An obvious change from traditional Broadway musicals which typically consist of revamped movies and classic screenplays, “Holler If Ya Hear Me” is the story of the trials and tribulations of a young Black man (Saul Williams) living in the inner city who was recently released from prison and is now in search of peace within himself. Although the story line isn’t a direct representation of Tupac’s life, it portrays similar racial and social injustices that he rapped about frequently during his career.
#TeamBeautiful got a chance to catch a preview performance of the production and I must say, I was utterly impressed and became more of a fan than ever before. The director, Kenny Leon (who is also credited with directing the latest adaptation of Broadway’s “A Raisin in the Sun” with Denzel Washington), and writer, Todd Kreidler, both did an amazing job of taking the lyrics from songs like “Hail Mary,” “Dear Mama” and the title track, “Holler If Ya Hear Me” and bringing them to life throughout the story.
Hearing Tupac’s words used as the script for the unjust, yet all too familiar urban scenarios portrayed in the musical gave me a much deeper understanding of the messages the late rapper delivered and allowed me to appreciate the poetry in his lyricism.
I will admit, I was hoping the musical would focus more on Tupac’s life, his career and the moments leading up to his untimely death, but I was impressed how Leon, Kreidler and Tupac’s mother, Afeni (who serves as the musical’s producer), were able to take the timeless lyrics and accurately relate them to the present day. “It’s a story about unconditional love that uplifts all of his [Tupac’s] words,” Kenny Leon told the New York Times.
If you’re looking for a biography of Pac’s life, then you’ll have to wait until an official biopic is released because this musical just isn’t that. It does, however, serve it’s purpose of being a story about friendship, revenge, change, family and hope and brings awareness to the reality of violence and gangs in the inner city — topics that Tupac was most passionate about. See a preview of the play in the video below and click here for even more sneak peeks of the show.
“Holler If Ya Hear Me” opens on June 19 in New York City at Broadway’s Palace Theatre. Will you check it out?
Check Out This Gallery Of Memorable Tupac Lyrics:
Tupac Birthday Tribute: Memorable Lyrics by Poet Tupac Shakur
1. Tupac Shakur
“I suffered through the years, and shed so many tears..Lord, I lost so many peers, and shed so many tears” – So Many Tears
2. Tupac Shakur
“When I talk about money all you see is the struggle. When I tell you I’m livin’ large, you tell me it’s trouble.” – I Ain’t Mad Atcha
3. Tupac Shakur
“Even though you was a crack fiend mama, you always was a Black queen mama.” – Dear Mama
4. Tupac Shakur P.Diddy
<p>“All I need in this life of sin, is me and my girlfriend.” – Me and My Girlfriend (Photo: Retna)</p>
5. Tupac Shakur
<p>“Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races we under. I wonder what it takes to make this one better place…let’s erase the wasted.” –Changes (Photo: Retna)</p>
6. Tupac Shakur
<p>“Just cause you’re in the ghetto doesn’t mean ya can’t grow. But oh, that’s a thought, my own revelation. Do whatever it takes to resist the temptation.” – Brenda’s Got a Baby (Photo: Retna)</p>
7. Tupac Shakur
<p>“They say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice – I say the darker the flesh, then the deeper the roots.” – Keep Ya Head Up (Photo: Retna)</p>
8. Tupac Shakur
“And everybody grieves, but still nobody sees. Recollect your thoughts don’t get caught up in the mix. Cause the media is full of dirty tricks. Only God can judge me” – Only God Can Judge Me
9. Tupac Shakur
<p>“No more hesitation each and every black male’s trapped. And they wonder why we suicidal runnin’ round strapped. Mista, po-lice, please try to see that it’s a million m*****f*****s stressin just like me. Only God can judge me” –Only God Can Judge Me (Photo: Retna)</p>
10. Tupac Shakur
“Done lost too many niggaz to this gangbangin” –Lord Knows
11. Tupac Shakur
“We gotta make a change…It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes. Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live and let’s change the way we treat each other. You see, the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do what we gotta do, to survive.” –Changes