The Theme Of World Problems In Tupac's Songs

Tupac changed the rap game severely with his music. He gave us listeners a brilliant perspective on many problems around the world but in this specific song “Changes” he gives us splendid examples of why living as an African-american in the 90’s was difficult. Tupac wanted changes in society as he found it unfair and he explains why in the song. He gives a perfect example as he talks about how a cop kills an African-american and he’s still considered a hero, he was clearly upset about this and he makes it clear that he hated living as an African-american because they were portrayed as criminals.

Tupac to this day is considered a legend. Tupac was urged to make this song as he found the need to elaborate on what African-Americans had to go through. He was seeking justice and before the making of this song it’s clear he didn’t see any coming. This is shown in the beginning of the song when Tupac says “I see no changes”. Tupac was referring to the Civil Rights Movement that took place in the 50’s-60’s which occured to encourage equality and social justice and discourage poverty and racism. However this movement didn’t seem to make a difference as Tupac recorded the song 30 years later where racism was still a problem.

Tupac links poverty and crime together in the song multiple times, for instance he links the fact that he’s african-american with poverty when he says “I’m tired of being poor, and even worse I’m black”. Tupac then links this with another line as he says “My stomach hurts so I’m looking for a purse to snatch” I find it unique how Tupac links crime and poverty together in this line. He mentioned the main issues that African-American’s had to face and he makes it clear that the issues are linked together.

Tupac explains how police violence is a racial issue by saying “Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a nibba, he’s a hero.” He continues a few lines later when he says, “I got love for my brother, however we can not go anywhere unless we share with each other. We gotta start making’ changes.” In this line he’s trying to say that if the african-american community comes together rather than fighting, they can make changes to society. He’s trying to imply that they should solve the problems they are facing together.

He also brings kids into the picture when he says “Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares, One less hungry mouth on the welfare, First ship ‘em dope, and let ‘em deal the brothers”. I think by this, he means that kids grow up learning bad ways and therefore they struggle to deal with social problems like the poverty that they had to go through. He links poverty with crime in these stanzas, specifically where he makes two points into one when he says “Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares, One less hungry mouth on the welfare”. He’s trying to say because of poverty, the kids had to deal with drugs in order for them to have a meal or to make a living, they were taught young and in my opinion it wasn’t their fault.

In the second verse, Tupac talks about how he sees no changes and all he sees is racist faces, he also links the points of poverty and crime together and this time he groups it in a way that he’s trying to point out the fact that this revolved around African-americans when he said “We ain't ready, to see a black President, uhh, It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact, the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks, But some things will never change try to show another way but you stayin' in the dope game, Now tell me what's a mother to do, bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you, You gotta operate the easy way, 'I made a G today' But you made it in a sleazy way sellin' crack to the kid. ' I gotta get paid,', Well hey, well that's the way it is”. I think what Tupac was trying to say here is because of poverty, the african-american’s were shoved in penitentiary’s as they were probably selling crack. He’s also clearly upset about the fact that african-american’s couldn’t make G’s (a G is a term used for a friend in the rap community) with kids in a way other than selling crack.

In the bridge of the song, Tupac leads us into these lyrics “We gotta make a change... It's time for us as people to start makin' some changes. Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live and let's change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do what we gotta do, to survive”. Through these lyrics, I think Tupac was letting the unfortunate in on how to survive, their acts of drug dealing and theft was pointless to them as it wasn’t improving but more or less threatening their lives as african-americans, especially that racism was a severe problem.

Going back to the first verse, Tupac mentions somebody named Huey where he says “give 'em guns step back watch 'em kill each other, It's time to fight back that's what Huey said, 2 shots in the dark now Huey's dead”.In this occasion I think he was referring to gang violence as he was trying to express how easy it was for people to buy guns and kill each other over simple misunderstandings that could’ve been solved so easily. Huey was someone that wished to fight and he got killed in the dark. Tupac is trying to show how irrelevant hatred is when all they could’ve done was talk it through or make changes.

To this day I personally feel like racism and poverty are still issues, but I think they aren’t as harsh as back in the 90’s, it has reduced, so that’s fabulous, however I don’t see a point for them to still make an appearance in our society and I personally would want them banished as it simply isn’t fair to discriminate others in any way. 

16 December 2021
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