BOOK REVIEW: THE NASCENT POETRY OF TUPAC IN PAGE
By: Babatunde Alaran
‘’ You always was committed, a poor
single mother on welfare, tell me
How you did it. There’s no way I can pay you back ‘’
This aforementioned lyric is from Tupac’s famous track, Dear Mama and it is a eulogy to his darling mother, Afeni Shakur. However, the voice within this collection ‘’ the rose that grew from the concrete ‘’ is gentle but not husky because Tupac understood how to write a captivating encomium.
It was his poetic expression that made his career to be distinct because he wrote those early poems with vivacious simplicity and metaphor ‘’ the rose that grew from concrete ‘’ described his struggle as a negro. Reading this collection made me fell in love with his charisma as a poet. Even his manager, Leila Steinberg described his artistry from the forward of this collection. But Tupac was a street urchin even before they met.
Tupac Amaru Shakur was indeed an activist that also had an admirable style amid his camaraderie. Thus, ‘’ the rose that grew from the concrete ‘’ was written during his early adulthood. It was under Leila’s tutelage Tupac started to talk about the social usurper. She was his chaperon. She made him to get the nuances of poetry from other poets like Langston Hughes’ poem ‘’ I, Too ‘’ because his first poems were apostasy.
Although, he was also an incredible rapper that used his genre to sing against injustice. In this section, ‘’ nothing can come between us’’ was the first love poem he wrote to his friend whom he lost while growing up. Meanwhile, that particular poem was somewhat like a dirge because he made his impression as a benign poet to reflect with his fledgling language.
Meanwhile, I discovered Tupac didn’t fear the American supremacy due to the fact that this section was birthed out of his idiosyncrasy to the grivieing poem he dedicated to Yusef Hawkins, a black boy who was murdered by the police. But the poems from this section ‘’Just a breath of Freedom’’ are his rite, and they are perhaps, provocateur for him to fight for his blueprint against social dissipation.
He also wrote a sentient poem for late South Africa anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela while in his twenty-seven years incarceration. With his iconoclastic impetus, Tupac confidently described himself to be wide-ranging against racist denigration as he desperately confessed his dream in this poem.
If I fail
If in my quest 2 achieve my goals
I stumble or crumble and lose my soul
Those who knew me would easily co-sign
There was never life as hard as mine
No father- no money- no chance and no guide
I only follow my voice inside
If it guides me wrong and I do not win
I’ll learn from a mistake and try 2 achieve again
Certainly, this poem is his revelation to achieve greatness. It shows the reality of his doggedness. However, in the other section,‘’ Liberty needs glasses ‘’ At some point, I was presumptive about his gusty as a nineteen-year poet because those poems were poignantly written with complacency against irregularities. While his philosophy made me to understand his quest as a young man who also proclaimed his death in a poem ‘’ Say Goodbye’’.
He was a precocious guy and an avid reader. He was also a dauntless poet. His poems need to be read by every poetry enthusiast. When you read this poetry collection, you will discover Tupac’s language to be effervescent. For instance, I never knew he could write not until I was immersed with this poetry. Indeed, this is a lovely collection for anybody who loves to hear Tupac’s voice as a young poet.