Today, my wandering led me to a site called Old Poetry where I was surprised to find a page dedicated to the late rapper Tupac Shakur. I’m a fan of his music (well some of it anyway) and I remember the day they announced his death. It was September 13, 1996. I was 12.
While I’ve heard most of the songs that have been released, I’d never gotten the chance to read his poetry. I think that of what I read, the two I like the most are “Liberty needs glasses” and “The Rose that grew from Concrete”.
“Liberty…” makes my inner grammar nazi twitch. But I do admire the mind behind the words. The history, the social commentary, and the straightforward language are what draws me to this poem.
Liberty needs Glasses by Tupac Shakur
excuse me but lady liberty needs glasses
and so does mrs justice by her side
both the broads r blind as bats
stumbling thru the system
justice bumbed into mutulu and
trippin on geronimo pratt
but stepped right over oliver
and his crooked partner ronnie
justice stubbed her big toe on mandela
and liberty was misquoted by the indians
slavery was a learning phase
forgotten with out a verdict
while justice is on a rampage
4 endangered surviving black males
i mean really if anyone really valued life
and cared about the masses
theyd take em both 2 pen optical
and get 2 pair of glasses