In Tupac’s “Changes” on his album, Greatest Hits, he sings about various problems that occur in America. He references the war on drugs, racism, and poverty. Throughout the song, Tupac explains how all these issues are happening in our country but nothing is changing. He wants to see changes but recognizes that “That’s just the way it is”. Tupac confronts the harsh reality of our country’s unfortunate unfairness towards certain groups of people. It is especially powerful because Tupac is speaking from his own experience. He is able to give his readers an extremely personal view from his first hand account. He can convey his message by incorporating poetic lines into his lyrics.
“Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races”
This line is specifically targeting racism. In the song, Tupac expains how our hate is directed towards the wrong things. People tend to focus so much on the color of our skin that they don’t look deeper into the content of our character. This line utilizes assonance which makes for an especially striking line. It emphasizes how people need to stop judging others solely based on their race.
“And as long as I stay black, I gotta stay strapped
And I never get to lay back”
Tupac says, “As long as I stay black”, as if it is a choice. By wording it in this way, he is able to convey the message that as long as he is black, he will constantly be forced to keep his guard up. But it is not a choice. When you are born black, there is no escape from the constant racism and discrimination you will face. And that is a systematic problem that needs to be changed.
Overall, Tupac’s lyrics made for an incredibly convincing argument for change. By incorporating striking lines into his song, he could express the urgency of the issues that plague our country. Although this song is not the happiest, it addresses serious problems like racism, gun violence and more. Ironically, Tupac was killed at the age of 25 in a drive by shooting. It is important to talk about changes that need to be made to prevent these tragic events.