“His life had been a series of new addresses, hunger pangs, political meetings, and scary questions from FBI agents. Since early childhood, he had fought to survive.” — TUPAC SHAKUR: The Life of An American Icon
“Hip-hop’s greatest gifts and its heaviest burden-is its legacy of urban mythology. It will be remembered as that bittersweet moment when young black men captured the ears of America and defined themselves on their own terms… In doing so, they raised a defiant middle finger to a history that shamed them with slavery, misrepresented them as coons and criminals, and co-opted the best of their culture.” — Joan Morgan, Vibe Magazine
*On September 13, 1996, an unknown assailant in Las Vegas, Nevada gunned down Tupac Amaru Shakur, one of the most high profile, controversial, and multi-talented recording artists of his day. He was twenty-five.
Tupac Shakur: The Life and Times of an American Icon (Da Capo Press; February 2010) is a critical, incisive, and unauthorized biography that examines Tupac’s rise to success, untimely end, and impact on hip-hop culture.
Tayannah McQuillar, author of When Rap Music Had a Conscience, and Dr. Fred Johnson, a Professor of history, team up for this unique, all-encompassing approach to Tupac’s extraordinary life story.
It begins with his family history, detailing his journey through a childhood of parental neglect and poverty and revealing the ultimate discovery of his artistic talents.
The book then charts his rise to domination of the 1990s rap world. The authors look at the urban hero who inspired millions with his daring, benevolent lyrics, as well as the changed man who later emerged when his music transitioned from social-conscience to gangsta rap.
In these pages are secrets even Tupac’s most die-hard fans do not know:
* Details of Tupac’s marriage to Keisha Morris and why they broke up
* Details about Tupac’s relationship with his biological sister Sekiywa
* Why the T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. movement was the worst idea that Tupac ever had
Tupac’s early end brought an abrupt conclusion to an era of social and political critique through rapping, but his music retains its popularity with five posthumous albums and eight Top-Ten Billboard singles since his death. Millions of die-hard fans continue to clamor for books and documentaries that may reveal more about the man, his music, and his still-mysterious death-this passionate biography will further that discourse.
Kate Kazeniac Burke
Associate Publicity Director, Da Capo Press