“Keep Ya Head Up” is a 1993 hit single by Tupac Shakur. The song is dedicated to a young African-American girl named Latasha Harlins, who was shot and killed by a Los Angeles store owner in 1992. The shooting occurred thirteen days after the Rodney King beating, and many people believed it was one of the causes of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. “Keep Ya Head Up” praises women in society and demands that all women be treated with respect and equality.
And since we all came from a woman,
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman,
I wonder why we take from our women,
Why we rape our women. Do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women,
Time to heal our women, be real to our women.
And if we don’t, we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies that make the babies.
And since a man can’t make one,
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one.
So will the real men get up
I know you‘re fed up ladies, but keep your head up.
- give a holla (expression) – to greet or acknowledge somebody; a public expression of thanks; a shout out. 2Pac gives a holla to the women on welfare. They have very difficult living situations, and 2Pac has empathy for them.
- put down (phrasal verb) – to say something that makes a person look and feel stupid. Unfortunately, many men put down women and insult them. This has negative consequences on women’s confidence.
- also a noun. an insult.
- let up (phrasal verb) – to become weaker; to make less effort. 2Pac understands that many women have difficult lives, but he does not want them to let up.
- Keep your head up! (expression) – Stay strong! Don’t give in!
- to be real (expression) – to be honest and trustworthy. It’s time to heal our women and to be real to our women.
- fed up (adjective) – bored or unhappy, especially with a situation that has continued for too long. Women are getting fed up with inequality and sexism. It’s time for things to change!
- pay the price (expression) – to suffer because of bad luck or making mistakes. If we don’t respect women today, the next generation will pay the price.
- pipe dream (noun) – a hope or plan that is impossible or impractical to achieve. If women do not have the same opportunities as men, world peace will only be a pipe dream.
- blowing in the wind (expression) – If you are unsure about a person, you can say they are blowing in the wind. 2Pac cannot find his friends because they are probably blowing in the wind. Maybe some of them have died or have gone to prison.
- When it rains, it pours. (expression) – when one bad thing happens to you, many bad things happen soon after. My wife divorced me last week. My dog died last night. And I lost my job this morning. When it rains, it pours, right?
- make it (expression) – to become successful. You need to work hard in order to make it in this world.
- to deal with (phrasal verb) – to solve a problem or perform a task; to tolerate something. I have a very bad cold, but I have to deal with it and go to work.
- also, to put up with
- take it (expression) – to endure; to stay strong during difficult problems; to tolerate. There is too much inequality in the world, and I can’t take it anymore!
Do you think men treat women well? Does society treat women and men equally? How can brothers, sons, fathers, husbands and boyfriends praise and value their sisters, mothers, daughters and wives? What can we do to prevent violence against women? Please write your comments below!