Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996) was an American rap artist, actor, and social activist. More than seventy-five million of his albums have sold worldwide, making him one of the bestselling music artists in the world. Rolling Stone magazine named him the 86th Greatest Artist of All Time.
Shakur also gained notoriety for his conflicts with the law and time spent in prison.
Most of Tupac's songs are about growing up amid violence and hardship in ghettos, racism, other social problems, and conflicts with other rappers during the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop rivalry.
In September 1996, after attending a boxing match in Las Vegas, Shakur was shot four times and died several days later.
Shakur's double album, All Eyez on Me, is one of the highest-selling rap albums of all time, with more than five million copies of the album sold in the United States alone. A Vibe magazine poll in 2004 rated Shakur ''the greatest rapper of all time'' as voted by fans. In 2010, he was inducted to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry.
More than a decade after his murder, Tupac Shakur is even more loved, contested, and celebrated than he was in life. His posthumously released albums, poetry, and motion pictures have catapulted him into the upper echelon of American cultural icons. In Holler If You Hear Me, ''hip-hop intellectual'' Michael Eric Dyson, acclaimed author of the bestselling Is Bill Cosby Right?, offers a wholly original way of looking at Tupac that will thrill those who already love the artist and enlighten those who want to understand him.
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MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, is the author of more than fifteen books, including April 4, 1968, Is Bill Cosby Right?, Presidential Race, and I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. He is currently a professor of sociology at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, DC.Review:
''Among the young black intellectuals to emerge since the demise of the civil rights movement . . . [Dyson is] undoubtedly the most insightful and thought-provoking.'' -- Manning Marable, author of Malcolm X
''This book should be an instant classic--not because it is above criticism, but rather because it provides the most profound analysis of the significance of Tupac Shakur and the most sophisticated understanding of the complexity of today's hip-hop culture and the plight of its major creators--black young people.''-- Cornel West, New York Times bestselling author
''At last, one of our most talented critics and writers, Michael Eric Dyson, explains the myth and meaning of Tupac. Holler If You Hear Me is a riveting read that brings together the wisdom of people who knew, loved, and thought about his lost talent. Miss this book and you'll lose a chance to understand the enduring creativity and power of black youth, those roses that grow from concrete and that flower in even the most harrowing circumstances.'' --Quincy Jones, composer and producer
''Without question, Michael Eric Dyson is among the most dynamic teachers that I have ever met. His insights are deeply rooted in an understanding of history, and our people's place in it, as is abundantly clear in Holler If You Hear Me. These qualities appear in all of his writing, which not only make his work enjoyable but vital. He is remarkably informed and equally approachable. And on top of that, he ain't no square. You gotta love that.'' -- Mos Def, rap artist
''Such is the genius of Dyson. He flows freely from the profound to the profane, from popular culture to classical literature.'' -- Washington Post
''Paints a nuanced picture of his subject while illuminating the effect hip-hop has had on America.'' --New Yorker
''Riffs with speed, eloquence, bawdy humor, and startling truths that have the effect of hitting you like a Mack truck.'' -- San Francisco Examiner
''A major American thinker and cultural critic.'' -- Philadelphia Inquirer
''More than a music bio, the book will draw the attention of socially conscious readers who are interested in how hip-hop affects society.'' -- Publishers Weekly
''[A] well-written, intelligent, and energetically investigative work.'' -- Library Journal
''In literate and streetwise style, Dyson describes and dissects Shakur's world . . . Piquant and analytical, Dyson's is arguably the best 2pac bio 2 date.'' --Booklist
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