The title of the song is “Brenda’s Got a Baby” and it is written and performed by Tupac Shakur. It deals with a problem in a community, more specifically with a problem in a ghetto where people do not have the chance. The song is powerful combined with the music video which is shot in black and white. The themes which are explored are unwanted pregnancy in the population of teenagers, difficult life in a poor neighborhood and scarce resources which these people get from the government.
The music video is shot in black and white so that it can be seen that this song is about a serious matter. The video is structured to show that everything in life can be reduced to black and white to emphasize the fact that it is a matter of life and death. The opening scene shows Brenda walking down the street with a baby in her arms and there is also Tupac with his friends nearby. He notices this 12-year-old girl and her baby and he talks about her story to his friends. In the meanwhile, there are scenes of how this all happened to Brenda. The shots are made for high angle so that it can be emphasized that there is a higher instance which is responsible for such things as teenage pregnancy happening. Tupac says: “Well let me show ya how it affects the whole community” (Tupac). At this time, he points out that this problem is beyond one family and larger than Brenda and her own mind. He also thinks that Brenda is too young to make her own judgments: “I hear Brenda's got a baby / But, Brenda's barely got a brain/ A damn shame / The girl can hardly spell her name” (Tupac). All of this is not her fault, because there is a problem in the community.
The video is structured in such a way that while Tupac is telling Brenda’s story, it can be seen in the music video what really happened to Brenda. Tupac seems to be a witness who is sorry about what is happening and wants to make a contribution to the society by pointing out to what is wrong with it. He is judging the government as well as Brenda’s immediate family who did not care about what she was doing with her life as long as they got the money. “She tried to hide her pregnancy, from her family / Who didn't really 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” (Tupac).
The text conveys serious messages about today’s society to the viewer. The video opens with Brenda carrying a baby in her arms with a facial expression showing worry. Afterwards, Tupac takes the story in his own hands and delivers his point of view by judging Brenda’s family and poverty. As he says, it is a problem of the community because Brenda is only twelve and her boyfriend was her cousin. As he talks about her life story, the video unfolds in a way which shows Brenda’s life which is all shot from the above. It is a bird’s-eye view which conveys a meaning that the story is more important than Brenda’s life being destroyed. She was never even given a chance. The visual segments show Brenda as described in Tupac’s lyrics. The video is edited in such a way that the viewer can see her with her boyfriend, being expelled from her home, being left alone to deliver a baby and not knowing what to do with it, throwing the baby in the trash, resorting to selling crack and finally getting into prostitution and being killed. Brenda’s life becomes a crime scene and it is evident that she never had a choice at all.
This is a rap song and Tupac was famous for tackling the larger problems of the community. He is a worried citizen in the music video who wants for people to pay attention to the problems in the community and not to turn their heads. It is also not a coincidence that Brenda is African American because Tupac was rapping about the race he also belonged to. All people were created equal and they should have equal opportunities, but in reality, it is different and that is what Tupac is trying to tell the people. The song is very emotional and so is the music video which follows the words all the time. As Tupac raps, the story of Brenda is shown on-screen in black and white because her life is black and white. This all adds up to the song being taken seriously. The problem is social and people who are influential are turning their heads from the problem.
Tupac is criticizing the society in this song through rapping and he is doing it in a powerful way. The meaning is conveyed through the music video as well and it can be felt by all people who possess empathy. “Brenda’s Got a Baby” gives insight into the life conditions of people who are underprivileged living in a ghetto. There is also criticism pointed to the lack of humanity because people do not sympathize with the underprivileged. Moreover, they judge them in spite of knowing that it is not their fault that they were born as outcasts.
The music video for “Brenda’s Got a Baby” is powerful because it conveys a deep meaning related to people who suffer during their whole lives because they do not know how to improve their lives. They have given up on life because the society had given up on them. The music video is good at describing Tupac’s feelings about this story and his true sentiments about the life of the people from the ghetto. He is the voice of reason in this music video and the only witness who understands the problems of the society.
2Pac, "Brenda's Got A Baby." YouTube. N.p., 2011. Web. 30 Jan. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRWUs0KtB-I>.