Tupac Shakur was a rap artist who gained fame during the early 1990's. He was born Lesane Parish Cooks in 1971 in Brooklyn, NY. His mother changed his name to Tupac Amaru Shakur in 1975. Tupac Amaru means "shining serpent" and Shakur means "thankful to God." He was raised mostly by a single mother and owed much of his success to her support through his younger years. He attended a school for performing arts in Baltimore, Maryland as a youth and studied music and dance. He showed much promise as a musical artist. He acted, produced and was a screenwriter in several movies. He had many hit records but his most popular was "All Eyes on Me" released in 1996. Tupac was known as a West Coast rapper and heavily involved in the feud between the East and West coast. Many believe this may have led to his death in 1997. He was headed to a charity function in Las Vegas when he was shot while riding in a car. There still is no resolution to the true cause or circumstances surrounding his death. There are many theories but as of today we still don't know why this brilliant musical artist was murdered. Tupac's musical genius can be seen in his music, of which he wrote most himself, and his poetry. All though lesser known for his poetry, one can see how intelligent and thoughtful he actually was. Many of his poems deal with death, particularly his own, and can be seen as an insight from a thoughtful, intelligent and self-aware person.
One of Tupac's most famous poems was "The Rose That Grew from Concrete." In this poem Tupac speaks of a rose that was able to defeat the odds against it and actually grow and flourish where it shouldn't have been. This poems speaks to Tupac's own adversity he experienced during his life. Perhaps he saw himself as that rose, able to rise above expectations and do things that really weren't supposed to be possible. This poem has a sense of hope and triumph. In a world where it can seem like everyone is against you, it is still possible to live your dreams and be successful. The rose was able to accomplish the improbable and this gives hope to others who are also struggling to find their place in life.
In the poem "In the Event of My Demise" Tupac speaks of his own death. In his music and poetry Tupac often talked about dying and death. He seemed to know he would die young and perhaps that was based on the fact that he lived a risky life. This poem, while speaking about death, can actually be seen as uplifting. It tells of hoping to die for principles and not dying without achieving good things. In this poem Tupac writes about knowing he will die before he's able to accomplish all his goals but he hopes to die with his beliefs and principles intact. He seems to want to inspire others to do all they can to accomplish their goals since life is so uncertain. While this poem may initially seem dark, after reading into it one can see the positive attitude in the writing. This poem tells us not to die in vain but to live life to the fullest and make sure everyday is a day where we are working towards our goals.
Tupac's words live on in his poetry and music. While many of his poems may seem melancholy at first, once you read further into them you can see a hopefulness and sense of peace. Tupac seemed to predict his own early death. He wrote of struggling through impossible situations but somehow still achieving one's goals. Tupac's poetry can be an inspiration to those who are having a difficult team and feel the odd's stacked against them. His poems speak to us in a way that allows us to feel like we can do anything we choose. They inspire us to believe in ourselves and work towards accomplishing something in life. While Tupac led a somewhat violent and risky life, his poetry shows a side of him that was hopeful, positive and truly uplifting.