Black Entertainment : Analyzing "Changes" by Tupac

Discussion in 'Black Entertainment' started by Asomfwaa, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Asomfwaa

    Asomfwaa Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    3,399
    Likes Received:
    2,558
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +2,564
    Growing up in Brooklyn during a Tupac and Biggie feud, very naturally I appreciated Biggie more than Tupac. Yet, older, I see that neither are really that reputable. But I see that Tupac's music is much deeper and on the surface more conscious. So I call for its analysis. Below are the lyrics, the song, the video, and an overall summation of impressions. Please add on. I bold lines of expectations and underline lines of 'oppression' and number certain lines to fit with my overall.

    "Changes" [Not my bold]

    Come on come on
    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 and even worse I'm black.
    My stomach hurts, so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch.
    Cops give a **** about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a *****, he's a hero.
    Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares? One less hungry mouth on the welfare.
    First ship 'em dope & let 'em deal the brothers.
    Give 'em guns, step back, and 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. [1]
    I got love for my brother, but we can never go nowhere
    unless we share with each other. We gotta start makin' changes.
    Learn to see me as a brother 'stead 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?
    I'd love to go back to when we played as kids
    but things changed, and that's the way it is [2]

    [Bridge w/ changing ad libs]
    Come on come on
    That's just the way it is
    Things'll never be the same
    That's just the way it is
    aww yeah
    [Repeat]

    I see no changes. All I see is racist faces.
    Misplaced hate makes disgrace for races we under.
    I wonder what it takes to make this one better place...
    let's erase the wasted.
    Take the evil out the people, they'll be acting right.
    'Cause mo' black than white is smokin' crack tonight.
    And only time we chill is when we kill each other.
    It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other.
    And although it seems heaven sent,
    we ain't ready to see a black President, uhh. [3]
    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 they stayin' in the dope game.
    Now tell me what's a mother to do?
    Bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you. [4]
    You gotta operate the easy way.
    "I made a G today" But you made it in a sleazy way.
    Sellin' crack to the kids. "I gotta get paid,"
    Well hey, well that's the way it is.

    [Bridge]

    [Talking:]
    We gotta make a change...
    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.
    You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do
    what we gotta do, to survive. [5]

    And still I see no changes. Can't a brother get a little peace?
    There's war on the streets & the war in the Middle East.
    Instead of war on poverty,
    they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me.
    And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do.
    But now I'm back with the facts givin' 'em back to you.
    Don't let 'em jack you up, back you up, crack you up and pimp smack you up.
    You gotta learn to hold ya own.
    They get jealous when they see ya with ya mobile phone.
    But tell the cops they can't touch this.
    I don't trust this, when they try to rush I bust this.
    That's the sound of my tune. You say it ain't cool, but mama didn't raise no fool.
    And as long as I stay black, I gotta stay strapped & I never get to lay back. [6]
    'Cause I always got to worry 'bout the pay backs.
    Some buck that I roughed up way back... comin' back after all these years.
    Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat. That's the way it is. uhh

    [Bridge 'til fade:]
    Some things will never change​

    Overall: Though I showed a distaste for Biggie's drivel "One more Chance," I prefer it over this music. In Tupac's song here, he does a terrible act against African people the world over. He communicates a deplorable expectation on African people (see bold), especially in light of our "oppression" (see underline). So to speak, he communicates how Black men should behave given our conditions. Even going so far as to dismiss organization. See line [1].

    The other lines are excellent discussion points.

    [2] He resolves "That's the way it is" to how Black men should no longer interact positively.

    [3] Here he says that we'll not have a Black president. He's half-right today. No pun intended.

    [4] Here he instructs how "being real" doesn't appeal to you. Is he telling his story or yours? You see . . .. Upon who are these expectations?

    [5] This is interesting talk in light of the overall negative music. It's really strange here. But what was he trying to do? Besides, it's all talk. Does anyone know if he was mocking someone?

    [6] See the expectation. Interesting, right?
     
  2. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    21,179
    Likes Received:
    9,463
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Creative Industrialist
    Location:
    Temple of Kali, Yubaland
    Ratings:
    +9,587
    Brother, I won't attempt to dissect this line by line. Been involved in too many Biggie/PAC discussions in this life time and decided to let my Brothers rest in peace.

    I got a cousin who recorded with Big and know Pac's fam on the west coast. Can't see him as anti organization since even today some of his extended fam who pay the most respect are Malclm X grassroots and former Panthers.

    It is what it is.Pac waxed poetic on all the ills and contradictions within our people.

    Peace my brother. Some things are better left unsaid.
     
  3. Asomfwaa

    Asomfwaa Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    3,399
    Likes Received:
    2,558
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +2,564
    Understood.

    I just feel that some people listen to music more than, say, I do. And I want to know what exactly is being listened to.

    Before these two rappers died, a lot of our youth, more or less pledged allegiance to one rap star or another. There were fanatics made of some of us. But what were we listening to? That's what analysis is for.

    I personally learned of KRS-One early, so stopped listening to these cats and spat "Criminal Minded" and "You Must Learn" if you know what I mean. :)
     
  4. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    21,179
    Likes Received:
    9,463
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Creative Industrialist
    Location:
    Temple of Kali, Yubaland
    Ratings:
    +9,587
    Yeah but "Criminal Minded"?

    Isn't there a contradiction there?

    I listened to a lot of hip hop/rap in my day but stepped out of the club and dj'ing after the PAC/Biggie feuding.

    I remember that on the west coast the underground versions of "Runnin" that were only circulating on cassette and virtually no radio play. PAC and Big were collaborating and their sessions were hitting the underground but the mainstream just focused on hyping old beefs.

    Keep ya head up my brotha!
     
Loading...