TUPACS’ SONG “CHANGES”
Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996) was a West Coast rapper. Rap and hip hop music was the music of the poor black. The theme within Tupacs’ music relates to tough Ghetto life experienced by the black community of America dominated by drugs murder and poverty . There was a strong hatred between West and East Coast rappers which resulted in numerous killings. Tupac was himself killed in 1996 by a shotgun wound.
The song “Changes” recorded by Tupac in 1992 is about the tough life experienced by Tupac. This song echoes Tupacs’ battles with drugs, poverty, racism and gang violence. During this time African Americans were also affected by the beating of Rodney King by the American Police Officers, which resulted in the Los Angeles Riots of 1992. Tupac like Dr Martin Luther King wants peace and tranquillity and therefore through the power words echoes out the message to the people to come together and make ‘changes’ by being united as a group.
His lyrics criticize, the capitalist system that divides America into the haves and have-nots: “I’m tired of being poor and even worse I’m black.
My stomach hurts, so I’m lookin for a purse to snatch.”
In ‘Changes’ Tupac speaks of the Black Panther Party leader Huey P Newton in the first stanza (lines9-10) “Two shots in the dark” In “Changes” he make use of basic slang terms such as “cops” and “crack” in the first stanza. Repetition and melodic rhythm is also employed by Tupac. This can be seen in the following lines taken from the chorus and first stanza respectively:
“Come on come on
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
“First ship 'em dope and let 'em deal to brothers.
Give 'em guns, step back, and watch 'em kill each other.”
The above stanza also employs imagery in which a picture of the black mans’ plight is created. The word nigger is used as a racial statement and not to intimidate: “Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he's a hero.” (stanza 1) The second stanza speaks ironically of a future that Tupc was not witness to but there is a forsight of issues faced by President Obama upon his election, he faced a lot of criticism for being black and having the surname Hussain indication of Muslim heritage
“we ain't ready to see a black President, uhh.
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact... “
Thus the purpose of the lyrics in “Changes” is to convey a message to the masses of racism faced by the black community, the need for equality and peace through unity. Therefore according to Tupac things will stay as they are for the black community unless they take steps for that change towards a better life. This can be seen in the third stanza in which Tupc says:
“It's time for us as a 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.”
a great deal of irony, with which Tupac effectively displays how the world deals with the problems of the streets. He says, “Give the crack to the kids, who the hell cares? One less hungry mouth on the welfare.”
“Devil take a brother” is at once both a religious allusion and a metaphor for death
The literary device of syntax is used to say that the black man no matter which gang he belongs to should unite: “But we can never go nowhere unless we share with each other We gotta start making changes
Learn to see me as a brother instead of 2 distant strangers
And that's how it's supposed to be
How can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me?”
Anaphoric reference of repetition is used by using the term...
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