Day 344: Grammy Museum

The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur

The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur

We took our trip to the Grammy Museum tonight and it was amazing. My wife and I scored tickets from Yelp as a perk for being part of their street team this summer. (Thanks, Yelp!)

The hour-long drive into L.A. was totally worth it since we got to explore the museum for an hour before the show. The second I learned there was a Tupac Shakur exhibition on the fourth floor, I knew where we were going first.

The exhibition featured some of Shakur’s original writings, including the poem, “The Rose That Grew From Concrete,” which was the title of his posthumous book of poetry. 2Pac was always an enigmatic figure: he was a brash hip hop figure, but also an introspective and intelligent young man. The exhibition did a good job of showing this more thoughtful side of him without denying his controversial side.

Afterwards we walked around the third and fourth floors, exploring different styles of music and learning the history. I could’ve easily spent hours here, but time was limited.

At 7:30pm, we went back to the second floor to the little theater for an Ukulele Beatles show. We’d seen Jake Shimabukuro last year and were blown away, so we thought tonight would be a nice little concert. It started off that way with Ryan Imamura, as the young man played some medleys and then individual Beatles songs. He was great, but then Ryo Montgomery took the stage and proceeded to rock the house.

Yes, he killed it with his ukulele. We were absolutely impressed, as was the rest of the audience.

Montgomery reminded us a lot of Shimabukuro; not only his otherworldly talent, but his stage presence. He was a natural up there and just owned it. He brought back Imamura for a few songs and they were awesome together. We loved how they ended the set with “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” using Shimabukuro’s famous arrangement.

It was a mind-blowing experience tonight, looking back at hip hop’s past before looking forward to the ukulele’s future.