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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (462 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Eric Dyson Narrator: Cary Hite Publisher: Buck 50 Productions Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9781470802950
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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.

*Produced by Buck 50 Productions

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Paints a nuanced picture of his subject while illuminating the effect hip-hop has had on America.”

    New Yorker

  • 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

  •  “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

  • Holler If You Hear Me not only analyzes the conflicted workings of a young man gone too soon but considers how Shakur’s life and spirit, in ways good and bad, continue to challenge popular culture and inform the world he left behind.”

    Boston Globe

  • “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

  • “In this elegantly written and extremely well-researched book, Dyson…helps To illuminate the internal struggles of Tupac that were manifested in such spectacular fashion. It is a sympathetic, but not sentimental, look at a young man who although only twenty-five years old when murdered left a legacy…that will undoubtedly live on for a lifetime.”

    Detroit Free Press

  • “An earnest attempt to explain the ever-growing appeal of ‘the black Elvis’ to fans’ parents, and even more so, to cultural critics and academics…It is worth reading.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “A well-written, intelligent, and energetically investigative work.”

    Library Journal

  • “[Dyson] makes a distinctly substantial contribution to deconstructing the mystique of Tupac Shakur…By focusing sincere academic attention on significant aspects of Tupac Shakur’s life and art, Dyson has provided an indispensable text for the university courses on Pac that have already cropped up nationwide.”

    Village Voice

  • “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

  • “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

  • “Perceptive, informative, and certainly timely.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mr. Paul | 1/25/2014

    " aghhhhhhh "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jae (Jazmine) Hansen | 1/5/2014

    " Wonderful book. Dyson shows the world who Tupac really was not only through music but also as an intellectual and pollitical figure. He exposed Tupac's passions and revived the positive meaning Pac put behind terms like T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. (The Hate U Give Little Infants F*cks Everyone)and N.I.G.G.A. (Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished)! Definite must read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kizzy Hunter | 1/5/2014

    " I was enlightened after reading this book about Tupac's postrevelutionary childhood. If you get an opportunity to read this book please do so. Tupac was ingenious and it's great how this book paints a vivid picture of his life and the relationship he had with his mother. This book was well-writtened and I was intrigued by Tupac's story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kevin | 1/1/2014

    " In what should probably be deemed more a critical life analysis than a biography, Dyson delves into the controversial life of slain rapper/actor Tupac Amaru Shakur and his influence in the world of hip hop. Dyson goes further to show how both Tupac and hip hop culture affect the world of the African American in modern day America. As much as I wanted to like this book going in, I was disappointed by what seemed like Dyson's idol worship of Tupac which nearly prevented him from presenting a single critical view of the rapper save for offhanded discussion of his rampant alcoholism and drug use. Much of the best insight into Tupac's character came not from Dyson's analysis, but from the interviews with several of Tupac's friends and partners such as rappers Mos Def and Snoop Dogg, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, and his mother Afeni Shakur. Many of these first-hand accounts of Tupac's life tend to be much more critical than Dyson could seemingly ever be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suvachi | 12/17/2013

    " This book is really, really hard to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 12/15/2013

    " Well written considering the subject matter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick Mecham | 11/19/2013

    " For those who don't know Tupac Shakur was a different person who did some regrettable things but also did some great things. This book helps to differentiate between the person that Tupac Shakur was portrayed to be by the media and the person that Tupac Shakur really was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pete | 10/16/2013

    " Dyson's best book in my opinion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yared Negussie | 9/19/2013

    " I read this book with great interest. I was amazed to find out how much book he read. His intelligence was always reflected in his music; however, to find out the source of that deep intelligence, his upbringing etc... was amazing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 aya | 9/2/2013

    " one of the worst books i have ever wasted my time on. first of all, barely about tupac. if michael dyson could create more nuanced and intelligent arguments, still could have been interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stevecernak | 8/14/2013

    " If you'd like to know what shaped Tupac Shakur's mind, this book is for you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Fox | 7/20/2013

    " a really amazing, honest exploration of what made the artist what he is. Forces us to listen to his struggles before we judge him.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J Lindner | 7/14/2013

    " insightful, well written, well-documented account of Tupac Shakur's life and legacy. makes me think i need to learn more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Surelis | 6/14/2013

    " I love Tupac!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thujetha Thedchanamoorthy | 6/13/2013

    " If you are searching for the answer on how Tupac's icon has stayed alive, even though he (maybe) is not, then this book might respond to your questions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Philip Overton | 3/25/2013

    " Very good book. A must read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cathy | 9/4/2012

    " This book was not so great. I didn't finish it. Did not do Tupac justice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian C. Green | 5/24/2012

    " Brilliant !For the serious fan and those oblivious to his music and message, this is a perfect introduction to the life and struggles and philosophies of Tupac Shakur and what he meant to the black community.Kudos to Michael Eric Dyson. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 12/5/2011

    " An important read if you are considering going into the K-12 field in education. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 GeckoEcho | 10/20/2011

    " More a book about MED than Tupac. Read and felt too "extra"... Extra-intellectualized. Over-analysed, felt very forced. If the subject wasn't Tupac, I'da given it half a star. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrew | 8/14/2011

    " meh. expected a lot more. seems extremely disorganized and his arguments are hard to follow. best things i got out of it were understanding tupac's background as the son of a revolutionary and how intelligent he was. but could have picked that up from wikipedia. "

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About the Author
Author Michael Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson, named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, is the author of sixteen 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.

About the Narrator

Cary Hite has performed in several theaters across the country as a cast member in the longest-running African American play in history, The Diary of Black Men. He also appeared in Edward II, Fences, Macbeth, Good Boys, Side Effects May Vary, and the indie feature The City Is Mine. He has voiced several projects for AudibleKids, including Souls Look Back in Wonder, From Slave Ship to Freedom Road, and Papa, Do You Love Me?