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Sample Critique Essay: Tupac’s ‘Dear Mama’

Below is a sample critique of Tupac’s ‘Dear Mama.’ It is important to note that an article critique essay is not just a summary of the article, but an analysis and evaluation of its content and arguments. College students should provide their own insights and perspectives, while also considering the broader context of the topic and the field in which the article, song, art, or piece was written or prepared.

Sample Critique Essay: Tupac’s ‘Dear Mama’


Musicians and songwriters usually use their artistic capabilities to share their experiences and express their perspectives on certain issues in society. Similarly, Tupac never composed the song ‘Dear Mama’ just for entertainment but to share his feelings towards his mother. Tupac’s ‘Dear Mama’ has not loosed its authenticity over the years because it carefully applies various composition techniques in sharing real-life experiences. The artist was deliberate in the choice of language and composition techniques, which illustrate the significance of a mother in one’s life. Even though he passed in 1996, Tupac is a significant artist to date, and this is because his music resonates with contemporary social issues and has often been used as a model and symbol of activism and resistance in society. The rapper demonstrates the significance of music as art in social interactions.

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Theme Analysis in Tupac’s Dear Mama

The theme in ‘Dear Mama’ is a mixture of betrayal, forgiveness, and struggle in Tupac’s early life. In his entire life as a rapper, Tupac is known for singing about social issues since he grew in a neighborhood full of rivalry and violence. In the song, the artist cites that he was chased away from home by her mother when he was seventeen years of age, emphasizing that they had ‘beef’. Furthermore, he never thought he would ever meet his mother again, expressing a state of betrayal. However, in the refrain section of the song, he recites, “Oh Mama, I appreciate you, although my shadow is gone, I will never leave you” (“Dear Mama Lyrics”, 2020). The phrase insinuates that Tupac had come to terms that probably he was the one on the wrong and forgave his mother for kicking him out. Finally, the artist dominantly touches on the struggles he went through to survive. In the first stanza, he mentions being suspended from school, and at the same time, he cites shading tears with her baby sister because they were poorer compared to other kids. All these claims are typical examples of what some black teenagers face.

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A Critical Analysis of Figurative Language in Dear Mama

Tupac is deliberate in using figurative languages in his song to capture his audience’s attention and to pass his message effectively. He has incorporated various elements of figurative language, including assonance, consonance, and alliteration. For instance, he employs assonance in the seventh line of the second stanza that states, ‘I hung around with thugs, and even though they sold drugs, they showed a younger brother love’ (“Dear Mama Lyrics”, 2020). The sounds ‘a’ has been repeated in words, hung, thugs, drugs, and love. Additionally, alliteration has been used in the same line with the repetition of the consonant sounds ‘th’ in the words, thugs, though, and they. He also uses consonance in the lines ‘I moved out and really started hanging, I needed money on my own so I started slanging’. All the figurative techniques are used by the artist to accomplish the music purpose of the piece.

Critical Analysis of the Genre

The piece is rap music, a genre that has been used by the Black community since the 1970s to express issues facing them, and the musical elements in the song accentuate Tupac’s ideas. ‘Dear Mama’ integrates subtle harmonies, exceptional melodies, and delicate rhythmic beats, implying that this is one of Tupac’s lighter and delicate pieces. For example, the introduction of the song poses exceptional harmonic tones accompanied by a spectral resonance at the background with the use of an electronic organ to give the music rhythm (2Pac, 2011). The end of the instrumental intro is climaxed by a voice intro of Tupac’s mother, and the background rhythm reverberates as it crescendos to mark the artist’s entry. The application of the instruments and music techniques in the piece are intentional in creating a connection between the listeners and lyrics.


‘Dear Mama’ is an interesting piece that makes sense to every listener even to those who do not enjoy rap or hip hop music. Tupac, a respectable artist in the rap industry, exercises his composition and music skills by presenting a piece that factors in figurative styles that creates a musical environment. The artwork is regarded as the artist’s instrument of passing a message to his mother displaying his feelings at the time he was writing the song. The instruments used in the song, and there arrangements have also been carefully picked to enable the listeners get the message clearly while being entertained by the music.

Works Cited

2Pac. (2011). 2Pac – Dear Mama (Official Music Video) [Video]. Retrieved from

Dear Mama Lyrics. (2020). Retrieved 31 March 2020, from