The song that I chose to analyze is “Changes” by Tupac Shakur. The late Tupac Shakur was an African American rapper who was shot dead years ago. His powerful lyrics have impacted the rap industry to this day, because he spoke the truth. His lyrics directly related to his everyday struggles, and how being a successful African American is not an easy task to achieve. Rap usually talks about events of everyday life, and the song “Changes” talks about racial profiling, poverty, and how racism affects the everyday life of African American people. Note that this song came out in about 1996 where things were different, however the lyrics of this song still ring in the ears of people who are affected by the evil of racism.
The song starts off with the line “I see no changes”. The changes I believe he is referring are the changes that supposedly occurred after the Civil Rights Movement. My interpretation of what Tupac says is that, even though African American people are supposed to have more freedoms since the movement, he doesn’t see many changes at all. In the first stanza Tupac talks about how the police do not really care about the black man, and that no one is going to help them but themselves. They need to start looking out for each other instead of killing each other. He talks about how no one cares that drugs and guns are being brought into the lives of African Americans everyday, and that when they die its just “one less hungry mouth on the welfare”.
The second stanza starts off with “I see no changes. All I see is racist faces.” This conveys the same thing I stated earlier. There are not many changes that have been made, and people are still just as racist as they were. He also talks about how the majority of the people in jail are blacks, but that is because they keep doing the things that are putting them there. They have no other way to get money, so they resort to selling drugs. He realizes that this is the reason African Americans are not succeeding but there is nothing else they can do. At the end of the stanza he states this clearly when he says “Well hey, well that’s the way it is.”
In the final stanza, Tupac finally tries to convey that changes really do need to be made. He says “It’s time for us a people to start makin’ some changes. Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live…” He is trying to tell the people of the African American community that there is hope. The way that his people have been trying to survive has not been working, so he say’s “You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to dowhat we gotta do, to survive.” He then talks about how he wants peace in the streets. He then calls for a war on poverty, instead of on drugs. He lets the people know that if they do see a successful black man, they will be jealous, but if they get that money the right way the cops will not be able to do anything about it. He ends the song by saying, as long as he is black he is going to stay strapped, which means that no matter what he does he is going to have to protect himself in someway, because someone is always going to be out to get him because of the color of his skin.