If you didn’t know, Tupac Shakur was not just a rapper. He was a poet too, and a damn good one. He is known for having tackled contemporary social issues that plagued inner cities, and he will remain a cultural icon as a symbol of defiance and activism in opposition to inequality. His poems are not limited to these topics, however, as they explore the complexities of family and love. He was a student of the arts; he studied theater, literature, and music at the Baltimore School for the Arts. At school, he was absorbed in the works of William Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, and Langston Hughes, among many other poets who made an impact on the way rhythm is used in linguistics.
Tupac was fascinated by the relationship between rap and poetry. Some of his music may portray him as more of a rugged soul, but his poetry is a reflection of his sensitivity and his ability to turn words into pure art. “[Rap] is poetry, to me” he said in an interrogation. “It is my opinion that I started to rap when I was writing poetry. Storytelling, poetry… even iambic pentameter is rap. It’s the way you write it, the structure.” After his death, a compilation of of his poetry titled The Rose that Grew from Concrete was released. His poetry represents his incredible eloquence and intellect. Here are some of his most artistic and profound poems.
“What Can I Offer Her?”
All of my life I dreamed of meeting one with immense beauty,
and once I found her I would charm her and she’d be mine forever
I have found her and indeed she is all I wished for and more
but she is not charmed nor intrigued.
Then I think 2 myself “What can I offer her?”
The tears warm my eyes and blur my vision.
I stick 2 my stance of bravado and give her the same uninterested look she gave me.
She was so beautiful
But what can I offer her?
Image Via The Lantern
“So I say GOODBYE”
I’m going in 2 this not knowing what I’ll find
but I’ve decided 2 follow my heart and abandon my mind
and if there be pain I know that at least I gave my all
and it is better 2 have loved and lost than 2 not love at all
In the morning I may wake 2 smile or maybe 2 cry
but first 2 those of my past I must say goodbye.
Image Via Medium
“The Power Of A Smile”
“The power of a gun can kill and the power of Fire can Burn
The power of wind can chill and the power of the mind can learn
The power of anger can rage inside until it tears u apart
But the Power of a Smile especially yours can heal a frozen Heart”
Featured Image Via ABC News