Changes (Tupac Shakur song)

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Single by 2Pac featuring Talent
from the album Greatest Hits
Released October 13, 1998
Format CD single, cassette single, 12" single, 7" single
Recorded 1992 (Remixed from 1997-1998)
Genre Conscious hip hop
Length 4:30
Label Interscope, Amaru, Death Row
Writer(s) Tupac Shakur
Deon Evans
Bruce Hornsby[1]
2Pac featuring Talent singles chronology
"Do for Love"
"Unconditional Love"
Music sample
Music video
“Changes” on YouTube

"Changes" is a hip hop song by 2Pac, the song was originally recorded during his tenure at Interscope records in 1992 and was produced by Deon Evans. Changes was later remixed during 1997-1998. The song re-uses lines from "I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto" which was recorded during the same year. The song samples the 1986 hit "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. The chorus of "The Way It Is" was re-sung by Talent and was used for this song. At times 2Pac re-used lines from other unreleased songs because he planned to make an updated version at a later date. However, since his death many of the unreleased and unmastered songs are being officially released. The song makes references to the Black Panther Party, the war on drugs, the treatment of black people by the police, and the difficulties of life in the ghetto. "Changes" remains one of 2Pac's most notable and popular songs.


The song was the #1 hit in Norway and the Netherlands and reached the top ten in the singles charts of several other countries, including #3 in the United Kingdom an then re-entered in 2013 at 66, in total it has charted for 13 weeks in the UK charts. Released posthumously on his album Greatest Hits, the song talks about all of the different issues that were related to 2Pac's era of influence - notably racism, police brutality, drugs and gang violence.

"Changes" was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the Grammy Awards of 2000 and remains the only posthumous song to be nominated in this category. The "Huey" that 2Pac mentions in the song ("two shots in the dark, now Huey's dead") is Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party.

The song refers to the possibility of a black President of the United States, claiming 'we ain't ready'. Further, the last verse of the song refers to Shakur's anxiety about being shot to death, mimicking the sound of a gun with the phrase "rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat".

Music video[edit]

The Chris Hafner-directed music video is a compilation of a number of previous music videos 2Pac released in addition to home videos and never-before-seen pictures, similar to the format of The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Dead Wrong", also released in 1999.


The song is an interpretation of the 1986 hit "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. Bay Area rapper E-40 had interpreted the song already on his track, "Things'll Never Change", for his album Tha Hall of Game. The Tupac "Changes" instrumental was used by Insane Clown Posse in "Mom Song", a Mother's Day song. Nas also sampled the song for his song "Black President".


Changes was produced by Deon Evans (aka Big D the Impossible) and recorded in 1992 while Tupac was still signed to Interscope Records. The remixed version released in 1998 has notably different percussion, and a few minor changes to the musical elements. The chorus on the original track features probably the most notable difference in a vocal sample of the line "Its like that and that's the way it is" from Run DMCs "It's Like That", which is also played twice during the intro. For the second chorus they add the Ice Cube line "Dope Dealers, you're as bad as the police" from his song "Us". The Third chorus omits the Ice Cube sample and adds a sort of bboy chant with an unknown person repeating "clap your hands and feel it, clap you hands and feel it!" until the song ends.

Peak positions[edit]

Charts (1999) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[2] 7
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[3] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[5] 11
Denmark (Tracklisten)[6] 7
France (SNEP)[7] 39
Germany (Media Control Charts)[8] 7
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 3
Norway (VG-lista)[11] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 32
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[15] 12
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[16] 38
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 3


External links[edit]