246. 2Pac featuring Talent – ‘Changes’ (1998)

“Cops give a damn about a negro?
Pull the trigger, kill a nigger, he’s a hero”

Taken from the album Greatest Hits

UK #3, AUS #7, US #32

The best single released pothumously by 2Pac, ‘Changes’ is an incredible hip-hop song, a modern classic, and a key part of the 2Pac legacy. Eclipsing many of the hits released while he was alive to become the most poignant and among the most powerful representation of why he meant so much to so many, this song is an exposure of social problems in America during the 1990s.

The lyrics and the rapping style is, as always, perfect, with just the right amount of force and disappointment as 2Pac checks off a list of issues that need changing, but with that resigned chorus of “that’s just the way it is”, it seems impossible that his dreams will ever come true. It is always uplifting to hear the line “We ain’t ready to see a black President” – it makes me feel like at least one thing in this song has been accomplished, and all the others can’t be too far behind.

Wikipedia tells me that in 2008 ‘Changes’ was number one on the Billboard ringtones chart, which is fairly amazing considering many songs today were seemingly built as ringtones first and songs later. That a song from ten years prior, by a man who is long deceased, can connect with so many people a decade later is a testament to the importance of 2Pac and his connection with the people. ‘Changes’ will be remembers as one of his all-time classics, and it is my personal favourite 2Pac song.

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