Essay on Music in Our Society
Many of the people around the world listen to music for different reasons. Most people like to listen to music for joy or to relax; however, not everyone pays attention to the lyrics. Moreover, many songs have importation themes on them. The lyrics of the song “Changes” by Tupac Shakur. This song is a rap that many African Americans used to express themselves over things that happen in everyday life. In addition, in his song he is expressing the idea that there needs to be change so that poverty and racism that African Americans face every day will stop. He also criticizes that African Americans need to overcome poverty that is facing them, “We gotta start making changes. Learn to see me as a brother instead of two distant strangers And that’s how it’s supposed to be” (Tupac 1998). Tupac Shakur discusses several social problems in his song such as difficulties of life in urban African American culture, references to the war on drugs, and the treatment of black people by the police.
At the beginning, Shakur discussed some of the difficulties of life in urban African American culture. At the beginning of the song he made a connection between his skin color and being poor when he said, “I’m tired of bein’ poor and even worse I’m black My stomach hurts so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch” (Shakur 1998). He tried to show the cycle of poverty in the United States and how it connects to the skin color. In addition, he made another connection between poverty and crime. For example ,he said, “One less hungry mouth on the welfare First ship ’em dope and let ’em deal the brothers Give ’em guns step back watch ’em kill each other It’s time to fight back that’s what Huey said I got love for my brother but we can never go nowhere Unless we share with each other We gotta start makin’ changes.” In this part Shakur tried to explain how poverty makes you sightless and he asked to learn how to see each other as a brother instead of two strangers. There is a relationship between hunger and crime.
People whose families are starving might go to extreme measures to find food. But there is another, less visible but just as important, link between how much food (TRACY 2016). At the end Tupac mentioned a way to begin to watch out and care to each other instead of fighting and shooting each other. A shift in the view of each other could really improve life for everyone. In fact, Tupac talked more about racism as a one of the difficulties of life in urban African American culture and how it linked to all the problem that he did faced such as always blame the black skin color as criminals when he said “One better place, let’s erase the wasted Take the evil out the people they’ll be acting right ‘Cause both black and 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 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”(Shakur 1998).
Second of all, Tupac references the war on drugs as a social problem that affects life in urban African American culture. Tupac did mentioned in his song more than one war such as the war on drugs and the war in Middle East ;moreover, Tupac is comparing the hardness in the Middle East and the war on the streets while referring to how Americans pay more attention on wars on drug and wars in foreign countries than the corruption and poverty in America especially in the African American’s communities, Tupac said “And still I see no changes can’t a brother get a little peace It’s war on the streets and the war in the Middle East Instead of war on poverty they got a war on drugs”(Shakur 1998). In addition, Tupac discussed how the black youth used to be popular on drug circulation which made them look the worst, but drugs were not important for Tupac as much as the poverty. Drug trafficking among Black youths has turned the inner cities into "war zones," as rival gangs fight for control of the drug market. Moreover, many Black youths have lost their lives because of the powerful lure of drug addiction (Janice Joseph and Patricia G 2002), and this is what the real meaning of war is. He also touched on the fact that the drug issue will never disappear unless the people who live in poverty community will find a way to sneak out of this vicious circle, Tupac said “But some things will never change Try to show another way but you stayin’ in the dope game”.
Finally, Tupac talked a lot about the treatment of black people by the police in his song, and how it counts as a social problem in the urban African American. At the begging of his song he mentioned that the police seemed not to care about the colored people one way or another while they were supposed to protect their and save them life, Tupac said, “Cops give a damn about a negro Pull the trigger kill a nigga he’s a hero”(Shakur 1998).The relationship between the race and the police treatment still valid until today. For example, Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in 2014. Show More the problem of police violence against African Americans has been a relatively salient feature of nationwide discussions about race (Devon W. Carbado & L. Song Richardson 2018). In 2016, this line continues to be far too relevant. So far this year, US police have killed 758 people, including 187 black people, according to The Counted. Black people have been killed by US police in 2016 at more than two times the rate of whites, in spite of making up just 13 percent of the population (John Haltiwanger 2016).
To sum up, In Tupac’s song , he tried to explains that the united states is becoming a insufferable place to live in ;moreover, he mentioned that we should start makes changes on how we care about each other and start show respect to everyone no matter what skin color you have. “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.” (Shakur1998). This song still counts as a very important song until today, because it had brought up substantial subjects such as how it connected the poverty and racism; how both led up to crime. The song also mentioned how did many people suffered from poverty and how everyone should have helped them back there. We should start applying these awesome advices and changes in our life to improve our level in humanity. Difficulties of life in urban African American culture, references to the war on drugs, and the treatment of black people by the police were different social issues that Tupac did discussed in his song.
Shakur, Tupac.Changes. LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Songtrust Ave,1998.https://genius.com/2pac-changes-lyrics
Tracy, Ledger. Hunger feeds high levels of violence. Business day,2016.https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2016-11-30-hunger-feeds-high-levels-of-violence/
Janice Joseph and Patricia G. Pearson. Journal of Black Studies. Sage Publications, Inc,2002.https://www.jstor.org/stable/3180884?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
Devon W. Carbado & L. Song Richardson. The Black Police: Policing Our Own.2018.https://harvardlawreview.org/2018/05/the-black-police-policing-our-own/
John ,Haltiwanger. It's Been 20 Years And Tupac's 'Changes' Lyrics Are Still Painfully Relevant.2016.https://www.elitedaily.com/news/politics/tupac-changes-lyrics-relevant/1609358