“What is fame? The advantage of being known by people of whom you yourself know nothing, and for whom you care as little.” –Lord Byron. In Tupac Shakur’s The Rose that Grew from Concrete, a collection of poems from his early life, he writes about anything from his many loves that he had as a kid to heavy poems about race and Malcolm X. The book exemplifies the talent of Shakur from a young age before he burst on the scene as a rapper and gives the reader a view into the softer side of Tupac. In Shakur’s poem “What of Fame?” he idealizes what fame will be like; his opinion differs from that of Rob Clark’s poem “Still People” where Clark focuses on what he believes the realities and possible downsides of fame are.
In the modern society fame and fortune get blown out of proportion. With all of the publicity and glamour that celebrities of this generation receive, society forgets that while they are famous, have money, and in most cases are better looking, celebrities are people too. They put their pants on one leg at a time like the rest of the population. Being people, celebrities still deal with every day problems. Especially if they are part of a family, family problems don’t go away no matter who the person is. Clark’s poem says this in line three where he writes, “Still dealin’ with everyday plights” this is directed towards people of fame earlier in the poem. These people in the spotlight can’t escape the one common denominator of humans, death. They can still get sick, hurt, be disliked, deal with an ass of a boss, have family issues, the list goes on forever because they are still people. Clark shows this by when he contends, “Still gotta play the game”, referring to life in general. “Still People” is Clark’s way of showing that while fame, fortune and money seem glamorous ideally, those things cannot release celebrities from the grips of everyday problems.
Secondly, being a fan of a famous person does not make the fan a friend of the famous person, nor does having someone be a fan of yours turn you into his or her friend. If that was the case, Beyoncé would have too many friends to count. Shakur says of fame, “Never again R u alone.” (Shakur 3). Clark would counter with his lines, “Sure they’re screamin’/Sure they know the face” (Clark 5-6). He later goes on to describe that while they are yelling the celebrity’s name and recognize the face they could still be going home alone and with no one to care for. Clark’s message is geared more toward the question: “Who cares whether or not they know you if they couldn’t care about you?” Maybe Shakur overlooked it, maybe fame was all he cared about.
Furthermore, being famous is great, but Shakur overlooks something important in his poem, love. In the book as a whole he writes extensively about love and his many love interests that he has had. ...