I'd love to go back to when we played as kids
But things change... and that's the way it is

from 2Pac – Changes Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Sadly, Pac, you can never go home again (just ask Jay-Z)

“The Way it is” refers to the sample the song uses, Bruce Hornsby and the Ranges “The Way it Is” (1986), also about racial intolerance. Hornsby reported he was “honored” by 2pac’s use of his melody.

Two ways to look at this couplet:

a) Literally, the places and conditions that existed when ‘Pac was a kid have changed and he can never re-visit them because everything is different.

b) Growing up has changed ‘Pac’s outlook on life, and he can no longer re-capture the same energy and happiness he had felt as a kid. when you’re a child, you don’t automatically see differences first, you see a potential to make a new friend. Skin color doesn’t inherently matter. Racism is taught, not bred.

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