Changes (Tupac Shakur song)

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2Pac - Changes.jpg
Single by 2Pac featuring Talent
from the album Greatest Hits
ReleasedOctober 13, 1998 (1998-10-13)
  • 1992
  • 1998 (Remixed)
Producer(s)Big D The Impossible
2Pac singles chronology
"Do for Love"
"Unconditional Love"
Audio sample
Music video
"Changes" on YouTube

"Changes" is a hip hop song by 2Pac featuring Talent. The song makes references to the war on drugs, the treatment of black people by the police, racism (explicitly the reconciliation between the black and white races in America), the perpetuation of poverty and its accompanying vicious-cycle value system in urban African American culture, and the difficulties of life in the ghetto.

Production and recording[edit]

The song was originally recorded during his tenure at Interscope Records in 1992 and was produced by Big D The Impossible (Deon Evans). "Changes" was later remixed.

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 Tupac 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 have been officially released.

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 a notable difference in a vocal sample of the line, "It's like that and that's the way it is", from Run DMCs "It's Like That", which is also played twice during the intro. The second chorus adds 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 B-boy-style chant with an unknown person repeating, "Clap your hands and feel it, clap you hands and feel it!" until the song ends.


The song is an interpretation of the 1986 hit "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby and the Range, and was further influenced by the 1972 hit "Changes" by Black Sabbath . 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".


The song was a #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, which gained Tupac a broader audience.

Released posthumously on his album Greatest Hits, the song talks about all of the different issues that were related to Tupac'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 Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party.[2] 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 Tupac's imagining himself being shot to death, mimicking the sound of the gun with the phrase "rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat".

The Chris Hafner-directed music video is a compilation of a number of previous music videos Tupac 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.


"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. It was also nominated at the MTV Video Music Award for Best Editing in a Video & Best Rap Video in 1999.


Weekly charts[edit]

Charts (1999) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[3] 7
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[6] 11
Canada Dance (RPM)[7] 3
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[8] 19
Denmark (Tracklisten)[9] 7
France (SNEP)[10] 39
Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 2
Hot Canadian Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[12] 14
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[13] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 3
Norway (VG-lista)[15] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[17] 2
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[18] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[19] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[20] 32
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[21] 12
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[22] 38
Chart (2013) Peak
UK (Official Charts Company)[23] 66

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1999) Position
Germany (Official German Charts)[24] 20
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[25] 32
Romania (Romanian Top 100)[26] 81


Region Certification Certified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[27] Gold 5,000*
Sweden (GLF)[28] Platinum 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[29] Platinum 600,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Ascap entry for song[permanent dead link] ASCAP, accessed May 1, 2011
  2. ^ "2Pac | Universal Music Publishing Group". Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  3. ^ " – 2 Pac – Changes". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  4. ^ " – 2 Pac – Changes" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  5. ^ " – 2 Pac – Changes" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  6. ^ " – 2 Pac – Changes" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  7. ^ "Dance peak". Archived from the original on 2014-12-27. Retrieved 2014-12-27.
  8. ^ "Canadian Top Singles peak". Archived from the original on 2014-12-27. Retrieved 2014-12-27.
  9. ^ " – 2 Pac – Changes". Tracklisten.
  10. ^ " – 2 Pac – Changes" (in French). Les classement single.
  11. ^ " – 2 Pac – Changes". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – 2 Pac" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  14. ^ " – 2 Pac – Changes". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ " – 2 Pac – Changes". VG-lista.
  16. ^ " – 2 Pac – Changes". Singles Top 100.
  17. ^ " – 2 Pac – Changes". Swiss Singles Chart.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  20. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  22. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  23. ^ "2 Pac – Greatest Hits". (in French). Ultratop & Hung Medien / Retrieved December 8, 2011.
  24. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  25. ^ "End of Year Charts 1999". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  26. ^ "Romanian Top 100: Top of the Year 1999" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. Archived from the original on January 22, 2005.
  27. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – 2Pac – Changes". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  28. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1999" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  29. ^ "British single certifications – 2Pac – Changes". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 17, 2017. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Changes in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]