Song 1- Keep Ya Head Up by Tupac Shakur
Tupac Shakur’s Keep Ya Head Up was dedicated to Latasha Harlins, who was a 15 year old black girl who was murdered as a result of the 1992 L.A riots. In the song, Shakur not only raps about his struggles while growing up in the hood, but he highlights systemic racism and the context in which Harlins was killed. Another aspect that stuck out to me was how Shakur emphasizes the value of black women in society and raps about how we are often pushed to the side and forgotten as a result of misogynoir. This song interests me because I grew up listening to Tupac and this song is extremely unique for its time. When Tupac released this song he was only 22, and I find it amazing that he could write something so profound at that age. A challenge I could run into (for both songs) is not fully understanding the context of the song because I was not alive in the 90’s.

Song 2- Freedom Time by Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill’s Freedom Time takes a close look at societal pressures that we face and sings about how these are keeping us back. In the song, Hill reflects on politics, religion, and other ideologies that limit human freedom and create war in the mind. Hill protests against these aspects of society and implores us to break free from the chains of sheltered thinking/thinking within barriers. I find this song interesting because there are moments where Lauryn isn’t singing, but preaching the lyrics and I feel that this enhances the power of the song. Lauryn Hill is my all time favorite artist and the song also comes from my favorite album of all time , MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. I also am interested in this song because it performed live and I can hear the emotion/passion in her voice and its obvious that she truly cares about what she’s singing about.