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on 7 March 2003
Michael Eric Dyson attempts to explain the deeper meaning between Tupac's life and work. The result is a dull and confusing book, which is hardly worth the time and certainly not worth the cost. Fistly, this is definately not a biography of Pac's life. Apart from his childhood, Dyson barely touches on the events of Tupac's life and death and he doesn't mention anything about Deathrow Records or Suge Knight. Instead he tries to express his own theories behind "Thug Life". This could have made absorbing reading as there is much one can read into Tupac's art. However, I found Dyson extremely pretentious, and the points he made were largely irrelevant and dull. He tried to prove his superior intellect by using long, complicated vocabulary, making each sentence imposible to understand. I went through whole chapters not knowing what the hell he was talking about. I certainly didn't get a better understanding of Tupac's mentality and beliefs, something as an ardent fan, I really wanted. I also found that at times he went over the top in his praise of Tupac. At one point he compared him to a messiah. I love Tupac, but I found some of this a little hard to swallow. Overall, I would say that this book is not worth reading as you are unlikely to gain anything from it. Personally, I am yet to find a really good Tupac biography, however I would recomend, to anybody who is interseted in Deathrow Records and west coast gangster rap in general, to read "Have Gun Will Travel", which I found really absorbing.
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on 8 December 2001
At first I was doubtfull about reading yet another biography of the late rapper Tupac Shakur, I expected to find the usual infortmation about his childhood, the 95 shooting and his death. I was pleasntly suprised to find that it included lots of unusual information which even I didn't know. The book also included input from people who knew Tupac and people in the hip-hop industry such as his mother Afeni Shakur, Dr. Dre, Warren G, Ray J, Tray Dee and many more. This book is a must for anyone at all interested in Tupac.
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on 18 June 2004
The book was very slow to get started. The writer goes in to too much depth on certain issues, and it gets slightly baffling and confusing. This isn't the kind of book you want to pick up after a couple of drinks either, it will send you into a frenzy about your mental state after trying to work out what some of the words mean. To start with it takes a lot of time talking about Tupac's mum, but as a fan i want his life! Not the history of his family! If your incredibly smart and could say that Charles Dickens Great Expectations is your favourite book, you probaly wont want this book but will probaly undestand it better then the more moronic of us. Overall the book was way to heavy.
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on 28 December 2001
I really enjoyed this book despite the fact that i have read every 2pac book out there. This book covers new ground and doesn't repeat the same old tales you have heard in every other magazine article and book. Where it does cover the same stories it adds new insight to them.
This is the first book written by someone who seems to like tupac and actually seeks to uncover the true man behind the thug persona.
If there is one critisism then it is that the author tries to show of his own intelligence by going into subjects unrelated to Pac and apparantly using a thesaurus to find the biggest words possible to describe it. But for the most part it is an excellent book and the sidetracks the author takes are relevant.
If you love pac buy this and if you don't know pac and want to find out about him buy this!!!
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on 21 October 2007
I also found Dyson rather pretentious. I agree that he tries to demonstrate a superior intellect by using long, complicated vocabulary that leaves you reeling. I did actually get a better understanding of Tupac's mentality and beliefs but I found the book confusing. There were virtually no dates in the story, so it was hard to place the events. I agree that he goes too far in his praise of Tupac. It was a bit cringe-worthy in places. Well, quite a lot, really!
I think the trouble is that Dyson is writing in an academic way but the book cover tries to flog it as one that is accessible to all. I find it hard to believe that it was a bestseller (as it says on the jacket.)
Some fascinating bits in there - like the history of the 'n' word and the 'b' word but I'm now looking for a more straightforward biog on Tupac for my purposes (research).
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on 6 January 2002
This book looks in to detail of how tupacs upbringing and youth influenced his rhymes and later life.His relations with other figures in the industry,his death and the theorys of him remaining alive.It includes comments from Mos to Big syke and some of his closest people.It tries to understand more deeply about tupacs status before and after death,and his behaviour.The many tupacs such as the reflective side,hounarable and loyal sides,to the coast to coast battles.It attempts to break down tupac and his lyrics to get a true understanding of the greatest rap figure who ever lived.This is a great book set out well informative and well worth reading.5/5
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on 9 February 2015
arrived well before expected in PERFECT Condition. Such an incredible account on Tupacs life. Dyson intimately , delicately and critically explores all the themes which played into his life, offering deep psychological and sociological perspectives on the things which shaped his character. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend this to every person on this planet , even if you're not a Tupac fan this book contains societal life classes from which we can all benifit.
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on 25 October 2014
A great book, offering a detailed academic view on a music genre that influenced an entire generation. I recommend this book to anyone who thought that hip-hop would be just a phase or fad that would go away. All lovers of this art-form will love reading this book and how Dr Dyson portrays what hip-hop really means.
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on 11 January 2014
this book about Marvin Gaye was not what I expected the author went on about R Kelly for far too long
and not really about MG arts loves and demons very disappointed with this to be honest
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on 23 June 2014
This book provides intriguing reflections on Marvin Gaye's musical evolution in the context of the culture in which he lived and how it impacted his work and how his work impacted culture.
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