2PAC – Changes Song Meaning & Lyrics Explained

2PAC, one of hip-hop’s most influential figures, managed one of the most impressive narratives with his song “Changes” which is today’s topics. We’re going to look at the lyrics of this evergreen hip hop tune and explain the meaning of the song.

We can easily say that the song ‘Changes’ is a quintessential example of 2PAC’s bold and stirring approach to music.

From his upbringing in East Harlem to his entanglement with the law, each experience shaped 2PAC’s perspective on society, which he expressed vividly in ‘Changes’.

This song encapsulates his intricate lyricism, poignant messages, and the subsequent societal influence stemming from his work. So let’s dive in and check out the song meaning of 2PAC’s Changes.

2PAC – Changes Music Video

While reading, you can play the video below to have the song as background music. Or just enjoy it once more before jumping into all the explanations.

If you want to check out his rival & friend too, make sure to also read about the song meaning of The Notorious B.I.G. – Big Poppa.

2PAC – Changes Song Meaning Summary (Key Takeaways)

2PAC – in the lyrics of ‘Changes’ – paints a vivid picture of the difficulties he and many others in similar communities faced on a daily basis.

The first verse and chorus tackle the indifference of society and state actors towards the struggles of the African American community while addressing economic issues and cyclical poverty.

The second verse focuses on racial profiling, police brutality, and the dangers of street life.

The final verse discusses the hypocritical attitudes of political leaders and calls for more positive role models within African American communities.

Digging Deeper into the Lyrics of 2PAC’s “Changes”

“Changes,” a profound composition by Tupac Shakur, known by his stage name 2PAC, became well-known after being released posthumously in 1998.

The song is a thought-provoking commentary on the African American experience in the United States, which includes a sample from Bruce Hornsby and the Range’s “The Way It Is”.

As the song unfolds, 2PAC reflects on the unfortunate realization that little has altered since his youth.

He speaks about the seemingly unchanging issues of drugs, violence, and poverty – common threads in his body of work.

Notably, he expresses this sentiment in the line, “I see no changes, wake up in the morning and I ask myself, Is life worth living, should I blast myself?”.

This poignant verse elucidates the anguish felt by individuals living in poverty-stricken communities, capturing the essence of the themes mirrored throughout “Changes.”

The symbolism used in the song lends deeper meaning to the lyrics. For instance, Tupac mentions “Cops give a damn about a n***o, Pull the trigger, kill a n****, he’s a hero,” pointing towards the systemic racism and police brutality prevalent in society.

This is a harsh critique of how law enforcement, meant to protect, often terrorizes the same communities they are expected to serve.

The lyrics, “Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares, One less hungry mouth on the welfare,” show Tupac’s critique of the government’s treatment of minority communities.

He suggests that society turns a blind eye to drug abuse among the youth, leading to more problems in the long run.

Throughout “Changes,” Tupac highlights the vicious cycle of crime and poverty that many in African American communities find themselves caught up in.

The system, he implies, is designed in a way to keep them trapped, as indicated in the lines, “They got a war on drugs so the police can bother me,” and, “It’s time to fight back that’s what Huey said, Two shots in the dark now Huey’s dead.”

Despite the grim reality Tupac portrays in “Changes,” he also expresses hope for a better future.

In the chorus, “That’s just the way it is, things will never be the same,” he acknowledges the societal issues at hand, while also suggesting that they can be changed.

The latter part of the song delves into what needs to be changed, emphasizing unity, understanding, and respect among races.

For a completely different way of approaching hip hop, you can also read about the song meaning of Iggy Azalea’s Fancy ft Charli XCX.

Background and Overview of 2PAC

2PAC, also known as Tupac Shakur, was one of the most influential rap artists of his generation.

Born in East Harlem, New York City, in 1971 into a family deeply involved in the Black Panther Party’s activities, his upbringing was steeped in the societal issues of racism, poverty, and inequality, which he often explored in his songs.

Given the stage name 2Pac, Tupac began his music career as a backup dancer and rapper for the hip hop group Digital Underground in the late 1980s.

2PAC quickly rose to prominence in the early 1990s with his thought-provoking lyrics and charismatic performance style.

His lyrics often highlighted the harsh realities of urban life, addressing topics such as violence, drug abuse, and police brutality.

Behind the scenes, however, 2PAC was plagued by legal troubles and was involved in several high-profile disputes with law enforcement.

His music and personal life intertwine, reflecting both his controversies and his outlook on societal issues.

Time Period Surrounding ‘Changes’

The song “Changes” is a testament to 2PAC’s experience and perception of societal issues.

It was recorded in 1992, a time when racial tensions in America were high, highlighted by events such as the Rodney King riots.

The song was released posthumously in 1998, but its subject matter is still considered evergreen given its focus on systemic and institutionalized racism.

The song encapsulates 2PAC’s personal experiences with issues such as police brutality, drug addiction, and income inequality.

Essentially, “Changes” stands as an insightful musical portrayal of the issues 2PAC championed throughout his career. It continues to echo with relevance for his audience, even after his untimely death in 1996.

Impact of ‘Changes’ on Society

Released posthumously in 1998, “Changes,” one of 2Pac’s most iconic tracks, still reverberates across audiences.

The song is now an enduring anthem reflecting urban desolation and the relentless circle of violence and racial bias.

With its startling queries on societal disparities that remain largely unaddressed, ‘Changes’ is as relevant today as when it was first launched.

Without mincing words, ‘Changes’ takes on racial disparities head-on. Lyrics such as “It’s war on the streets and the war in the Middle East; Instead of war on poverty, they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me” sparked thought-provoking conversations about systemic racism and purported manipulation and marginalization of minority groups.

Despite the passage of time since its release, the lyrics continue to be referenced in debates about these issues, highlighting its lasting impact on social justice talks.

Moreover, ‘Changes’ left an indelible mark not just on societal discussions, but on the music industry as well. Its influence continues to permeate the industry and inspire artists.

The song paved the way for a future where hip-hop dominates popular music by blending catchy melodies with stark, evocative lyrics – a format that’s now a staple in contemporary hip-hop.

Aside from shedding light on racial inequality, ‘Changes’ also ignited conversations about police brutality and its impact on African-American communities.

This rhetoric was not new to rap music but was presented in a more digestible format within ‘Changes’, leading to a broader comprehension of grievances.

The message articulated in the song has gained renewed significance in recent years, with the global focus on police violence and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The enduring relevance of ‘Changes’ is indicative of the ongoing struggle against racial injustice and the continued resonance of 2Pac’s powerful message.

Final words

Although ‘Changes’ was released more than two decades ago, its themes remain as relevant today as they were then.

Recent years have seen a resurgence of discussions surrounding systemic racism, police brutality, and social justice in light of movements like Black Lives Matter.

The injustices 2PAC described in ‘Changes’ are quite identical to the issues at the center of these movements.

This timelessness of ‘Changes’ is a testament not only to 2PAC’s understanding of society’s ills but also to the urgent need for substantial change.

Thus, ‘Changes’ solidifies 2PAC’s position as a crucial cultural figure and testament to his enduring legacy, illustrating the indomitable power of music as a medium for social commentary and a catalyst for change.

And now, if you want to continue reading about something a lot more lighthearted, make sure to check out the PSY – Gangnam Style song meaning article.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.