Tupac Shakur “Changes” Alexis S Whaley Keiser University Tupac Shakur was more than just an artist, rapper, or thug, he was a poet who inspired many young people of his time to take a stand. He used music as a tool to educate and speak awareness to low-income poverty-stricken neighborhoods. His words are still very influential and inspiring to many young and elderly people not just in America but throughout the world.
Tupac’s song “Changes” is one of his most popular songs speaks very deep of racism and poverty in America. He starts the song tackling African American social issues. In Tupac Shakur’s first verse he starts his rap off very strong and gets right to the point; “I see no changes wake up in the morning and I ask myself is life worth living should I blast myself? I’m tired of bein’ poor & even worse I’m black my stomach hurts so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch Cops give a damn about a negro pull the trigger kill a nigga he’s a hero Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares one less hungry mouth on the welfare” (Tupac Shakur, 1998) This verse illustrates how low-income poverty-stricken families and people of color are not given as many opportunities to do right so instead they divert to being criminals just to get by how certain social issues are linked together.
He relates his skin color with being poor, he explains how poverty leads to crime and signifies the relationship between police brutality and race. This shows how hard life is to be an underprivileged person of color in the United States, with a kindness on issues with police cruelty. Tupac explains how he feels after waking up in the morning contemplating suicide, thinking should he kill himself? he is tired of the fight and struggles an being a poor underprivileged black man in America does not help. He tries to explain that even the police who take a vow to protect and serve turn the other cheek not caring the slightest, but if they shoot a black person they are called a hero.
Drug dealing, theft, and poverty are the main topics in Tupac’s music referring to rough neighborhoods that give little to no opportunities to improve quality of life. In Tupac Shakur’s rap, uses poetic devices to express his ideas on discrimination, the importance of unity, and to represent or correlate time. Throughout the rap the phrase ” I see no changes” and “That’s just the way it is Things’ll never be the same That’s just the way it is is aww yeah” repeated several times at the start of lines and in the chorus or bridge, this is referred to as an anaphora. Tupac rhymes often in his rap, the use of matching sound patterns in two or more words. “Don’t let ’em jack you up, back you up Crack you up and pimp-smack you up” (Tupac Shakur,1998). Tupac imitates a gunshot in one of the verses by the use of an Onomatopoeia the formation and use of words to imitate sounds, “Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat!” That’s the way it is” (Tupac Shakur, 1998).
The chorus is the ballad it is originally made to be sung as heard in the chorus or bridge of the rap, “That’s just the way it is Things’ll never be the same That’s just the way it is Aww yeah” (Tupac Shakur,1998) Tupac repeats throughout the song that he sees no changes and hopes one day we can all unite as one and without change things will always be the same with judgement before help and death before your time he truly wanted to see his people rise and make a change. An allusion is a reference to another text, famous person, event, etc. Tupac uses this in the phrase “It’s time to fight back, that’s what Huey said. Two shots in the dark, now Huey’s dead” (Tupac Shakur, 1998) Free Verse is when there is no identifiable rhyme, tone or meter this is used in Tupac’s inspirational speech made in the middle of the rap, “We gotta make a change It’s time for us as a people to start making 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” (Tupac Shakur, 1998). The meaning irony is the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of the literal meaning “Give the crack to the kids, who the hell cares? One less hungry mouth on the welfare” (Tupac Shakur, 1998). Tupac was famous for his metaphors and how he used them in his music. In this metaphor he speaks of the devil and of an inspirational African American leader of the black panthers who was gunned down for having a voice for all his people, a metaphor is a figure of speech that describes a subject or idea by asserting that it is the same point of comparison or meaning, the same as the other “Devil take a brother” “It’s time to fight back, that’s what Huey said.
Two shots in the dark, now Huey’s dead” (Tupac Shakur, 1998) When the people living in low-income neighborhoods had no one trying to inspire them to rise and take a stand, Tupac was their voice and tried to rise to the occasion to be the unelected leader for his people. Just like Martin Luther King Jr, Tupac Shakur tried to inspire his people to rise and be their best person but just like Martin Luther King Jr, Tupac Shakur was Fatally gunned down in Las Vegas NV in September 1996 he was 25 years old and just starting his career and future that was taken way before his time. References Shakur, T., Hornsby, B., & Evens, D.
(1998) Album, Greatest Hits ” Changes”. Retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=5517 Word Count: 967