For most people the life of Tupac Shakur, symbolizes one of tremendous talent and tragedy. Where, he was gunned down in the prime of his career, because of a rival dispute that occurred with another record label and their artists. This was a part of the violent culture and image that he embraced. ("Rap Star Tupac Shakur Dies" 62 -- 64) As he had severed time in prison for: assault and sexual abuse. (Golus 76 -- 88) This is important because it shows the background and environment that Tupac was exposed to at an early age; would have an influence upon him. Despite these different challenges, he was able to take the emotions and experiences that would go through to create a host of songs as well as poetry. Two of the most notable include: the poem The Rose that Grew from Concrete and the album All Eyez On Me. This is important, because they show how Tupac's views would become more radical as time went by. To fully understand the impact of the various events on his life requires: comparing and contrasting the poem with his album. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insights, as to the overall issues and challenges that he would wrestle with throughout the course of his life.
Tupac's life was in constant turmoil, as would go from various challenges to tremendous highs. What happened was, he became influenced by the views of his parents (who were members of the Black Panther Party). In 1982, his father was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list for four years. However, despite these challenges Tupac had exhibited tremendous talents early on in life, where he would often perform in various choirs throughout New York City. Then, when his family moved to California, Tupac would become interested in poetry and would continue to peruse his passion of music. In 1988, this would help him to begin working with the rap group Digital Underground as a roadie. This is important, because it would mark the beginning of a brilliant music career and the host of personal problems (ranging from the lyrics in his music to constant struggles with the law). Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than the total amount of incidents that he was involved in between 1991 and 1994. Where, the rapper would attempt to sue the police and would be convicted of a rape (which sent him to prison for two years). In between, the rapper and his entourage would have a host of legal issues with the police (in various cities around the United States). However, his music career would continue to take off, as he would have Grammy award winning albums and receive notoriety as an actor. Yet, beneath it all, the demons of the past would continue to haunt Shakur, resulting in an ongoing dispute between his record label (Death Row Records) and East Coast Records. This is problematic, because the dispute between the two labels and the personalities involved would cause the situation to end in the tragic outcome of: September 23, 1996. (Golus 76 -- 88) What this shows, is how the life and music of Tupac Shakur would have an impact upon his future. Where, the two would often collide with one another, resulting in tremendous conflicts. This is important, because it shows how his music would be affecting his life and the events that are taking place. As a result, an examination of the poem the Roses that Grew from Concrete and the album All Eyze on Me will highlight this divergence that is occurring.
Compare and Contrast The Roes that Grew from Concrete to All Eyez on Me
When you look at the poem The Roses that Grew from Concrete, it is clear that Shakur is describing the harsh life that he would often face. Where, no one cared or was interested in what happened to him, much less if was alive. This feeling of isolation would cause Shakur to look at what was occurring and become hardened by the experience. As the felt that the only person he could count was himself. Despite these feelings, he would continue to overcome the odds to become successful. This is similar to the rose that grew from the sidewalk. In this aspect, Tupac would be the rose while society would the sidewalk that has forgotten him. Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than, the lyrics of the poem itself. Where, it says, "Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature's law is wrong it learned to walk without having feet. Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared." ("The Rose that Grew from the Concrete") This is significant, because it shows how the life and experiences that Shakur would go through would become a part of his writings and music. (Golus 76 -- 88)
The album All Eyez On Me was released in 1996 after Shakur was freed from prison. Where, Suge Knight (the producer of Death Row Records) would post the $1.4 million bond to let him out. The problem was that the legal expenses and the experience in prison would harden Shakur to the point, that he would no longer attempt to change his behavior. This meant that once he was free, he would become more standoffish and truculent (especially when it came to their rival East Coast Records). At the heart of this dispute, was the bad blood between Skakur and East Coast rapper Biggie Smalls. What happened was Tupac, would sing a duet on the album with Faith Evans (the wife of Biggie Smalls). At which point, he would let the world know that he and Faith Evans were having a sexual relationship (which Evans denies). Then, on the cover of the album he would make the traditional sign for Death Row Record or the West Coast Family (as they were commonly called). These two actions would cause the negative emotions between the two organizations to spiral out of control. (Golus 76 -- 88) This is significant, because the theme "me against the world" would become Tupac's focus, after he was released from prison (as he would accept a sense of indifference about his fate). A good example of this can be seen with comments that he would make to a San Francisco radio station before his death. Where, Shakur would say, "You know how they say, 'You've made your bed, now lie in it.' I tried to move. I can't move to no other bed. That is it." (Golus 76 -- 88) This is important, because it shows how the events that would occur to him in prison would harden his views on life. Evidence of this can be seen with the song No Pain with the lyrics. Where he sings, "My adversaries cry like hoes fully eradicate my foes. My lyrics explode on contact, gamin you hoes. Who else but Mama's only son, the phony niggaz. I'm the one, Say my name, watch bitches come, now fire when ready, stay watchin now figure, increase speed." ("No More Pain Lyrics") This is significant, because it shows the overall anger that Shakur would feel about society and the world around him. Where, he would use his lyrics as a way to express this anger, as it became more heated. At which point, he would no longer care about what people thought. Once this took place, it would mean that Tupac's personal and professional life would collide.
When you compare the poem and the album with each other, it is clear that they discuss the overall events as well as challenges that Shakur would face in his life. However, the underlying amounts of anger and frustration would be less in the writings he would complete before he went to prison. As he would discuss the injustices that were occurring in society and the frustrations that some people would have about what is taking place. This is different from the album that was released in 1996, as Shakur would be hardened by his experiences and no longer cared about what anyone thought of him. This lack of caring would help to increase the sense of indifference he would feel about upsetting his rivals. As the actions that he would take would bring this to the forefront. In many ways, one could argue that the album All Eyez On Me is a statement that he is making to the world. Where, he wants to show society and his fans that he is strong despite what happened to him. This is accomplished through, the lyrics and the statement that he would make about various artists as well as their wives. In this aspect, the overall tone of the lyrics is…