Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli
Shakur was initially a roadie and backup dancer for the alternative hip hop group Digital Underground
Tupac Amaru Shakur was born in the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City.
At the age of twelve, Shakur enrolled in Harlem's famous "127th Street Ensemble." His first major role with this acting troupe was as Travis in A Raisin in the Sun.
He developed a close friendship with a young Jada Pinkett (later Jada Pinkett Smith) in High school that lasted until Shakur's death. In the documentary Tupac: Resurrection, Shakur says, "Jada is my heart. She will be my friend for my whole life," and Smith calls Shakur "one of my best friends. He was like a brother. It was beyond friendship for us. The type of relationship we had, you only get that once in a lifetime." A poem written by Shakur titled "Jada" appears in his book, The Rose That Grew From Concrete, which also includes a poem dedicated to Smith called "The Tears in Cupid's Eyes".
November 30, 1994, Shakur was shot five times and robbed after entering the lobby of Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan by two armed men in army fatigues. According to the doctors at Bellevue Hospital, where he was admitted immediately following the incident, Shakur had received five bullet wounds; twice in the head, twice in the groin and once through the arm and thigh. He checked out of the hospital, against doctor's orders, three hours after surgery.
September 13, 1996, Shakur died of internal bleeding due to a drive by shooting that happened 6 days earlier.
Upon his release from Clinton Correctional Facility, Shakur immediately went back to song recording. He began a new group called Outlaw Immortalz. Shakur began recording his first album with Death Row and released the single "California Love" soon after.
I Get Around
The song heavily samples the 1986 hit "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby and the Range.
"Changes" was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the Grammy Awards of 2000 it remains the only posthumous song to be nominated in this category
Released initially posthumously on his album Greatest Hits, the song addresses issues close to 2Pac's era of influence, notably racism, police brutality, drugs and gang violence.
The "Huey" that 2Pac mentions in the song ("two shots in the dark, now Huey's dead") is Black Panther Party activist Huey P. Newton
In 2008 the single Changes climbed to Billboards Hot Ringtone chart's 1st place.
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 & even worse I'm black
my stomach hurts so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch
Cops give a damn about a negro
pull the trigger kill a nigga 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 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
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 instead 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
[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 to 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 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
try to show another way but you stayin' in the dope game
Now tell me what's a mother to do
bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you
You gotta operate the easy way
"I made a G today" But you made it in a sleazy way
sellin' crack to the kid. " I gotta get paid,"
Well hey, well that's the way it is
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.
And still I see no changes can't a brother get a little peace
It'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' it 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 tool you say it ain't cool
my mama didn't raise no fool
And as long as I stay black I gotta stay strapped
& I never get to lay back
'Cause I always got to worry 'bout the pay backs
some punk that I roughed up way back
comin' back after all these years
rat-tat-tat-tat-tat that's the way it is uhh
[Bridge 'til fade:]
Some things will never change