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Changes: An Oral History of Tupac Shakur

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A New Yorker writer’s intimate, revealing account of Tupac Shakur’s life and legacy, timed to the fiftieth anniversary of his birth and twenty-fifth anniversary of his death.

In the summer of 2020, Tupac Shakur’s single “Changes” became an anthem for the worldwide protests against the murder of George Floyd. The song became so popular, in fact, it was vaulted back onto the iTunes charts more than twenty years after its release—making it clear that Tupac’s music and the way it addresses systemic racism, police brutality, mass incarceration, income inequality, and a failing education system is just as important now as it was back then.

In Changes , published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Tupac’s birth and twenty-fifth anniversary of his death, Sheldon Pearce offers one of the most thoughtful and comprehensive accounts yet of the artist’s life and legacy. Pearce, an editor and writer at The New Yorker , interviews dozens who knew Tupac throughout various phases of his life. While there are plenty of bold-faced names, the book focuses on the individuals who are lesser known and offer fresh stories and rare insight. Among these are the actor who costarred with him in a Harlem production of A Raisin in the Sun when he was twelve years old, the high school drama teacher who recognized and nurtured his talent, the music industry veteran who helped him develop a nonprofit devoted to helping young artists, the Death Row Records executive who has never before spoken on the record, and dozens of others. Meticulously woven together by Pearce, their voices combine to portray Tupac in all his complexity and contradiction.

This remarkable book illustrates not only how he changed during his brief twenty-five years on this planet, but how he forever changed the world.

288 pages, Hardcover

First published June 8, 2021

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Sheldon Pearce

3 books3 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 78 reviews
December 6, 2022
I am a diehard Tupac fan. Therefore, almost any book written about him is a must read for me. Unfortunately, I found
Changes: An Oral History of Tupac Shakur
by Sheldon Pearce minimally satisfying at best.

Although the book is written in chronological order, the content within each chapter is disjointed and patchy. Each page contains thoughts from multiple people as they share stories from particular moments in Pac’s life. While the idea of writing a book with multiple perspectives interchanging on each page may sound good in theory, it failed horribly in execution. This unorthodox writing style made for a very unconnected read.

Throughout the book I experienced a mixture of boredom and frustration. It felt like a bunch of people got together and wrote random thoughts about their experiences with Tupac. They weren’t even good stories at that! Ok, maybe one or two had the potential to be good. But because they were broken into multiple pieces throughout the book, it was hard to really appreciate that individual’s narrative.

One of the potentially good stories was by fashion designer Karl Kani. Kani told how Tupac did a photoshoot for Karl Kani clothing. Tupac did the entire campaign for free because he wanted to support the black business. The only request Tupac had was that “thug life” be featured in the ad. Pac even paid for all his own clothing, and never accepted anything for free. I thought that story was dope. It also shows how business savvy Tupac was. At such a young age he was very aware of branding! Kani said Tupac’s campaign was one of the most iconic shoots his clothing brand had ever done.

Another story I found rather interesting came from Richard Devitt. Devitt was a juror in Tupac’s rape trial. He actually shared some very disturbing information about how they (the jury) came up with a guilty verdict. That story pissed me off! Based on the jury’s findings, there was no way Pac should have been found guilty.

Something else about the book that got under skin was some of the comments made about Pac. I found them a little disheartening. For example, Pudgee Tha Phat Bastard states that Tupac, Kanye and Trump are all Geminis and are all the same. WTF! And Khalil Kain, the actor who plays the character Raheem in Juice, said he thinks Pac was Bipolor. Both of these statements were totally out of pocket.

Overall, I would have enjoyed this book much more if each person’s story wasn’t broken into pieces and scattered throughout the book. As much as I would love to give this one 5stars in honor of Tupac, I simply cannot. Therefore, it’s 2stars for me.

Thank you Simon and Schuster for gifting me this advance reading copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Publication Date: June 8th
Profile Image for David.
666 reviews243 followers
April 14, 2021
“If we'll go see a movie about Mongolian nomads, why don't we ever go see a movie about rap music?”

So said the Long-Suffering Wife (LSW) a few years ago, back when the hashtag #oscarssowhite was in the news. The bit about Mongolian nomads is not hyperbole – we had seen an actual movie from Mongolia about nomads only a year or two before. That's how I ended up seeing “Straight Outta Compton”.

I wish I could say that I came away from “Straight Outta Compton” with a profound understanding of the problems of African-Americans, or something like that, but I didn't. However, through a very unlikely set of circumstances, less than a month after I saw the movie, I met the actor who played Eazy-E. When I told him that I (a jowly middle-aged white guy in a suit) had seen “Straight Outta Compton”, his astonishment was comical in the extreme. He then very charmingly shot the breeze for quite some time with self and LSW before attempting to teach me how to shake hands, etc., in the manner of certain African-Americans that I have seen on stage and screen. I failed the class miserably.

“This is not the way of my people,” I explained, as he laughed.

I approached this book with all of the above in mind, thinking, well, while it's unlikely that I will gain any profound insights from this, you never know when and how attempting to expand your experience will pay unexpected dividends.

Now, I have had personal trainer who is African-American. I started with him at the gym in person, and I was really surprised how much I enjoyed it. When the pandemic hit, I made a special effort to arrange remote classes. He is excellent at his job, but our experience does not overlap much, so sometimes small talk is awkward. Occasionally, without warning, he will insert into our exercise rest-break banter a bit of trivia from the life of Tupac Shakur, like, “Did you know Tupac dated Madonna?” (I didn't). I am usually at a loss for a response – a situation he enjoys. He's yanking my chain a little, but it's all in good fun.

One day recently, while cruising the latest free book offerings from Netgalley, I noticed this book. I thought: I did not hesitate read a book about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire or the beheading of Marie Antoinette to partially remedy my ignorance. Why not read about Tupac Shakur for the same reason?

Also, I anticipated a satisfyingly shocked reaction from my personal trainer when I told him about what I was reading. I was not disappointed.

All of the above is to say: I'm a 60-year-old Caucasian with little to no previous experience with the subject matter. I listened to most of Tupac's songs on YouTube while reading this book, and recognized none of them. I did not know the song “Changes”, but, when I listened to it, I recognized it as one I heard often during the troubles which followed the murder of George Floyd in 2020. In short, I don't think that I am what the writer was picturing if he tried to imagine the typical reader of this book. But still, I enjoyed it.

If you are as un-Tupac-saavy as I am, it might help you to read his Wikipedia entry before starting. Of course, the Tupac that emerges from the book is a more complex character than that of the Wikipedia entry. In the last year of his life, he seems to have gone pretty deep into behavior resembling the gangsta thug stereotype, but before that he was a smart, even sweet, young man. He went to a performing arts high school in Baltimore, danced ballet, and performed Shakespeare. His high school English teacher remembers him fondly. He showed up early for recording sessions at studios, in stark contrast to most musicians. He was a fan of the soundtrack album of “The Lion King”, singing along with enthusiasm. He was polite to music industry lawyers, even when he didn't have to be.

In this book, there are a lot of the references to albums, artists, movies, directors, and other apparently important figures that meant nothing to me, but I was able to follow the story well enough without stopping to search the internet for everything I didn't understand.

The book is an oral history, meaning, most of it is interviews with people who knew Tupac or intersected with his life, often in unexpected ways. I thought that many of the most memorable and interesting interviews were with the random people whom fate threw into Tupac's path, for example, the NY emergency room hospital doctor who treated him when he was shot in 1994, one of the jurors from his 1993 trial for sexual assault, the Las Vegas journalist who was first on the scene when he was fatally shot in 1996.

As a bookish and introverted guy, I mostly understand the word by reading about it, and I was happy to have this opportunity to take a look into a part of the world that in some ways is lying in plain sight but in other ways is completely hidden. As with my earlier experience at the movies, I don't feel that I have any special insight now, but I hope that reading this book will somehow provide a little puzzle piece that will help widen my perspective, improve my understanding, and increase my empathy. Failing that, at least I can hope to pleasantly surprise somebody.

I received a free electronic galley copy of this book from Simon & Schuster via Netgalley. Thanks to all.
Profile Image for JRT.
173 reviews55 followers
April 27, 2022
“But for all of Tupac’s leadership qualities, you could impress him with a lifestyle he wasn’t privy to.” This statement not only sums up the contradictions reflected in the great Tupac Shakur’s life, it captures the essence of both his rise and fall. For Pac fans, “Changes” is an inspiring but difficult book to read. Most of us know the broad strokes and perhaps even many of the major details of Pac’s life, but “Changes” puts a twist on the story by telling it—from start to finish—from the perspective of the many people who knew him. In this way, the book is almost more like a documentary than a biography.

One of the most sobering aspects of the book for me is how it makes plain the consequences of Tupac’s actions and associations. A straight line can be drawn from the circumstances culminating in Tupac’s sexual abuse conviction, to his ultimate demise in September of 1996. At the core of that straight line is Tupac’s impressionability and need for belonging, existing alongside his intense loyalty and militant spirit. Having said this, what absolutely cannot be questioned is Tupac’s passion and intensity for his people and his art. “Changes” does a tremendous job displaying the inner contradictions in Tupac, humanizing him in a way that most depictions (both the negative and the positives ones) fail to do.
Profile Image for Jay Gabler.
Author 12 books134 followers
July 1, 2021
There's a distinctly contemplative tone to Changes: An Oral History of Tupac Shakur. If "contemplative" isn't the first word that comes to mind when you think of Tupac, author Sheldon Pearce and his sources are here to educate you.

"Tupac was like a perfect example of the misunderstood emcee," former Source editor Rob Marriott told Pearce. "At The Source, we could see that he was incredibly intelligent and articulate and a truth teller and very courageous, and so on, but for everybody else, all they could see were the court cases. Dan Quayle is saying, 'There's no place in society for him.' So trying to balance the perspective of who this guy is was a priority."

Pearce lists his sources under the title "Chorus," underscoring the fact that Changes is a multivocal exploration of Shakur's life and times. It's neither a comprehensive biography nor an intimate portrait, but a look back at a brilliant artist gone far too soon — the book's publication marks a half-century since Tupac's birth, and a quarter-century since his death — as remembered by many friends and associates.

I reviewed Changes for The Current.
Profile Image for Marcelo Gonzalez.
215 reviews2 followers
October 10, 2021
The audiobook is read by a full-cast and is definitely the way to experience this book.

Upon completion of the book, I read a couple of other reviews for this; they wanted it to be laid out with each person's thoughts and opinions laid out consecutively or to highlight certain aspects of his character, for good or bad. But in these thoughts, the reviewers seemed to miss the value and point of an "oral history".

A pop culture icon, Tupac has risen to heights even few celebrities achieve, being either saint or devil, depending on whom you ask. The dichotomy itself has helped fuel his still growing legacy with a continuing stream of "What if..." questions regarding the paths a 25-year old would have made 10 and 15 years into the future.

The value of the oral history is to highlight his humanity. Even in his own words, he wasn't a saint, feeling the weight and guilt of decision he made in his life, but neither was he a devil, with those who were closest to him recounting the numerous virtues he displayed on a daily basis.

I absolutely loved hearing first hand accounts of Tupac and the love his friends and acquaintances had for the man and his life. No further judgement than that is necessary.
Profile Image for Courtney.
463 reviews
July 7, 2021
Listen to this one. Excellent insight by people who knew him best. He had his faults of course but I believe he was inherently a good man. Miss his creativity and message. I wonder what he’d be doing and saying today with all this going on.
Profile Image for Marvin.
38 reviews2 followers
February 4, 2023
Changes offers an oral history of the late, iconic hip hop artist Tupac Shakur. This book didn’t offer much new information or perspective on Pac. There’s eye opening commentary from the likes of writer Justin Tinsley and scholar Mark Anthony Neal. On the flipside, I questioned why certain people were contributors to this book when there are far more insightful and interesting people who actually knew Tupac and his family well enough to speak to his legacy in a more meaningful way. At times, this book felt like a “this is who was available” list of people to talk about Pac. (I honestly skipped most of the Greg Kading parts because i don’t trust his information). This book is just decent at best because with the treasure trove of information about Tupac that exists, this book doesn't really add anything to the conversation or uncover or discover anything about the multifaceted human being that Tupac was.
Profile Image for Living My Best Book Life.
767 reviews78 followers
May 11, 2021
Changes is a dope and fresh look at the life and legacy of Tupac Shakur. Sheldon Pearce provides readers with a raw and unique look at the legend that is Tupac.

I am and will always be a fan of Tupac and to say I have seen all the documentaries and interviews about his life and music would be an understatement. And yet this is unlike anything I have read or seen before. I was so intrigued by the accounts from close friends, acquaintances, and celebrities. I felt like these accounts were so personal and intimate and didn't focus too much on his life as a celebrity but rather on the person.

I give Changes 5 stars. I feel like fans will enjoy getting to know Tupac at his youngest and understand who he was and how he became the rap legend that he still is to this day. Sheldon Pearce also wrote this book in a way that is like a conversation piece which is so engaging and just pulled me in.
Profile Image for Shannon.
372 reviews8 followers
October 19, 2022
Told by over 40 people in their own words and voices, we are not just reading about Tupac's life, achievements, and death, but we are immersed in his world and those he touched. I very much enjoyed this storytelling approach and found the book read very quickly. Several times while reading I stopped to watch the trailers for his movies, or listen to some of his music.

Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for my copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Ramiro Guerra.
72 reviews1 follower
August 11, 2021
Although Tupac is one of my favorite artists of all time, I never got to enjoy him in all his glory when he was alive. I was 10 when he died, so I was aware of who he was, but I wasn’t allowed to listen to rap at that age, nor watch the movies he was in.

His “Greatest Hits” album was my introduction to him, and afterwards came the rest of the records and his movies.

This was everything I hoped for, as a lot of the stories I was familiar with are retold but by the people who were there, as well as stories I have never heard, like when he was a kid or when he attended art school in Baltimore.

I’d highly recommend this to any music fan, ESPECIALLY if you love Hip-Hop.

Profile Image for JoRolle  Nola.
177 reviews
August 25, 2021
This book reminds me just how missed 2pac's music, acting and perspective is. This should have been how they did the movie of his life. With various people from different times in life painting the picture, we get a fresh look at life thru 2pac's eyes and experiences and it's much appreciated.
Profile Image for Chelsea Lawson.
287 reviews29 followers
September 14, 2021
Biography told in a cool way, with many memories and perspectives coming together to form a whole. I also though the juxtaposition of Tupac Amaru of the Incas was fascinating- there are some eerie parallels.

Tupac was a deep and kind soul. He had so much more music in him and so many more lives to touch. I’m glad I listened to this audiobook.
Profile Image for Jack Waters.
261 reviews96 followers
November 24, 2021
Finally found a book about 2pac that gave new information I didn't already know. No necessarily a must-read unless you are a completionist.
Profile Image for Monique.
40 reviews
July 26, 2022
Audio book was amazing! Loved how the people that actually knew him formed the oral history.
Profile Image for Brian Storm.
Author 2 books26 followers
February 6, 2023
At first, I didn't like the way it was written. It kept jumping from one person talking about Pac, to another, and then to another. SOmetimes, it would be just 1-2 sentences. But, I was listening to the audiobook, so I think it made it a little more difficult to follow along...However, once I got used to the style, I really started to enjoy it. It was actually kind of cool hearing about Tupac from those who worked with him over the years, and I think it gave me a better understanding of who he actually was behind the scenes. I would definitely recommend.
Profile Image for LiteraryMarie.
610 reviews52 followers
July 13, 2021

Changes is an oral history of Tupac Shakur's life and legacy, perfectly timed for release of the 25th anniversary of his death and 50th anniversary of his birth. The title references a song of Tupac's that became an anthem in worldwide protests last year. It became so popular (again) that it charted on iTunes. More than 20 years later and Tupac's music of systemic racism, policy brutality and mass incarceration still applies.

Sheldon Pearce delivered one of thee best accounts of Tupac's life. Instead of a traditional biography, he interviewed dozens of people to offer an oral history. He didn't include tons of well-known celebrities either. Readers are gifted with rare insight and fresh stories from lesser-known people close to the rapper/actor/activist. We hear from a high school teacher, music executive, childhood friend, fashion designer, a juror and a pen pal.

With music-related books, I like to play the songs mentioned. This practice made Changes even more enjoyable to read. He was a legend before his time and the lyrics remain relevant today. What a genius and true talent Tupac was. Well done, Sheldon Pearce, in telling his story in an unconventional way!

Happy Belated Pub Day, Sheldon Pearce! Changes is now available.

Profile Image for Kelen Conley.
38 reviews
September 21, 2022
I really hit a Tupac period over the summer. Frustrated at work and tired, I buried myself in some long form YouTube videos about the fallen MC. I started working my way through his pre-death discography backwards and as I reached the end of All Eyez On Me, I searched around to see if the definite book about Pac had been written. When I saw Changes was an oral history about Tupac, I set out to acquire it.

I fell in love with oral histories when Grantland was a thing and Changes does not disappoint in that area. It paints a picture of Tupac told through the eyes of those who knew him, from the kid who asked for a job when Tupac came to his prom to the Las Vegas beat reporter who covered the last 7 days of his life.

There's not a lot of time spent on the things we already know. Pearce instead tells about the NY kid who moved to Baltimore, who flourished, who then moved to Oakland and still flourished. We find out how instead of getting angry with Wendy Day when she wrote him in prison and scolded him for being there, he responded with kind words and the utmost respect. Pearce writes of how close Tupac was to being exonerated in 1994 and how his rape conviction set him him on the path that led him to his death 2 years later.

I felt like I had many holes in my knowledge of who Tupac was coming into this read but I have a better understanding from the narrative Pearce created. At the heart of it all, Pac was a 25 year old kid who had the world at his feet, a complete lack of fear, and the flaw of being loyal to a fault. That loyalty is what got him killed. It may have gotten him killed regardless. But that loyalty is also what made him such an incredible figure who left such a huge impact on this world in such a brief stay.

Outstanding read. Will revisit again.
Profile Image for Kassidi. Under The Radar Books..
311 reviews2 followers
July 29, 2021
I do not know how to write this review. I’m still so sad that he’s not in the Carribean, on a boat, chillin. I’m #stillwaiting for him and #aaliyah to show up on a private jet. #conspiracytheorist

CHANGES is good. It came out last month and I missed talking about it.

Here are the readers/non-readers I recommend this to:

✨If you are anywhere near my age (42), you will love this book.
✨ If you like rap or any other genre music
✨ If you like movies
✨If you’re obsessed with the 90’s
✨ If you like true stories told by the people who were there
✨ If you want to understand the importance of living your life like you’re on your last breath.
Cause a LOT of people are!

I’m thinking if you’re compiling lists for the holiday season, you should add this one as a novel gift for someone who is NOT A BIG READER. ESPECIALLY IF THEY DON’T NORMALLY LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOKS.

The book itself is a fast, fun, informative listen. I was #gifted an ebook copy by the publisher but found it on audiobook.

I’m so glad I did!

The audiobook is told by a full cast with varied narrators all with beautiful, unique voices. Not only does it make you feel like you’re sitting in a room with all your friends reminiscing over a passed loved one, it makes you fully understand Tupac’s impact on all of those around him.

He truly is and will continue to be missed.

Thanks to #sheldonpearce for compiling these interviews and to @netgalley and @simonandschuster for the amazing opportunity to read this early in exchange for my honest review!

This is more of an experience than reading a book. 10/10 recommend!!
Profile Image for Matthew.
137 reviews
June 2, 2022
Over the years I've read, perused, and took cursory looks at so many periodicals on Tupac Shakur. And I have to say Changes, the oral history of Shakur, is one of the best readings I've ever read or seen about Shakur. The various people who were in or outside of Pac's life when he was alive and that were interviewed for this book, had some thoughtful, objective, passionate, and well thought out things to say about Pac. And I loved it. Oral history books are supposed to be put together and arranged like how Sheldon Pearce did his. I would recommend this book to anyone who ever listened to Pac's music or called themselves a true fan of his.

Changes like I mentioned before was an oral history book on the life of the Tupac Shakur from his childhood up until up around the time the book was getting ready to be published (2021). Shakur died in 1996, but the interviewees in this book still had stuff to say about him in the 21st Century.

One of my favorite interviewees in this book was Khalil Kain, who acted with Pac in the 1992 movie Juice. They had a genuine respect and objective view of each other and Kain relayed that in this book.

Some oral history book writers or transcribers try to put big names, famous celebrities, and such in their book as to make you want to buy it or be more passionate about reading the book. But Pearce wasn't having that. He interviewed regular everyday people who knew Pac, some pass their prime celebrities, and etc. for this book. One of those interviewees was a woman who back when Pac was alive was a teenager. She reached out to Pac by letter to ask him to attend her high school prom with her.

Pros of Changes: The truthful, thought provoking, objective, and candid interviews that were conducted. The interviews were the star of the book.

Cons of Changes: Some of the interviews got too wordy on the personal lives of the interviewees which proved to be a bore. This book wasn't about their personal lives, it was about how Pac was seen by these interviewees.

In closing, I hope the word has been put out about Changes existence because this book needs to be read by Pac's fans and those who have been recently introduced to his works. One of the best ways to get to know a celebrity or get an idea about them is to either spend a day or so with them, interview them, or read an oral history book on them.
Profile Image for Meghan.
2,084 reviews
April 27, 2021
This book was received as an ARC from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was really excited when I got approved for an ARC of this work. My brother was a die hard fan of Tupac and I am a fan of the work of Sheldon Pearce so I knew I was in for quite a ride. In the book, Sheldon interviews everyone who knew tupac personally and was a fan of his music to see the impact and the man behind the rap sensation. When Changes was released it was a song that would be powerful and after reading the interviews and reflecting on the events of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, it is even more powerful. Reading what everyone said about Tupac really hit deep for me on how emotional and meaningful he was and not just a mogul in the rap industry. I remember vividily when we heard the news that Tupac has died. My brother was deeply in pain and after reading this book, I can see why. Long live the rose that grew from concrete.

We will consider adding this title to our Biography collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
Profile Image for Jackie.
787 reviews56 followers
June 21, 2021
First thing I thought seeing this cover was what would PAC think of today’s world and how much I miss new music by him. Being a die hard fan I can’t say I did learn anything new about Tupac that I have not read yet. But reading parts of memories others had of him was a fantastic reminder of who he was, how he was judged by music and underestimated in more ways than one. There is more to his story than we know about and he was one of a kind. While I would not call this a biography on his life rather shared stories and memories collected and put into this book I must say I enjoyed it. I think we need to listen to his music and listen to his message that today is still relevant. I recommend this to anyone interested in musical history and the younger generation who missed his beautiful light while he was alive. From the words of Tupac himself “We gotta make a change
It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes
Let's change the way we eat
Let's change the way we live
And let's change the way we treat each other
You see, the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do
What we gotta do, to survive” ( From his song Changes)
Profile Image for Brandon Forsyth.
899 reviews150 followers
June 5, 2021
I’m a little confused about who this book is for. Pearce states in the afterword that he wanted this book to be more textural, not necessarily a straight cradle-to-the-grave story, and I think the book would be a challenging read for those new to Tupac’s story without the context that a more authoritative or conventional biography would have. But on the other hand, if this is for fans, there’s not a ton of never-before-heard (or, frankly, that substantive) stuff here, either. This kind of feels like the first of second draft of a book, where a lot of the background information is here, but the author hasn’t landed that big interview or two that really helps flesh out his subject. I recognize the difficulty of speaking to more of the key players, but I left the book feeling like I had heard from a bunch of people who interacted with Tupac but only one or two who truly knew him. For the die-hards only, I guess.
Profile Image for Liz.
334 reviews7 followers
October 22, 2021
I learned so much, and was constantly Googling information while listening to the audiobook. I came across a video of him giving a student interview when he was 17. As a high school librarian, that felt very powerful. Honestly, that video struck me more profoundly than the book. But I did enjoy hearing anecdotes about all the ordinary people he let participate on his albums, including the pizza delivery guy. It was also sweet that he took a teen to her prom when he was a superstar, and during the evening responded to a student's request for help getting started in the business.

My school book club is discussing Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give next month, so this was a great source of context for me to put the big picture together. I think I would have enjoyed getting to know Tupac, especially as a youth. I hadn't realized that last month was the 25th anniversary of Tupac's death.
Profile Image for Rumi Bossche.
852 reviews8 followers
March 10, 2023
I see no changes, wake up in the morning and i ask my self
Is life worth living ? Should i blast myself?
Tupac Changes.

In changes Sheldon Pearce interviews dozens of indivisuals about various phases of Tupac's life, and this is a goldmine for Tupac fans. There are interviews with friends, actors he worked with, acting directors,  producers, technicians, but also with a surgeon who operated on him, and a juror who was on Tupac's case. In under 300 pages you as the reader follow Tupac from his beginnings in theater school, his uprising with Digital Underground,  his solo career, his movies and his years with Deathrow when he was a bonafide superstar but also when everything basically turned into shit. Until that horrible night in Las Vegas. This was a incredible book, hard to put down. Most of it i already knew, but i also found some things i did not. Recomended for hiphop fans and fans of Tupac.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars.
Profile Image for Crystal Tadlock.
374 reviews7 followers
May 19, 2021
This book was a fantastic revival of Tupac from those he worked with and had interacted with. I enjoyed the book even though there was not anything in the way of new information. The book read very quickly, had I not been working and running around I could've finished this in one sitting!

Tupac was and still is a great voice in the world of rap and Black culture. I remember when he died. I remember my mom calling me upstairs from my room as I was getting ready for school when Kurt Loder was reporting it on MTV that morning. I stood in the living room crying. This man was so artistic and grounded that his life meant something to many many people. His art is still appropriate today, which is a sad reminder that not much has changed in our world in 25 years.

Thank you for the opportunity to read this book!
Profile Image for Kit.
17 reviews
December 29, 2021
I read this book in three days. I really liked it - I think in large part because it’s so different than anything I’ve read before. I learned a ton and was constantly Googling different things. Gangster rap was the soundtrack to my high school experience - even in a mostly White suburb of Indianapolis. I even enjoyed the oral history style of this book. I’ve read some of the other reviews on here and, agree, that it can be hard to follow who is who and what each person’s relationship to 2Pac is. I must’ve referred to that “Chorus” rundown at the beginning hundreds of times reading this book. Perhaps the author should’ve listed the titles of each person in each instance throughout the oral history to make tracking a little easier for the reader. Overall, a great book!
164 reviews
June 15, 2021
What made this book great also is it's one downfall. Pearce shares quotes from those who had knew Tupac Shakur in an oral history format. The fact that the book is a stream of quotes allows us insight into various relationships or interactions that Shakur had with people from various portions of his life (teachers, friends, those who worked with him) and give us a deeper understanding of who Shakur was from many different perspectives. However, the quote based format did at times make the narrative difficult to follow. All in all, the benefits of having those various perspectives outweighed the difficulty there was at times with filling in the gaps or transitioning between speakers.
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610 reviews1 follower
August 22, 2021
An interesting read. I know very little information about Tupac, and yet I've grown up hearing about his legacy. This book probably would have been more impactful if I had a better base knowledge of who some of the people interviewed were, so their recollections and perspectives of Tupac would have had more meaning. As it is, this book gave me a better understanding about why Tupac was so important, and a taste of the mystery surrounding his death.

Overall I enjoyed this book. Given I knew very little going into this, the writing / structure was engaging enough to keep me interested for the whole story.
July 17, 2022
BARBARA OWENS: He was reading the third act in Othello, where he was about to snuff her out with the pillow. He got through the scene and I stopped him and said to all of the class, "You will never, ever hear or experience a reading of Othello like this ever again in your life. Remember this moment." And I was thinking, Did they remember that moment when they learned that he died? Did they remember that moment? Because it felt like a hole in my gut. It's a different kind of knowing of that person. Sometimes it isn't personal. But it's still a rather intimate kind of knowing.
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