No matter who you are, guys, take the time to appreciate the women in your lives. Even the late great hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur, famed “gangsta” rap legend, took the time to give it up for his female counterparts. (And did so in a way that empowers his listeners at the same time!)
Even though his claim to fame revolved around the Gangsta rap genre, an edgy and raw reflection of the harsh life on the streets, Tupac had his fair share of intellectual and socially conscious songs.
1993’s “Keep Ya Head Up” is one of Tupac’s more famous examples of his softer, more emotional tracks. (Maybe you’ve even heard it on a throwback radio station, or sprite commercials from time to time). Taking a look at the songs lyrics, Tupac wastes little time in acknowledging the importance of women:
And since we all came from our women
Got our name from our women
And our game for our women…
Tupac looks onward, and lauds the fact that women have helped shape who he is. His mother has given him life, his name, and even the essence of his personality (his game). This doesn’t just go for him, or even just men either. This can go for any person who has had inspiration from their mothers, sisters, and friends who have helped paved the lives that we all lead.
But what I love about this song is how Pac takes it a step further and acknowledges the mistreatment that women go through every day, even going so far to take responsibility on himself with how he treated his mom in the past.
I huffed and puffed about my curfews
And broke the rules
Ran with the local crew and had a smoke or two.
I realize Momma really paid the price.
She nearly gave her life, to raise me right.
We’re only human, and we might inadvertently mistreat people without thinking about our actions. But when accepting this fact, it opens up the opportunity for us to “be real to our women”, which in turn “heal our women”.
The chorus of the song emphasizes the line “things will get easier”, which is sampling another classic uplifting song called “Ooh-child”, which calls listeners to look forward to brighter days. And the only way for us to see that better future is for everyone to stand up for one another. Man to woman. Woman to woman. Man to man.
It’s admirable that such a powerful and poetic message is told in a timeless rap song. And that’s probably why Tupac is one of the most beloved hip-hop musicians of all time. Not only did he create the ultimate rap anthem calling for the appreciation of women, but it’s one that calls for everyone to come together.