Bruce Hornsby has been a household name for 25 years. But in hip-hop he’s known for providing the sample tune of Tupac’s most popular song, “Changes,” which was culled from Hornby’s breakout hit, “The Way It Is.”
On the heels of Hornsby’s new live album Bride Of The Noisemakers, the Virginia native and devoted Christian Scientist tells us about how “Changes” came to be, his impressions of ‘Pac, and a crazy story involving a former Virginia senator.
Did you ever get to meet Tupac?
No, I never did. As you know, of course, he recorded his version of my song, which I think was his biggest hit. A year after he was assassinated I got a cassette in the mail from the Shakur Foundation, saying “We found this song, it’s going to be the single on his Greatest Hits album coming out.”
The original [“Changes”] was a lot dirtier, had a lot of the n-word. They took that out for the single. I didn’t request it; it’s their creation, it wasn’t my place to say anything.
Did you like the song?
I really liked it. Lots of rappers have used “The Way It Is:” Wyclef, E-40, Snoop. I loved what [Tupac] did with it. I just said, “Go go go.”
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