Inspired by my previous post, I want to point out another Musical Theft Of The Century.
I’m sure everyone has heard of Tupac Shakur. I’m sure everyone thinks he’s so awesome because he wrote emo tracks about how hard life is when you’re a thug, or ‘heartwrenching’ shit like “dear mama”, or omg-teh-social-commentary-“Changes“. For some of you, here’s a news flash. That last song he ripped mostly from Bruce Hornsby:
Bruce Hornsby originally wrote and performed “The Way It Is” with four other dudes called ‘The Range’. Again, it is a valuable song with worthwhile social lamenting, but again it kinda gets trivialized. When I hear Hornsby’s thing, I hear a great piano piece with strong sincere lyrics. When I hear (and see) Changes I get this feeling which I get from most rappers; that it’s all about them. The message is secondary. Rappers from the post 90s seem to go on all about themselves. Hell, his version is even rudely interrupted with a Tupac interview segment telling the microphones that he is a thug because he’s came from the gutter and is still in there. Who cares? Why kill a musical piece for irrelevant shit about the artist? How pretentious can you get?
I doubt not for a second that Shakur’s hit was mainly there because of the gripping piano play from the original. And it still feels as if the original track and its lyrics get trivialized because they’re being absorbed by an inflated Media Persona who is more about personal cult (and crime?) than about the important message of the song. It all feels vultured.
But that’s just my opinion, and I seem to be in a spiteful mood.