7 Tupac Songs That Still Resonate With Black America Today

06/16/2015 02:51 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2015
Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy

Nearly 20 years since his death, Tupac Shakur's legacy lives on in popular culture. After all, the rapper sold over 75 million records worldwide.

Shakur’s work inspired a 2014 Broadway musical and was recently featured in Powerade’s commercial with NBA star Derrick Rose and on Kendrick Lamar’s latest album, “To Pimp A Butterfly."

His thought-provoking lyrics on songs like “Keep Ya Head Up” and “Trapped” address the complexities of black America, proof of his power to resonate with listeners who still see his truthful take reflected in black culture today.

In honor of what would have been Shakur’s 44th birthday, we decided to choose seven of our favorite songs that powerfully address ongoing social issues in America.

Let us know your favorite Tupac lyric and song in the comments section below.

  • "Keep Ya Head Up"
    Notable Lyric: "And since we all came from a woman / Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman / I wonder why we take from our women / Why we rape our women, do we hate our women / I think it's time to kill for our women / Time to heal our women, be real to our women / And if we don't we'll have a race of babies that will hate the ladies that make the babies..."
  • "Changes"
    Notable Lyric: "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..."
  • "Trapped"
    Notable Lyric: "They got me trapped / Can barely walk tha city streets / Without a cop harassing me, searching me / Then asking my identity / Hands up, throw me up against tha wall / Didn't do a thing at all..."
  • "Brenda's Got A Baby"
    Notable Lyric: "Now Brenda's gotta make her own way / Can't go to her family, they won't let her stay / No money no babysitter, she couldn't keep a job / She tried to sell crack, but end up getting robbed / So now what's next, there ain't nothing left to sell / So she sees sex as a way of leaving hell / It's paying the rent, so she really can't complain / Prostitute, found slain, and Brenda's her name, she's got a baby."
  • "I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto"
    Notable Lyric: "Here on Earth, tell me what's a black life worth / A bottle of juice is no excuse, the truth hurts / And even when you take the shit / Move counties get a lawyer you can shake the shit / Ask Rodney [King], LaTasha [Harlins], and many more / It's been goin on for years, there's plenty more / When they ask me, when will the violence cease? / When your troops stop shootin n****s down in the street..."
  • "White Man'z World"
    Notable Lyric: "In time I learned a few lessons / Never fall for riches / Apologizes to my true sisters / Far from bitches / Help me raise my black nation / Reparations are due..."
  • "Me Against The World"
    Notable Lyric: "With all this extra stressing / The question I wonder is after death, after my last breath / When will I finally get to rest through this suppression? / They punish the people that's asking questions / And those that possess, steal from the ones without possessions / The message I stress: to make it stop study your lessons / Don't settle for less - even the genius asks his questions / Be grateful for blessings / Don't ever change, keep your essence / The power is in the people and politics we address / Always do your best, don't let the pressure make you panic..."

Also on HuffPost:

Remembering Tupac Shakur
Suggest a correction