the rose that grew from concrete


the rose that grew from concrete


  • a person who achieved greatness even though they came from a place not so great.
  • a great man from the ghetto.
  • succeeding amid life’s obstacles.
  • a person who overcame troubles and criticism and achieved something great.

Examples Sentences

  1. Ken performed well despite his poor background, much like the rose that grew from concrete.
  2. Our teacher is the rose that grew from concrete. He is devoted to teaching in a system that thinks less of him.
  3. Despite being badly beaten by the robbers, Ken still fought for his daughter like the rose that grew from concrete.


The phrase comes from a poetry collection by Tupac Shakur from 1989 to around 1991. Pocket Books published it posthumously in 1999. It has a preface by Afeni Shakur, his mother, Nikki Giovanni’s foreword; and an introduction by Leila Stenberg, his manager. While portraying the unnatural occurrence of the growth of a rose plant out of a concrete wall, he was trying to show how nature grows defiantly out of the confines of human structures. The famed American rapper used the poem to represent his life and how he emanated from a place meaningless to society. He portrays his neighborhood as a place only good at recreating messes without giving any nourishment or love to the people coming from it. He is the rose that seeks care and nutrition from the wild and still manages to make a better life for himself out of it. His hard upbringing fills him with imperfections, but he grows beautiful and prospers.

Share your opinions1 Opinion

It is to me a great expression, because on the one hand, the concept of “concrete” suggests the squalor and poverty of some urban areas, which is just as opposed to the refreshing and exiling scent of the rose, which brings about emotional life and the magnetic attraction of love.

‒ Marco Benincasa November 15, 2022

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