The 100 Best 2Pac Songs

7. 2Pac "Keep Ya Head Up" (1993)

Producer: Daryl "DJ Daryl" anderson
Album: Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
Label: Amaru/TNT/Interscope


This blockbuster hit is probably Pac's most famous song, fueled in no small part by the “Ooh Child” sample, sung by The Five Stairsteps, which gives the track an air of '70s nostalgia. Tupac staccato stepped through the track—dedicated to his nephew and goddaughter—pointing out the various struggles he witnessed as he grew up. Certainly his most uplifting and mama-friendly song, and the one that best explains his broad appeal beyond the T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. demographic.

Pac instinctively knew to balance his revolutionary persona with a more conscious and female-friendly approach. The feel-good nature and lyrics that betrayed his sensitivity to the plight of the black woman—dealing not only with a system that destroys hope but with black men who ignore and abuse their own—Pac took a stand in a new way.

There is some irony here considering his later rape charges. But in 1994, Pac was a rapper who could speak, unprompted, in sensitive, pro-woman language—a rarity at any time. This fact redeems Pac in the eyes of many. He still wins female devotion to this day, despite his checkered past.

blog comments powered by Disqus