Keep Your Head Down (song)

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"Keep Your Head Down"
Tohoshinki - Why (Keep Your Head Down).jpg
Cover for Japanese release
Single by TVXQ / Tohoshinki
from the album Keep Your Head Down
and Tone
B-side ""Maximum" (Japan)"
Released January 3, 2011 (South Korea)
January 26, 2011 (Japan)
Recorded August – December 2010; S.M. Studios (Seoul)
Length 3:58 (Korean version)
4:00 (Japanese version)
Producer(s) Yoo Young-jin
TVXQ / Tohoshinki singles chronology
"Toki o Tomete"
"Keep Your Head Down"
"Before U Go"

"Keep Your Head Down" (Korean title: 왜 Wae; "Why"), released in Japan as "Why? (Keep Your Head Down)", is a song recorded by South Korean pop group TVXQ (or Tohoshinki in Japan). Written by Yoo Young-jin and Yoo Han-jin, the Korean-language version of "Keep Your Head Down" was released by S.M. Entertainment on January 3, 2011 as the lead single for the group's fifth Korean studio album Keep Your Head Down (2011), TVXQ's first album since becoming a two-piece band with U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin. The Japanese-language version of "Keep Your Head Down", which was released on January 26, 2011 by Avex Trax, served as TVXQ's 31st Japanese single in Japan. It was the first single taken from their fifth Japanese studio album, Tone (2011).

With elements of industrial hip hop and baroque pop, "Keep Your Head Down" is labeled as an SMP song, a staple genre in TVXQ's music.[1] A sample of the song's original Korean-language version was first performed by Yunho at the SM Town Live '10 World Tour in August 2010, three months before the official announcement of TVXQ's Korean comeback. The full Korean single was released on January 3, 2011, which was accompanied by the premiere of its music video on TVXQ's official video-sharing websites.

The song was met with mixed reviews upon its debut. With lyrics talking about overcoming a relationship breakup, it was claimed that the song was a diss to JYJ, the three former members of TVXQ. Yunho and Changmin had denied the claims.[2] Pervasively, "Keep Your Head Down" became one of the duo's most commercially successful songs. It topped real-time music charts upon its release and peaked at number five on Korea's Gaon Singles Chart. The song won seven music show trophies for three consecutive weeks and sold over 1.3 million digital units in South Korea by the end of the year. In Japan, "Keep Your Head Down" was TVXQ's ninth single to top Japan's Oricon Singles Chart. It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), becoming TVXQ's second best-selling single in Japan.

Background and recording[edit]

"Keep Your Head Down", also known by its Korean title "Why" (왜), was written, mixed, and arranged by brothers Yoo Han-jin and Yoo Young-jin, who also produced the song. An SMP song,[1] "Keep Your Head Down" has musical influences of industrial hip hop, baroque pop, R&B, and rap. The song was originally written for Yunho, who recorded the song in early August 2010 and performed it at the SM Town Live '10 World Tour concert in Seoul on August 21, 2010. The Seoul concert marked Yunho and Changmin's first comeback appearance together since their split with former TVXQ members Kim Jae-joong, Park Yoo-chun, and Kim Jun-su in early 2010. The positive responses in their two-piece performances prompted Yunho and Changmin to return to the studios to finish the recording of TVXQ's fifth Korean studio album.[3] "Keep Your Head Down" was then chosen as the lead single.

The song debuted on South Korea's digital charts on January 3, 2011, the same day as the premiere of the song's music video. The Japanese version of the song was released as a CD and DVD single on January 26, 2011.

Critical response[edit]

"Keep Your Head Down" received mixed responses upon its release, and its lyrics came under media scrutiny. Starting off with the self-empowering English opening lines "Do you know what time it is? This is return of the King", TVXQ sing about their determination to return stronger after breaking up with a former lover. The song ends with the protagonist claiming that his former lover has "[been] erased, disappeared, died" in his heart, and that she no longer ceases to exist.[4]

Korean netizens claimed that the song was a diss to former members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu, who were still in legal disputes with TVXQ's agency S.M. Entertainment at the time of the song's release. Yunho and Changmin clarified that the lyrics of "Keep Your Head Down" were not directed at the trio, and that the lyrics were written in a style that could be interpreted in different ways.[2]

Formats and track listings[edit]



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Japan (RIAJ)[19] Platinum 250,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b "TVXQ - The evolution of SMP" (in Korean). Nate. 2014-01-10. Retrieved 2014-01-26. 
  2. ^ a b "TVXQ explains the meaning behind 'Keep Your Head Down' on 'Entertainment Relay'". Allkpop. 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2014-01-26.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "diss" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ Catch Me – Production Note (released December 27, 2013)
  4. ^ "TVXQ says new song is not a diss to JYJ". Star News via Daum (in Korean). 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2014-11-29. 
  5. ^ "왜 (Keep Your Head Down) by TVXQ". iTunes Store (US). Apple Inc. January 5, 2011. Archived from the original on February 11, 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Why? (Keep Your Head Down) by Tohoshinki" (in Japanese). iTunes Store (Japan). Apple Inc. January 26, 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  7. ^ a b c "Why? (Keep Your Head Down) by Tohoshinki" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart: Week Ending January 8, 2011". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  9. ^ "RIAJ Digital Track Chart: Chart issue February 1, 2011" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 2014-11-19. 
  10. ^ "Billboard Japan Adult Contemporary Airplay: Week Ending February 14, 2011". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  11. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Top Airplay: Week Ending February 14, 2011". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  12. ^ "G-Music Albums Chart" (in Chinese). G-music. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
    • "Why? (Keep Your Head Down)": "2011年—第8週"
  13. ^ "Gaon Download Chart 2011" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  14. ^ Why?(Keep Your Head Down) 東方神起のプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE
  15. ^ Why?(Keep Your Head Down)(DVD付) 東方神起のプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE
  16. ^ "Oricon reveals full list for 2011 Yearly Single Ranking". Tokyo Hive. 2011-12-19. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  17. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart Ranking 2011". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Archived from the original on 2013-10-18. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  18. ^ "レコード協会調べ 2010年12月15日~2011年12月13日「着うたフル(R)」 2011年有料音楽配信「年間チャート」(通称:レコ協チャート)" [Record Association Analysis: December 16, 2009—December 14, 2010 Full-length Cellphone Download; 2011 paid digital sales "Yearly Chart" (RIAJ Chart)] (PDF) (in Japanese). RIAJ. December 21, 2010. Retrieved 2014-11-19. 
  19. ^ "Certifications of January 2011". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 

External links[edit]