Keep Ya Head Up
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|"Keep Ya Head Up"|
|Single by 2Pac featuring Dave Hollister|
|from the album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.|
|B-side||Rebel of the Underground
I Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto
|Released||October 28, 1993|
|Genre||Hip hop, R&B|
|Certification||4x Platinum (RIAA)|
|2Pac featuring Dave Hollister singles chronology|
Production and release
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". 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 song is at once a call for better treatment of women of color by fellow men of color, and a call to women, children, and poor people of color to 'keep ya head up' through inevitable tough times that arise in a system and society that make it 'hard to be legit and still pay the rent'. 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.
CDS - maxi single
- "Keep Ya Head Up" (LP Version)
- "Keep Ya Head Up" (Vibe Tribe Remix)
- "Keep Ya Head Up" (Madukey Remix)
- "Rebel of the Underground"
- "I Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto"
|US Billboard Hot 100||12|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||7|
This song was also used by South Central Cartel "Gangsta Love"
The song is also used in the soundtrack of the movie Freedom Writers.
The song was also performed live by Nas at the MTV Rap Memorial in 2005 and at VH1's Hip Hop Honors in tribute to Shakur in 2004.
Lil Wayne also revealed that for the acoustic-driven “How To Love,” he pulled inspiration from late rapper Tupac Shakur’s inspirational 1993 hit, “Keep Ya Head Up” and said “That song is just sweeping the world. It’s touching every woman, that’s what it was for,” he said. “It was like Tupac had ‘Keep Ya Head Up’ and it was a message to women and little girls across the world just to keep your head up even though things are hard.