Inside A Thug's Heart Out May 4th     

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4/30/2004 9:45:48 PM
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Inside A Thug's Heart Out May 4th
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Tupac Shakur meant many things to many people. He was an artist, poet, MC, actor, hero and son. For first-time author Angela Ardis, the slain rapper was a friend.

Ardis chronicles her relationship with Shakur in "Inside a Thug's Heart" (Dafina Books).

Due in stores Tuesday (May 4), the book consists of a series of letters, poems and phone conversations Ardis and Shakur exchanged while he was imprisoned in New York.

Ardis says she hopes the book will show another dimension of the controversial star.

"It seems as if every birthday, every anniversary of his death, there's the same kind of media," she says. "The same connotation is put next to his name.

"There is nothing that shows the other side of him," she continues. "I realized that I had something that possibly could, and it wasn't necessarily my words telling you, 'This is who my friend was.' These are his words letting you see exactly who he was."

Shakur's mother, Afeni Shakur, and the Tupac Shakur estate have approved the book.

For Ardis, recalling her friendship with the rapper was an emotional process.

"It was more overwhelming going back over the letters and putting this all together than it was when I was actually going through it," Ardis admits. "It let me know how deep really was.

"I'm one of those people who believe in things happening for a reason," she adds. "I felt like there was much more of a connection, looking back through those letters and his responses to my letters. There was this longing and vulnerability that he just showed at that time."

According to Ardis, there are various projects in the works as a result of the book's publication, though she declined to comment on them further.

She did, however, hint at the possibility of an accompanying soundtrack that would feature artists of various musical genres paying tribute to Shakur

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