Aug 7, 2015

Flashback Friday: "What's Changed?" A Narrative written by @Best_ofda_Worst

Whats Changed?

As a black man, watching the news lately you would think the year was somewhere between 1950-1969. It seems like every other week a cop has killed another unarmed black person. Just when you think it won't get worse, you hear about attacks on historically black churches being set on fire or shot up. Eventually it wears down on you. I find myself asking, 

"When if ever will it end?"


Lately I’ve found myself delving into a lot of 90's hip-hop. I come across Tupac’s Changes. This song is about 20 years old and it's as if it were written yesterday.


2pac via XXL mag
"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 and 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."

Everything about that first verse is what it is like to live in America as a man or woman of color. Maybe not all of us experience poverty in an economic sense but some may have faced it in a spiritual way. Whether we lack faith in a higher power they believe in, faith in society, or even faith in themselves this kind of poverty (as well a monetary one) can and sometimes does lead many to suicidal thoughts and worse. And of course Cops give a damn about a negro... 

Doesn’t matter the age from child to adult it seems every cop that has killed an unarmed black person as of late the media spins it around to a police officer who feared his life had no choice but to shoot the unarmed (insert name here), (Insert name here) had a history of drugs, violence, gangs, etc. In short he was no angel, actually he was a thug. 

I don’t look at cops as villains after the man makes the badge, but at the same time it bothers me that people out there (even some colleagues of mine) that can defend police on video killing an unarmed black man or woman. Then they claim self defense as if the police officer wasn’t the aggressor. A song like Changes paints a vivid picture of what it was like to grow up in the 90's America. It's like sitting at home watching the Rodney King incident, seeing the aftermath of an incident Pac had with the law, or maybe even your own personal dispute that may not have been captured on camera. Let's fast forward 20 years to the age of cell phones and social media. I promise, you can watch it all day non stop. 

"I see no changes. All I see is racist faces.
Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races we under."

Hearing this line again in 2015 makes me think of the Bill O’Reilys and Charles Barkley's in this country. By that I mean white people refusing to listen to us and brothers...BROTHERS  who swear we are crazy for even thinking against these white people. This song is something I encourage all to listen to remind us that the violence and demonization of people of color in this country isn’t made up. Honestly, it has been here since the first one of us stepped foot on these shores. After you had your deep thought session with this song go listen to Holler if you Hear Me by Makaveli himself. lets get that revolutionary in you some gusto. Below you can watch the video for Changes and Stream Holler if You Hear Me both by 2Pac.  



Issah Umar
Issah Umar

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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