Vatican includes Mozart, “Advocata Nostra,” and Tupac Shakur on its MySpace playlist.

Well that’s interesting.

(CNN) — Music from late rapper Tupac Shakur has been included as part of the Vatican’s official MySpace Music playlist.

…”The genres are very different from each other, but all these artists share the aim to reach the heart of good minded people,” the Vatican wrote on its official MySpace Music page.

…Shakur, who spent time in prison for sexual assault, was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Nevada in 1996.

The lyrics of “Changes” describe Shakur’s desire to change a grim life of drugs, crime and violence on the streets.

Here’s the Vatican’s MySpace music page. And here’s a link to the lyrics. That link will open in a new tab so you can read along with:

Tupac seems an odd choice for the Vatican or, indeed, any Christian organization. And while I’m using the word “indeed:” indeed, any thug-culture rapper seems an odd choice. I may be showing my ignorance: I don’t know rap music, and I don’t know the people who make rap music. Maybe Tupac wasn’t representative of the genre.

Disclosure: I’m not Catholic, either.

But, the story says: “all these artists share the aim to reach the heart of good minded people.” And to some extent, I agree. The song is bemoaning a culture of violence and drugs:

We gotta start makin’ changes
learn to see me as a brother instead of 2 distant strangers
and that’s how it’s supposed to be
How can the Devil take a brother if he’s close to me?


Now tell me what’s a mother to do
bein’ real don’t appeal to the brother in you
You gotta operate the easy way
“I made a G today” But you made it in a sleazy way
sellin’ crack to the kid.

At the same time, though, it’s fatalistic: this – violent, racist, downtrodden – is how things are. Its final message seems to be: I’d like to change this, but I can’t. And, even while I’d like to change it, I’m part of it:

But tell the cops they can’t touch this
I don’t trust this when they try to rush I bust this
That’s the sound of my tool you say it ain’t cool

Is he talking about a gun there? I’m not sure. Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t be writing about this, because I’m in serious danger of completely misconstruing something. In the spirit of punditizing, however, I forge ahead. Seems like he’s talking about shooting cops.


my mama didn’t raise no fool
And as long as I stay black I gotta stay strapped
& I never get to lay back
‘Cause I always got to worry ’bout the pay backs
some buck that I roughed up way back
comin’ back after all these years
rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat that’s the way it is

He has to carry a gun and has to be ready to do violence. Always. Because you never know when somebody holding an old grudge is going to show up.

He sees the problems. Hates the problems. But he’s also part of the problems.

But maybe that’s the point. Tupac is describing a worldly situation, created by and dependent on other human beings, their follies, prejudices, sins, imperfections. You can’t win a Betty Crocker award when you’re baking with rotten eggs, and the world is just full of rotten eggs.

So maybe that’s why the Vatican picked the song: because it illustrates a general dissatisfaction with life; a feeling of powerlessness – and not just in the thug-rap culture, either. Maybe they picked it as an example: a good man, wanting to do good, wanting to make things better, but losing hope because he’s focusing on the wrong things – the worldly things.

Focus elsewhere, and you’ll have more success and more satisfaction.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe not. That’s a better explanation than: they wanted something modern and counter-culture in the mix, and the guy doing the choosing didn’t understand the dialect and the colloquialisms.

(The TrogloPundit will spend the rest of the day hoping this post hasn’t tipped him over onto God’s “naughty” list)

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