Interestingly enough (for those of you who don't know), Tupac's version is heavily drawn from an original by Bruce Hornsby. The piano sounds exactly the same. Hornsby's version talks about social ills and the importance of the Civil Rights Movement.
Tupac's version raps about the struggles of his time - cops' brutality against blacks, poverty, discrimination, etc. He also pushes for blacks to "come together," and the issues he talks about are right in touch with today.
Coincidentally, he mentions that "although it seems heaven sent, we aint ready to see a black president." He then goes on to say that jails are filled with blacks and that "some things will never change." I think he's saying that its way too idealistic to envision a black US president.
Yet today we have President Obama: who not only made US history, but also contributed to one of the greatest moments in black history along with the Civil Rights Movement.
I think I've rambled a bit, and the title includes Celine Dion. So here's her version of "That's the Way it is." To me, the tune sounds similar to the original...talks about "sticking together" and not giving up because "love will conquer it all." Clearly more cliche, and not as meaningful, but definitely some similarities..