Tupac Shakur: The Authorized Biography

Books on Tape. Oct. 2023. 14:07 hrs. ISBN 9780593150351. $95. BIOG
Screenwriter and producer Robinson (Interceptions; Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur) met Tupac Shakur while in high school in Marin City, CA; the two stayed in touch until Shakur’s death at the age of 25 in 1996. Shakur’s mother, activist Afeni Shakur, later provided Robinson with access to Shakur’s papers, letters, and notebooks and asked her to write this authorized biography. Robinson conducted a myriad of interviews with those who knew Shakur best and culled his diaries and personal letters to tell this intimate story. Robinson provides a sincere and engaging reading of her introduction, while Jamal Joseph serves as the audiobook’s primary narrator. Joseph guides listeners through Shakur’s family history with a measured, somber approach, describing the circumstances that led him to pursue the stage, write and record his music, and take on memorable film roles. Joseph’s careful retelling of Tupac and Afeni’s complicated mother-son relationship provides insight into the forces that empowered Shakur to craft lyrics that would inspire others to resist oppression and speak their truths for decades to come.
VERDICT A captivating portrait of a rap icon who inspired artists and activists alike.
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