The Legacy of Tupac Shakur

by Ben Ehrenreich

Upon first glance, Jamal Joseph's Tupac Shakur biography Legacy looks like a masterpiece.


Legacy is much bigger than the average novel, and includes numerous cutouts and inserts reminiscent of an exciting children’s book. There are very few MCs who have the type of “legacy” Tupac has left behind, which makes his story that much more intriguing. I am a huge Tupac fan and was eager to see the method behind those introspective lyrics.


But instead of receiving insight into the recording process of one of hip-hop’s greats, Legacy instead focuses on the life of Tupac’s mother and Tupac’s extracurricular activities outside of hip-hop. The inserts also serve more as ambience instead of for informational purposes, as they include letters to judges and parts of scripts Tupac wrote. While these artifacts themselves are interesting, the actual information included on them is not.

This is a very well-presented biography, but in the end it’s mostly style and very little substance. It also doesn’t help that the majority of the information in this book is mostly well-known facts.


is redeemed in that it includes many great photos of Tupac throughout his life, in addition to the overall ambience. It ends up being a collector’s item, like the Beatles’ giant Anthology book, instead of a reference guide.

As a hip-hop fan, Legacy offered me very little. But if you’re a Tupac fan, this will probably be a must own.

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