Who Is?/Official Hype

Published on October 18th, 2017 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Behind Tupac’s ‘Keep Ya Head Up’: Meet Diamond Producer, Songwriter DJ Daryl

DJ DARYL, Diamond Producer, and Songwriter Scored Big With Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up” and is known as the Bay Area’s Originator of Mob Music.

DJ Daryl remembers Tupac

DJ Daryl remembers Tupac

Who IS DJ Daryl? Check out the official line on this unsung musical magician

Most people don’t know that DJ Daryl is the man that produced and co-wrote Tupac’splatinum hit “Keep Ya Head Up” on Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.

He is one of the originators of the group 415, producing their first album 41Fivin composed of artists Richie Rich and D-Loc, who brought us hits like, Snitches & B****es, Groupie A** B**** and Sideshow. Nu Niggaz On Tha Blokkk, the group’s second album (produced by DJ Daryl) released on Priority Records.

In fact, Snoop Dogg, Warren G and the late Nate Dogg were inspired by “415” which led to the creation of their group “213.”

Did you know, DJ Daryl produced Tupac’s unreleased album Troublesome 21 before he died. The album was placed on hold due to the controversy surrounding Ice T’s “Cop Killer” song. Eventually, Interscope Records removed the “not so gangsta songs” (5 out of 14) from the album and released them. “Keep Ya Head Up” (DJ Daryl’s first platinum hit) on Tupac’s second studio album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart, #7 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop chart and #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song reached platinum status and appears on various albums and in films.

2Pac’s Greatest Hits album has sold over 10 million copies to date, awarding DJ Daryl a Diamond Award from the R.I.A.A. 

DJ Daryl also produced other songs for Tupac such as: Let Them Thangs Go, Nothin But Love, 16 On Death Row and Black Starry Night on R U Still Down? (Remember Me) and Po Nigga Blues/Cause I Had To (original version) has never been released, however leaked on YouTube and remixed by Scott Storch on Loyal To The Game.

When asked, what was your unique experience with working with Tupac, DJ Daryl said, “Tupac was the first artist I ever seen ad-lib on multiple tracks.”

Later, Master P signed DJ Daryl to No Limit Records and he became a member of Beats by the Pound.

DJ Daryl produced many hit songs including:

Snoop Dogg, Don’t Let Go on Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told

Snoop Dogg, Tryin 2 Do Something on Ghetto D

Mystikal, Unpredictable (title track) on Unpredictable

SilkkThe Shocker, Murder on Silkk – The Shocker

TRU, That’s How We Break Bread on Tru

Soulja Slim, Street Life on Give It 2 Em Raw

Magic (2), Life Is A B****” on Skys The Limit

Tru 2 Da Game, Ghetto Cheeze on Tru 2 Da Game

 Master P, Time For A 187 on Ice Cream Man

Master P, Mama Raised Me, More 2 Life and Snitches on Da Last Don

Master P, You Don’t Know Me on Good Side, Bad Side

He also produced 12 songs including the hit single If I Could Change on Steady Mobbn’s Pre-Meditated Drama and If I Could Change was Master P’s first song accepted by MTV, it was used in the film “I’m Bout It, and released on video.

C-Bo’s hit singles, Money By The Ton on Til My Casket Drops

C-Bo, Murder That He Ritt, 187 Dance, Who Ride and Ain’t No Sunshine onTales from the Crypt

C-Bo, 3 Gangstas, I Can’t See Tha Light, I’m A Fool, Kill Em Up and Survival 1st on One Life 2 Live

Multiple hits for Richie Rich on albums The Game, Half Thang, Nixon Pryor Roundtree and Seasoned Veteran.

Currently, DJ Daryl is working on a lot of upcoming projects, including the release of his LP titled “Signature Sound” followed by an exclusive documentary.

For more information on DJ Daryl visit:






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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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