Changes is a song from Tupac Shakur, who is arguably one of the greatest rappers of all times. I choose this song because it was the first song I have heard that had an impact on me when I listened to it. The lyrics are very powerful and true, It shows what he was going through at the time and he expresses it through music.
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Changes was recorded in 1992, and was later re-mixed in 1998 after Tupac’s death in 1996, as part of the album Greatest Hits. The song is one of his major successes and reached the top positions in the charts of several countries, including The Netherlands, Norway, UK and US. Tupac’s song was very successful because he was a story teller as he wrote his music and the song makes references to the war on drugs, the treatment of black people by police at the time, and racism. Using historical, social, and textual analysis, I will show that the song’s goal is to influence people to understand what he goes through and why it’s wrong.
Rap is a form of expression mainly used by African-American to express themselves over topics that matters to everyday life. Rap as a form of music has transformed through many stages from old school to modern hip pop. In this song many subjects concerning African Americans injustices are being conveyed. Tupac seems to be trying to express the idea that changes needs to be made to therefore stop poverty and racism that African-American are facing every day. It is called Changes for numerous of reasons. Tupac starts the song by stating “I see no changes”. He is possibly referring to the changes that were brought after the African-American Civil Right Movement, during the 50’s and 60’s. Tupac first talks about how social issues are link together he makes a comparison between his skin color and being poor “I’m tired of bein’ poor and even worse I’m black.” Then he explains how poverty causes crime “My stomach hurts, so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch.” And finally, he shows the relationship between police brutality and race “Cops give a damn about a negro Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he’s a hero.” Tupac makes interesting observation on why African-American communities have trouble dealing with these social problems just as he says in a line of his song. “First ship em dope and let em deal the brothers. Give em guns, step back, and watch em kill each other.” His observation could be interpreted as a conspiracy into eliminating or significantly diminish the African-American population in the United States of America.
I believe Tupac deserves more credit for what he has done and changed. He created his own category of music. Many rappers can rap and rhyme, but to me I have never heard someone be so influential in their music. He told a story and people were very interested in is story and what he was going through. He tried to do the right thing and bring positive energy to the world. He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Still to this day many believe he is the alpha of all rappers and he proved it by selling the most records anyone as ever sold before.
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