||An engrossing eyewitness account of slain rapper Tupac Shakur's formative years, written by his close friend from high school.
A legend after a bullet killed him at the age of twenty-five, Tupac Shakur was the most riveting rap musician of his day. Far from being the insolent "gangsta" the press put forth, Shakur was fiercely intelligent, fearless, and determined to make a mark. Darrin Bastfield grew up with him in a rough Baltimore neighborhood. In this vivid memoir, Bastfield reveals Tupac Shakur as the teenager he really was: bound for greatness.
In tight, edgy prose, Bastfield recalls seven years of friendship. Shakur, new in town, a skinny thirteen-year-old in shabby clothes, may have looked uncool, but he blew the school away at a talent show, an electrifying performance. It was at the Baltimore School for the Arts, however, where things really started to happen-an encounter with Salt-N-Pepa, the wild night of the 1988 senior prom. Shakur and Bastfield lived through it together, and in this memoir, it all comes alive again.
||The rap star Tupac Shakur, who was murdered in 1996, has been the subject of numerous reminiscences from friends and music colleagues. But, in BACK IN THE DAY, Darrin Keith Bastfield remembers the teenage Tupac of the years before fame beckoned, at Baltimore School for the Arts. Recalling the young rapper's remarkable gifts, as well as his outcast status in the community, Bastfield, now a writer and music talent manager, paints an evocative, nuanced picture of life in a black Baltimore neighborhood, its poverty and its drug problems existing side-by-side with families just trying to get by. Tupac emerges as a driven, competitive teenager, constantly striving to produce better material than his competitors--he even, at one point, attempts to better Bastfield's eulogy for the author's dead girlfriend. Bastfield's masterly rendering of the early years of one of hip-hop's most cherished stars reveals the foundations of Shakur's talent, and vividly demonstrates the future star's energy and sheer charisma.