Song Analysis On Tupac Shakur "Trapped" Social Justice Assignment

940 words - 4 pages

Song Analysis - Trapped by Tupac
Shakur
Karen Menasherow
Issues related to the song
- Police Brutality
- Profiling
- Gang crime
- The reality of being a black man
Tupac Shakur
- Born on June 16, 1971 and died on September 13, 1996 due to a drive-by shooting
- Considered by many to be one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time
- Born in Harlem, New York, then relocating to Los Angeles in 1988, he became a
central figure in West Coast hip hop
- Heavily involved in East Coast - West Coast rivalry, particularly with fellow
rapper Biggie from the East Coast (NY)
- During this time, gangsta rap was dominant in the mainstream but Tupac
introduced social issues into this genre as well
- Tupac’s work is noted for addressing social justice issues prevalent in inner cities,
and he is considered a symbol of resistance and activism even to this day
Video
Lyrics
“You know they got me trapped in this prison of seclusion
Happiness, living on the streets is a delusion
Even a smooth criminal one day must get caught
Shot up or shot down with the bullet that he bought”
Nine millimeter kickin' thinkin' about what the streets do to me
'Cause they never talk peace in the black community
All we know is violence, do the job in silence
Walk the city streets like a rat pack of tyrants
- Prison = isolation from the rest of the world
and you feel like you can’t escape
- Happiness and peace in the streets is a
fantasy, it is not real and people don’t learn
and end up living a dangerous life of being
a “street gangsta”
- This speaks to the violence and drugs that
surround the people who grow up in this
environment
- If these people grow up around nothing but
drugs/violence, how can they be expected
to learn anything else?
Lyrics Cont...
Too many brothers daily heading for the big pen
Niggas comin' out worse-off than when they went in
If one more cop harasses me I just might go psycho
And when I get 'em, I'll hit 'em with the bum rush
Only a lunatic would like to see his skull crushed
Yo, if you're smart you'll really let me go, G
But keep me cooped up in this ghetto and catch the Uzi
- Disproportionate amount of African
Americans entering the prison system
compared to Whites
- The way society has made it, it’s hard for
prisoners to live a normal life after being
released
- It’s hard to find jobs, most of them go back
to doing what got them locked up in the
first place
- With the struggles he already has with
growing up around drugs and violence,
police brutality and harassment is on top
of that all
- Its only a matter of time before he is
pushed to his limit
Lyrics...

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