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Tupac Behind Bars - Michael Christopher


On March 8th, 1995, 2Pac Shakur, arguably the World’s greatest Rapper, arrived at the Clinton Correctional facility in Dannemora, New York, secured in shackles. Tupac walked with his eyes looking forward and his head hung low through the same hardened steel gates of the hundred- and fifty-year-old prison that men such as “Lucky” Luciano and John Gotti had passed through before him. Little has been written or said about Tupac Shakur’s time inside one of America’s most notorious prisons. He remained incarcerated for seven months until his unlikely release on bail on October 12th of the same year.

Tupac Behind Bars is a glimpse inside the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s tumultuous time in Dannemora. It marked an important period in his life, one during which he got married, met his self-professed biological father, and signed a deal with Death Row Records on a handwritten contract.

The author, Michael Christopher, was a career corrections officer in New York State who reached the rank of Lieutenant before his retirement after almost twenty-seven years of service. During the course of his duties, he had contact with tens of thousands of prisoners, including infamous inmates like David Berkowitz a.k.a. ‘The Son of Sam’ and Robert Chambers a.k.a. ‘The Preppy Killer’, but after more than three decades, the one that left him with a positive memory is Tupac Shakur. Tupac Behind Bars is Officer Christopher’s account of his personal encounters with the famous rapper at the Clinton Correctional Facility.

My review: I recently got into reading celebrity biographies. I've never really been a fan of Tupac but I knew enough about him to want to pick this book. He's portrayed in a very candid light by the author who was also his correctional officer, Michael Christopher. We don't often hear of friendships behind bars, but it was very enjoyable to see how the relationship between the two evolved during the short time Tupac was incarcerated. His personality emerges with the story and it makes him appear human, intelligent, and at times even emotional. Fans of Tupac should definitely add this title to their collection.

Imprint: Prende Publishing

112 pp., 6 x 9 in., illustrated

Hardcover

Date of Publication: January 18, 2022

ISBN 978-1-59211-137-4