“Brenda’s Got A Baby” is the solo debut single by Tupac Shakur, and the tenth track from his debut album 2Pacalypse Now. The song, which features R&B singer Dave Hollister, is about a twelve year-old girl named Brenda who lives in a ghetto, has a baby, and is incapable of supporting it. The song explores the issue of teen pregnancy and its effect on the young mothers and their families. Like many of Shakur’s songs, “Brenda’s Got a Baby” draws from the plight of the impoverished. Using Brenda to represent young mothers in general, Shakur criticises the low level of support from the baby’s father, the government, and society in general. Shakur wrote the song when he read a newspaper article about a twelve-year-old girl who got pregnant from her cousin and, because she did not want her parents to know about the baby, threw it in a trash can (taken verbatim from Wikipedia).
I hear Brenda’s got a baby.
Well, Brenda’s barely got a brain.
A damn shame. The girl can hardly spell her name.
That’s not our problem. That’s up to Brenda’s family.
Well let me show you how it affects our whole community.
- be up to (phrasal verb) – to be somebody’s responsibility, duty or decision. I can’t make you do your homework because you’re an adult. It’s up to you to take your education more seriously.
- junkie (noun) – a drug addict, especially one who is addicted to heroin. Instead of becoming a wealthy plastic surgeon in Hollywood, California, she decided to become an addiction specialist and help junkies get clean.
- not give a damn (idiom) – to not care at all about something. I don’t give a damn where we stop to eat. I need to use a toilet urgently, so let’s just pick the first place we see!
- dibs (noun) – a word you say to claim something as yours, especially before somebody else claims it. I call dibs on the bed in the hotel room. I’m not sleeping on the floor again!
- figure (noun) – the shape of a human body, especially an attractive woman. She shouldn’t exercise or diet too much. I think she’s got a great figure!
- solo (adjective/adverb) – done by one person without any help or assistance. It’s hard to raise a child solo. There are too many responsibilities and challenges to think about every day. Much respect to all the single parents out there.
- throw away (phrasal verb) – to discard something that you no longer want, especially in a garbage can. You shouldn’t throw away your old clothes. Donate them to a family because there are many needy people who could use it.
- heap (noun) – an untidy, messy pile of something. My bedroom is so messy. I have a heap of dirty clothes on the floor.
- get away (phrasal verb) – to escape from a person or place. It’s hard to get away from stress when you live in a big city.
- also, run away
- pay (noun) – the money you get from a job or regular work. She has to work many hours at her new job, but the pay is really good.
- social workers (noun) – a person whose job is helping and giving advice to people in the community with financial or family problems. Social workers have to work long hours with little pay. It’s a very difficult job.
- make your own way (idiom) – to move somewhere; to make progress. You have to work hard every day if you want to make your way in the world.
- slain (verb, past participle of slay) – to murder somebody. The victims were slain by an unknown man in his late 30s, police investigators reported.
The United States has to overcome many social issues, including teenage pregnancy. Is your country or society also facing the challenges of teenage pregnancy? Besides the most obvious answer, what social conditions or problems contribute to or cause teenage pregnancy? Do you think sexual education programs in schools can prevent the number of teenage pregnancies? Please write your comments below!