Saturday, February 16, 2013
"Keep Ya Head Up" is a 1993 hit by Tupac Shakur. It addresses issues concerning lack of respect toward the female gender, especially poor black women. It has a very positive message, and is often used as an example of Shakur's softer side. Many fans and critics consider it to be one of the deepest rap songs ever made and is often referenced by other artists in their work, building Shakur's persona as a very conscientious and influential rapper. It features Dave Hollister and is dedicated to Latasha Harlins.
It reached #11 in About.com's Top 100 Rap Songs, with "Dear Mama" voted #4. The song has since sold nearly 5,000,000 copies.
The beat is sampled from Zapp & Roger's "Be Alright" and the chorus is sampled from The Five Stairsteps' "O-o-h Child", but originally it was sampled from Big Daddy Kane's "Prince of Darkness". The song peaked at #1 on the U.S. Rap chart, the Hip Hop/R&B chart and the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was first released in Shakur's 1993 album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., later appearing after his death in 1996 in his Greatest Hits compilation. A "sequel" to the song, Baby Don't Cry (Keep Ya Head Up II)was released in 2Pac's posthumous album Still I Rise in 1999.
The video opens up with the words "Dedicated to the memory of Latasha Harlins, it's still on", in reference to the L.A. Riots. The video has a basic format with Shakur rapping in the middle of a circle surrounded by a crowd of people and in some scenes seen holding a young child. At times the video shows scenes of what Shakur is rapping about. The music video also features Shakur's childhood friend Jada Pinkett Smith.