Gangsta rapper Tupac Shakur’s The Rose That Grew from Concrete, a collection of rhymes he wrote when he was 19, made the summer reading list in Worcester, Massachusetts. It’s a collection of misspelled tripe writes columnist Michelle Malkin.
The presumption that children — and particularly inner-city children — can only be stimulated by the contemporary and familiar smacks of lazy elitism and latent racism. These educators, and I use that term as loosely as gangster rappers wear their pants, are clearly more interested in appearing cool than in inculcating a refined literary sense in students. Their aim is not enlightenment, but dumbed-down ghetto entertainment. So that teachers and pupils can “relate” and be “down with that.” So they can “keep it real.” You know what I’m sayin’?
. . . One poem is “Dedicated 2 Me.” Another is “Dedicated 2 My Heart.” There’s one “4 Nelson Mandela” and another “2 Marilyn Monroe,” which laments: “They could never understand what u set out 2 do instead they chose 2 ridicule u.” Another Shakur opus is titled “When Ure Hero Falls.” Still another muses: “What Is It That I [insert pictograph of an eyeball] Search 4.”
A dictionary, perhaps?
In riveting prose that presumably rivals Frost or Longfellow, Shakur brags that he is “more than u can handle” and “hotter than the wax from a candle.” Edgar Allan Poe had Annabel Lee. Shakur had Renee (“u were the one 2 reach into my heart”), April (“I want 2 c u”), Elizabeth (“the seas of our friendship R calm”), Michelle (“u and I have perfect hearts”), Carmen (“I wanted u more than I wanted me”), Marquita (“u were pure woman 2 me”), Irene (“I knew from the First glance that u would be hard 2 4get”), and Jada.