Not being fake or influenced. Being true to yourself and your values, but more importantly, being true to innate values that all people acknowledge as respectable. Not frontin, or inhibiting yourself or pretending to be something your not; but also not following dominant values that should not be acceptable.

Honesty, doing the right thing, genuineness, fairness and reasonability are generally aspects of keeping it real. Gandhi kept it real because even though his acts were controversial or illegal, they were never harmful and society now knows he was doing the right thing.

Also used in a more jocular way to explain an individual's behavior that they may have thought was the right thing to do out of stubbornness or disregard for others, but it wasn't really keeping it real because the social concensus is that it is not.
- Matt respects everybody, he is genuinely nice to friends and strangers and does not seek out conflict with people or put them down. He is keeping it real.

- Joe stands up against bullies at his school and defends kids who are getting made fun of, even though he is quite popular and doesn't hang out with those kids. He is keeping it real.

- Ashley skipped Friday night partying with her friends to stay at home and watch movies with her sister who just broke up with a boyfriend. Ashley is keeping it real.

- Josh just isn't a very smart person, but he puts effort into doing the best he can. He is keeping it real.

Alternative example:

Latoya: Tanisha why did you call me out for buying my shoes at Walmart in front of everybody.
Tanisha: I'm just keeping it real, why does it matter where you buy your shoes?
Latoya: Girl you are not keeping it real, I know it doesn't matter where I buy my shoes but people still might make fun of me for it. It's really just none of their business.
by Laqueshus June 5, 2009
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Staying true to yourself, your faith, your life and constantly seeking the truth.

You are keeping it real as long as you do not harm yourself or anyone around you physically mentally or spiritually.

You try to benefit the environment and society that surrounds you and eventually serving humanity for the greater good.

By keeping it real you are authentic and do not follow the geopolitical or corporate economic norm, but you strive to develop a norm that is centered on peace, truth, and unity.
by Da Realest November 6, 2006
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A black person's excuse for being ignorant or doing ignorant shit. The person who says that they are "keepin' it real" usually claims to be denying pop culture and sticking with their own thing.

Chris Rock had a good description:
Rock: Nothing makes a nigger happier than not knowing the answer to your question:
(first person):"What's the capital of Zaire?"
(nigger):"Shit, I don't know that!....Keepin' it REAL!"
Rock: Yeah, real DUMB!
by who cares? April 18, 2005
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When a black celebrity/athlete gets into trouble and his teamates/black commentators/BET media say he's "Keeping it real", as if it were assumed he is supposed to act like that. It is more or less a black-on-black racist term. (White people don't use the term and are largely unaware of what it means.) It says that black people are supposed to get in trouble with the law, thusly "keeping it real"; being true to their race.
A lot of people probably said Kobe Bryant was "keeping it real" when he got into trouble, or when insert name basketball player got busted for marijuana possession, not realizing they are perpetuating the racism they try to fight at the same time.
by Ryan Thompson June 16, 2004
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the act of being yourself, usually by buying and wearing shit that everyone else has.
Wearing all this expensive brand name shit assures that I'm keeping it real.
by Laird December 9, 2003
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Maintaining authenticity and originality when others are not.
My boy Jeff bought a plastic Christmas tree that ALREADY has LED's on it. That man's keeping it real.
by osgood from the E town November 17, 2019
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Something that people claim to do when they supposedly want to speak their mind. Used often on the Internet by people who are about as quiet as a church mouse in real life.

Now, on the other hand, there are people who thinking that keeping it real is synonymous with being an asshole or bitch. They say that most people can't handle such realness, and usually get offended when you "keep it real" by calling them such. All in all, most people just don't wanna deal with such childishness, contrary to what they tell you.
1. You talk trash to me in the chat, and I'll put a virus on your ass! I'm just keeping it real! r0xx0rs! w00t! l33t!11! Cyber-thuggin' baby!!1

2. You're not on my level. I'm just keeping it real.
-No, you're being a bitch. Now I'M keeping it real!
by The Producer June 4, 2007
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