2Pac’s Poetry


In honor of the beginning of Black History Month, I’ve decided to use my blog as a moment to show some great works of an African American Poet. The poet’s name: Tupac Shakur. 


                        Though before I start, there’s a story behind this blog. 

I was in seventh grade and my teacher was making the class draw names from a hat so we can all do research on some less known figures in Black History.  Everyone was getting upset because they didn’t like that the people, they were researching were all the way back in the day.  Personally, I was like, I wouldn’t mind if I got someone I never heard of before, it would make it more fun researching them.  So, when it finally gets to me, literally the last person, everyone jumps at me because I got someone no one would expect: Tupac Shakur.                                                                                                                                                   It was so loud in the classroom as everyone yelled things like, “That’s not fair Mrs. Spencer!”                                                                                                                                   “Tiara doesn’t even listen to Rap!” or “Tupac isn’t even part of Black History!”  Once my teacher heard those statements she stopped and turned to me, and she said, “What do you think Tiara, is Tupac part of Black History?”                                 I was stunned and didn’t know what to say.  Back then, I didn’t really know much about Tupac, I just knew that he was a rapper, he was shot, he created the song “All Eyez on Me”, and that he had beef with Biggie Smalls.   I never considered that with a Rep like that he would be part of History.  So, I finally responded to my teacher: “I guess we’ll find out today.”                                              Now, for a little bit of context, this was an English class, and she was making us do Black Writers in history like Phillis Wheatley, Alice Walker, and Paul Laurence Dunbar for examples.                                                                                                  So, I went to ask my teacher, “Are you sure you want me to talk about Tupac’s raps?  Because I don’t think some of them are student friendly.”   And she turned to me with a smile and was like, “Tiara, some Rap can be Poetry and once you start doing your research, you’re going to learn that Tupac was a Poet.” 

Then she sent me on my way and my research began: 

𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔯𝔬𝔰𝔢 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔤𝔯𝔢𝔴 𝔣𝔯𝔬𝔪 𝔠𝔬𝔫𝔠𝔯𝔢𝔱𝔢 

by: Tupac Shakur 

Did you hear about the rose that grew

from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature’s law is wrong it

learned to walk with out having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,

it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete

when no one else ever cared.

This was the first poem that popped up when I searched for it.  It didn’t really make such a big impact on me at first because I wasn’t really a poetry person back then and it just was words to me at first glance if you know what I mean, but the assignment was to analyze the meaning of the poem and explain what you took from it.  I would explain what I got from it, but I’m just going to let y’all tell me in the comments maybe.                                                                                    On that note, I don’t remember what I put for the meaning, but this website called Haener Block, explains: “The poem represents the ways that someone can become something great coming from a place that’s not recognized as great.  In this poem he uses a rose, something that’s recognized as beautiful, even with its imperfections.”                                                                                                                      This sounds about like what I had, but a little bit more spiced up. 

𝑰𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒚 𝒅𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒆 

by: Tupac Shakur 

In the event of my Demise

when my heart can beat no more

I Hope I Die For A Principle

or A Belief that I had Lived 4

I will die Before My Time

Because I feel the shadow’s Depth

so much I wanted 2 accomplish

before I reached my Death


I have come 2 grips with the possibility

and wiped the last tear from My eyes

I Loved All who were Positive

In the event of my Demise

Tupac was really getting deep with his poetry and this title is so sad but cool because it fits the way he used to speak.  Also, this poem seemed like a conspiracy theory for many people because he was literally like he will die before his time and during my research I learned that in some songs he said he was going to die young, so I was like, “Did he know?   Was he predicting his death?”  Anyway, we’re not going to get into that right now.                                         I picked this poem for the “Attention Grabbing and Meaningful” part of the project because it stood out to me a lot.  Like previously, I don’t really remember how I analyzed these, but the Allpoety.com quotes that Tupac said, “I composed ‘In the Event of My Demise’ on the very day that I was diagnosed with H.I.V.   I contracted H.I.V. from a medical accident while working as a Navy Corpsman at Lemoore Naval Hospital. On that day I felt like I needed to evaluate my life and write my will and testament.”  

I didn’t have that at all, but his actual words make a better analysis. 

ʟɪʙᴇʀᴛʏ ɴᴇᴇᴅꜱ ɢʟᴀꜱꜱᴇꜱ

By Tupac Shakur 

excuse me but lady liberty needs glasses

and so does mrs justice by her side

both the broads r blind as bats

stumbling thru the system

justice bumbed into mutulu and

trippin on geronimo pratt

but stepped right over oliver

and his crooked partner ronnie


justice stubbed her big toe on mandela

and liberty was misquoted by the indians

slavery was a learning phase

forgotten with out a verdict

while justice is on a rampage

4 endangered surviving black males

i mean really if anyone really valued life

and cared about the masses

theyd take em both 2 pen optical

and get 2 pair of glasses

The first time I read this poem I remember one of my classmates telling me that this poem could make some great bars.  I also remember that at the time that I didn’t know what bars were, so I just agreed.   Looking at this now and reading it, I do agree that this would have made an interesting rap, especially with Tupac’s style.   I didn’t have to analyze this one, it just needed to be included into the project but if I could take a guess now of what it’s about, I would say: Tupac did explain how his parents were part of the Black Panthers and fought against injustice and he did gain a lot of his values from them.  This poem probably could have been inspired by their example and his own experiences of how the world treated races and other ethnicities that weren’t white poorly and unfairly during most of history.   I see that when he gives prominent figures and examples from history in the poem. 
Also, I see that the main point he’s making is that America is supposed to represent freedom and liberty, but it seems that they aren’t acting on what they represent, they turn a blind eye to how the world is really treating their citizens.                                                                                                                                         When looking it up on AllPoetry.com it states that Tupac’s meaning for it was: “Lady Liberty would rather put a black man in prison for selling drugs to feed his family because the same system won’t give him a job, but she could overlook the white man who is beating the mess out of his wife.  The glasses are metaphors for the system’s ability to see and omit what they want.” 

Last but not least we have: 

𝓦𝓱𝓮𝓷 𝓤𝓻𝓮 𝓗𝓮𝓻𝓸 𝓕𝓪𝓵𝓵𝓼 

when your hero falls from grace

all fairy tales r uncovered

myths exposed and pain magnified

the greatest pain discovered

u taught me 2 be strong

but im confused 2 c u so weak

u said never 2 give up

and it hurts 2 c u welcome defeat


when ure hero falls so do the stars

and so does the perception of tomorrow

without my hero there is only

me alone 2 deal with my sorrow

your heart ceases 2 work

and your soul is not happy at all

what r u expected 2 do

when ure only hero falls

I didn’t have to decipher this poem, but I did have to pick a poem that had deep and relatable meaning to me.   

The day I presented this project, this was the last thing I had to explain and recite; the class got sad and quiet when I told them this made me think about my grandmother and mother.  I hated the days when I had to see them struggle with either money or their health but still made sure that everyone was good while even smothered in sadness.  We couldn’t tell that the days when they made sure my siblings and I ate before them were the days they also couldn’t feed themselves.  They were our heroes, and your heroes usually don’t want to reveal their weaknesses.                                                                                                               So yeah, this was a lot of my journey while digging into Tupac’s contribution to Black Artist History.  He used his music and poetry to advocate for the Black community and become a voice for them.  His image was also a symbol of resistance and struggle against oppression.   Again, his poems are beautiful, and they reveal new things to me about his beliefs and his style every time I read them and there’s many more that I didn’t cover, and you all should check them out.  

Author: Tiara Jones

This is Tiara J and I love reading and writing Mystery and Thriller. "Blood Will Tell" is one of my favorite novels and "Law and Order" is my go to binge. I’m not dark, I just write for the shy little girl years behind me while also obsessing over R.L Stine. Favorite Quote: “ I always wanted to be funny. I never really planned to be scary.” -R.L. Stine

4 thoughts on “2Pac’s Poetry”

  1. People don’t really talk about how much of an artist Tupac really was even though I think it’s pretty evident in his music. His artisy is often overlooked by his death. Also fun fact he went to an art school in Baltimore.

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