Tupac Behind Bars

Prende. Jan. 2022. 112p. ISBN 9781592111374. $24.99. MUSIC
A former correctional officer at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY, Christopher discusses his relationship with Tupac Shakur, who spent nine months at the prison for felony sexual assault. Christopher (or, as Shakur called him, Mr. C) reflects on their interactions and budding friendship. Shakur and Christopher had similar interests and perspectives, and the author offers a personal glimpse into the life of the rapper, actor, and writer, with insight into how Shakur related to Christopher. Although there are some interesting stories of Shakur’s time in Clinton, the book is by no means an in-depth look into his stretch in prison, what many writers and biographers have labeled as a transformative time in the artist’s life. Christopher focuses on the relationship between prisoner and corrections officer, and the strength of the book lies in Christopher’s contemplations on what it means to work as a correctional officer in a maximum-security facility. However, the narrative at times is hard to follow, due in part to the writing and lack of strong editing.
VERDICT Die-hard fans of the artist might find the work entertaining, but most readers will want to give this one a pass.
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