- In-class writing
- The unclear message from Tupac
- “Changes” by Tupac Shakur is a hip-hop/rap song released in in 1998. The song is today considered as one of Tupac’s most famous rap-songs because of its deep and hidden content. At the first glance, the song may not make any sense at all because of the unusual use of words. The song is full of Tupac’s own experiences and emotions. The song is today one of the most popular songs written by Tupac. However, what is “Changes” truly about?
- The difficulties of living in the American-Ghetto are on of the main themes in the song. Tupac tries to explain to the listeners how hopeless the situation is for the people of the ghetto by using metaphors. “I'm tired of bein' poor & even worse I'm black
- my stomach hurts so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch.” This sentence tells us that Tupac is tired of being a victim of oppression. It is bad enough to be poor and white, but being poor and black under a racist oppressive system is even worse. Tupac also shares with us that he is too poor to survive and has to commit criminal actions (such as “snatching” a purse) in order to earn money and survive. He does not want to be criminal, but he got no choice.
- Throughout the song, Tupac’s expresses his feelings of how the Black community is being mistreated. An example of this is the sentence in the first verse which says the following: “Cops give a damn about a negro. Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he’s a hero”. The Black people consider the police as “enemies”. This is mostly because of bad associations from the past. Back in the 1960s, it was not uncommon that American police would beat up Afro-Americans or lock up innocents because they were black. “Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he’s a hero” is a reference to the racism in the 90s. If a police man shot a black man, he would be considered as a hero instead of a murderer or criminal.
- Tupac always had a negative attitude towards drug abuse and especially drug dealers in the Black community. This is illustrated in the lyrics a couple of times. An example is: “You gotta operate the easy way. I made a G today, but you made it in a sleazy way. Selling crack to the kids, “I gotta get paid”. Well hey, that’s just the way it is.” (G stands for “Grand” which means a thousand dollars in common urban-slang). Here Tupac tries to tell the drug dealers that they are taking advantage of young people who are addicted to drugs. He understands that people need to make money for obvious reasons. However Tupac means that it is wrong to sells drugs since it is utterly destructive to people’s lives. I believe Tupac is brining up a morality issue here. People don’t care about others, as long as they make money.
- As mentioned in the beginning, the song can be hard to analyze. The text may present itself as incomprehensible because of the slang and the use of metaphors. In this essay I have presented my thoughts about the different messages of this song. After analyzing the different metaphors and the language, I can conclude that racism, drug abuse and racial discrimination are the main themes of this song. Tupac tries to create an image to his listeners about how hard it is to be an Afro-American by expressing his feelings about various issues which are presented as metaphors. The purpose of the song is to convey a message to the people about racism, equality, peace and unity. “Changes” is truly and deserves to be one of the best rap songs made in history considering the quality of its unique text and the deep and meaningful message.
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