This book of poems written over some years of his life are a window into this young man's deepest feelings. Mirrored by much of his music the words are lyrical and raw. Hip hop and rap used to be pivotal in the civil rights movement- many older generation hip hiop stars were born of the movement- Tupak's mother was a black panther. Tupak was a disciplined and educated man. This comes across in his poetry as in his music. In my opinion Tup ...more
Jazmin Zambrano
Dec 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"Tupac felt that through art we could incite a new revolution that incorporated the heart, mind, body, spirit, and soul." This book is very good for people who love poems like myself. The author includes all of Tupac's poems from a journal he kept. The book provides pictures of the poems he wrote themselves and a typed out version on the side in case its hard to read the picture copy. For me this book brought out many feeling, these poems invoke a sense of familiarity reading these poems make yo ...more
Jordan Barclay
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grade-a
In the event of my Demise
When my heart can beat no more
I hope I die for a principle
Or a belief that I had lived 4
I will die before my time
Because I feel the shadow’s depth
So much I wanted 2 accomplish
Before I reached my death
I have come 2 grips with the possibility
And wiped the last tear from my eyes
I loved all who were positive
In the event of my demise!

This f***** me up man...

D.J. Walters
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful insight into Tupac's life. It's like a autobiography written through poetry. ...more
Francesca Forrest
These are heartfelt and nice--I especially enjoyed that the manuscript versions are included too, and the manuscripts do things the printed versions don't--like have drawings of an eye for "I."
The poems are not as complex as his raps, though, so I think when I use these in class I'll use some raps too, for contrast. The raps are much longer, as well.
Dane Cobain
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I was quite exciting to get to this one because I’d heard someone talking about it on BookTube and I like Tupac’s music as much as the next person. Unfortunately, it got off on a bad foot to begin with thanks to four or five different introductions, each of which tried to paint Shakur’s poetry as being worthy of being included amongst the top ranks of contemporary literature.

But the poems themselves just feel like incomplete song lyrics. Half of them are just love poems for various different wom
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Rose That Grew from Concrete is a collection of poems written by Tupac between 1989 and 1990. And even though this covers only a short period of his life, it's so much more than just poetry. Every single poem tells a story and is a window into the thoughts and mind of him. They tell the story of how he fell in love - multiple times, how he dealt with his child dying, how he coped with his mother falling for crack, his thoughts on politics and the Panthers, of his friendship with Jada Pinkett ...more
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Tupac's journal was an inspirational masterpiece. It showed true genius. Though without having a plot twist, this book did tell a story. You got to understand what went on through the mind of Tupac. He pours all of his emotions out. After reading this book, no matter who you are, you should find it hard to find reasons to dislike this man. I never knew a thing about him, other than the fact he used to be a great musician, but now I feel like I know and understand his troubles that he went throug ...more
Tupac is remembered by many as the hardcore gangsta rapper who was gunned down in 1996. However, Tupac also had a softer side. This book contains poetry from his private notebooks. The poems, most of which are about love and overcoming adversity, have a very different tone than Tupac’s music. Actual images of each poem from Tupac’s notebooks give the book an intimate feel. The poems are very simple and straightforward, so they could be used with students of almost any age or reading ability.
Jeramiah Paige
I was totally surprised at how well mannered and soft spoken tupac actually was. He didn't just speak in the life of music but through his writing of poems. I would recommend this book of poems to anyone seeking to write poems or any type of literacy. My Favorite one was the last one which was "In the event of my demise." That poem was so powerful because he was foretelling something that actually came to pass sooner than we thought. Ill leave it to you to read more... ...more
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Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper. In addition to his status as a top-selling recording artist, Shakur was a successful film actor and a prominent social activist. He is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest-selling rap artist, with over 75,000,000 albums sold worldwide, including over 50,000,000 in the United Stat ...more

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Angie Thomas was as stunned as her fans when she was spurred to write a prequel to The Hate U Give, her blockbuster 2017 YA debut inspired by...
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“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature's laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it's dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.” 1298 likes
“we wouldn't ask why a rose that grew from the concrete for having damaged petals, in turn, we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun, well, we are the roses, this is the concrete and these are my damaged petals, dont ask me why, thank god, and ask me how” 260 likes
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