Song of the Day #4,459: ‘Brenda’s Got a Baby’ – Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur recorded for just five years, but the influence and popularity he demonstrated in that short time was enough to make him a first ballot inductee in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Tupac is one of seven rap acts in the Rock Hall, and the best-selling artist of them all. Next year, Eminem and Jay-Z will be eligible for inclusion, and I’ll be surprised if they don’t make it in on their first shot, given their massive sales and influence.

It will be interesting to see how the Hall of Fame’s membership shifts more toward hip-hop in the coming years, as major acts from the mid to late 90s start becoming eligible. Rap overtook rock as the dominant musical genre over the last few decades, making it harder to identify worthy rock acts.

As for Tupac, it’s hard to deny the impact he had during his short career. Before he was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, his five albums sold more than 16 million copies in the United States and influenced a generation of future rap stars. Since his death, a handful of posthumous releases have reached Platinum status.

He also had a promising film career, starring or co-starring in a few well-received movies before his death.

Shakur wrote about life in the American inner city with nuance and depth, giving a voice to young Black men who continue to be preyed upon by our society. It’s sad that 25 years later, the country still hasn’t learned many of the lessons he was trying to teach.

[Intro: Dave Hollister]
Brenda’s got a baby

[Verse: 2Pac]
I hear Brenda’s got a baby, but Brenda’s barely got a brain
A damn shame, the girl can hardly spell her name
“That’s not our problem, that’s up to Brenda’s family”
Well, let me show you how it affects our whole community
Now Brenda really never knew her moms
And her dad was a junkie, puttin’ death into his arms
It’s sad, ’cause I bet Brenda doesn’t even know
Just ’cause you’re in the ghetto doesn’t mean you can’t grow
But oh, that’s a thought, my own revelation
Do whatever it takes to resist the temptation
Brenda got herself a boyfriend
Her boyfriend was her cousin, now let’s watch the joy end
She tried to hide her pregnancy, from her family
Who really didn’t care to see, or give a damn if she
Went out and had a church of kids
As long as when the check came they got first dibs
Now Brenda’s belly’s gettin’ bigger
But no one seems to notice any change in her figure
She’s twelve years old and she’s havin’ a baby
In love with a molester, who’s sexin’ her crazy
And yet and she thinks that he’ll be with her forever
And dreams of a world where the two of them are together
Whatever, he left her and she had the baby solo
She had it on the bathroom floor and didn’t know, so
She didn’t know what to throw away and what to keep
She wrapped the baby up and threw him in a trash heap
I guess she thought she’d get away, wouldn’t hear the cries
She didn’t realize how much the little baby had her eyes
Now the baby’s in the trash heap, bawlin’
Momma can’t help her, but it hurt to hear her callin’
Brenda wants to run away
Momma say “you makin’ me lose pay
There’s social workers here every day”
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 gettin’ robbed
So now, what’s next? There ain’t nothin’ left to sell
So she sees sex as a way of leavin’ hell
It’s payin’ the rent, so she really can’t complain
Prostitute, found slain, and Brenda’s her name
She’s got a baby

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,459: ‘Brenda’s Got a Baby’ – Tupac Shakur

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I really am not familiar with Tupac’s work, though I certainly am aware of his influence. I can’t argue with his induction into a hall of fame, though this once again raises the issue of whether rap and hip hop belong in the “Rock” Hall. Arguably, the Hall would be more aptly named the Popular or Contemporary Music Hall, but those are less sexy names. On the other hand, if country music can have its own hall of fame, though it too features crossover artists, it may be time for a standalone Rap Hall.

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