Vincent Bocchino College Writing I Prof. Fisher Music Interpretation Essay 12/3/2011 Changes by Tupac Millions of people in the world listen to music for all different reasons. Most people all over the world listen to different genres of music in order to relax, but not too many people pay attention to the actual lyrics of a song. If you listen to the lyrics of a song you will realize that many songs have important messages or themes to them. An example of this is the lyrics of the song “Changes” by Tupac Shakur.
If you listen to this song, you will realize that Tupac raps about not only the problems that African Americans face from society, but also the struggles that poor people in society have to endure and overcome. Many people in society can relate to this song and I personally believe the main theme and points in the song hold great truth to many people living in poverty in America today. The song “Changes” by Tupac Shakur is one of the rappers more famous songs. In this song, many subjects concerning African-Americans injustices are being conveyed.
Subjects like racial-profiling, poverty and racism affect the everyday life of African-Americans. In the song “Changes”, Tupac gives an inside look at the daily life of a poor African-American. Tupac seems to be trying to express the idea that changes needs to be made in order to put an end to poverty and racism that African-Americans face every day. Tupac also criticizes the dispersion of African-Americans over the idea to unite and overcome the poverty and racism they face. The song was titled “Changes” for numerous obvious reasons.
Tupac starts the song by stating “I see no changes”. He is possibly referring to the changes that were brought upon after the African-American Civil Right Movement during the 50’s and 60’s. The African-American Civil Rights Movement was supposed to bring an end to social issues like racism and poverty afflicting African-American population. However, in the song “Changes”, he states that he sees no changes even though laws are different. According to Tupac, the same social issues that concerned African-Americans before the Civil Right Movement are still relevant in society today.
Throughout the song, Tupac gives an inside look on the social problems affecting African-Americans and suggests possible solutions. In the first stanza of the song, Tupac first talks about how certain social issues are linked together; he makes a correlation between his skin color and being poor. Tupac says “I’m tired of bein’ poor and even worse I’m black. ” Then he explains how poverty causes crime by saying “My stomach hurts, so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch. ” And finally, he demonstrates the relationship between police brutality and race by saying “Cops give a damn about a negro?
Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he’s a hero. ” Following the links between the social issues, Tupac makes an interesting observation on why African-American communities have trouble dealing with these social problems. He says in the song “First ship ’em dope & 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 diminishing the African-American population in the United States of America. However, Tupac does not mention who is behind the plot.
Tupac suggests the solution of unity into solving the social issues that African-Americans are facing. According to Tupac, African-Americans should unite together to solve poverty, racism and violence. He shows this by saying “I got love for my brother, but we can never go nowhere unless we share with each other. We gotta start makin’ changes. ” In these two verses, it could be noticed that Tupac uses the pronoun “we” to represent unity among African-Americans. The importance of unity makes it possible for changing the ways to deal with these complex social issues.
A couple of verses further, Tupac makes the ultimate point that the unity for changes will not happen because there are too many individualistic people who are not willing to give up their personal interests to better blacks altogether. He describes this idea by saying, “Try to show another way, but they stayin’ in the dope game. ” This line shows the people have a choice but instead they choose the life of crime. This way blacks would not be able to change the social issues affecting them if some are not cooperating.
In the final stanza of the song it can be thought that Tupac was thinking to himself that since the majority of blacks aren’t willing to unite and make a change, that he has to go against the crowd himself and do what’s right for him as an individual to survive. I believe that the song “Changes” by Tupac is very relevant in society today. Many people might disagree with this and think that poor African Americans could do more than drugs to better themselves, however it’s not that easy. For example, Tupac explains how he has to sell drugs and steal people’s money in order to survive and find food.
Many people in society can disagree and fight this argument by saying that these African Americans can apply for jobs, but that won’t fix their problem in the short run. When a person steals money or sells drugs they are able to obtain a large amount of money in a very short amount of time. On the other hand, when somebody applies for a job they have to go through the whole interview and application process and once they get the job they will most likely be working long hours for minimum wage.
The solution that Tupac talks about is much more ideal and even necessary for immediate survival. If a person was to get a job, they wouldn’t see their first paycheck for approximately a month. In this time, poor African Americans still need to find a way to get money in order to get food and survive. Even if they were able to get a job, most people will still resort to the life of crime instead because in the life of crime they are making far more money than a paid job and the work is much easier.
Many people can argue against this, but when you are living as a poor African American it is hard to be guided to do the right thing for yourself, especially when many of these people have no parents or parents who are criminals and drug dealers themselves. A good example of this is my best friend Dave. When Dave was in 10th grade his father passed away from lung cancer and his mom turned into an alcoholic. He never had guidance throughout his life and thus never had motivation to do anything. This aused him to never care about his schoolwork and because of this he failed high school and couldn’t get his diploma. This can be directly related to poor African Americans. When these people have no guidance such as my friend Dave, they don’t correctly learn right from wrong and they don’t learn how to effectively provide for themselves. This is why many African Americans resort to the life of crime to get them by instead of trying to better themselves and better society as well. In conclusion, Tupac sent a strong message towards the African American community with his song “Changes”.
He effectively was able to describe the struggles and hardships that the average poor African American has to go through throughout life and he also effectively talked about how they need to unify as a race and change how they try and survive to benefit themselves and to benefit society more. He even went as far as to discuss how although his idea of unity would be ideal, that in reality it would be very hard to achieve and that it would be very hard for African Americans to change their ways.