This Day In Hip Hop and Rap History
This Day In Hip Hop and Rap History
August 20th – KRS-One was born Lawrence Christopher Parker in Brooklyn, New York on this day in 1965.
KRS-One left home at age 14 and eventually was living in a homeless shelter.
It was in the shelter that KRS received the nickname “Krisna” because of his fascination with the Hare Krishna religious movement.
The nickname would eventually morph into KRS-ONE, his graffiti tag name.
KRS-One was an acronym for “Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everything”.
It would be in the homeless shelter that he would meet a social worker named Scott Sterling who would become known to the hip-hop world as DJ Scott La Rock.
The two along with MC Quality and Levy 167 formed the group Scott La Rock And The Celebrity Three.
In the summer on 1984, the group released a record called “Advance”, an anti-nuclear war anthem which was unique at the time when very few rap records had social themes.
After a falling out with the record label, the group eventually broke up with only La Rock and KRS remaining.
The duo renamed themselves The Boogie Down Crew in homage to their neighborhood of The Bronx.
In 1985, La Rock and KRS then briefly recorded another single along with Kenny Beck called “Success Is The Word” on Sleeping Bag Records, in a short-lived group called 12:41.
When a dispute over production credits surfaced, KRS and La Rock decided to go back to the original concept of The Boogie Down Crew, renaming it Boogie Down Productions.
In 1987, Boogie Down Productions released their debut album “Criminal Minded” on B-Boy Records.
The album is considered one of the greatest and most pivotal albums in hip-hop history.
The album that married dancehall reggae styles to contemporary hip-hop would spawn the classic title track: “The Bridge Is Over” and “South Bronx” with the latter two classic singles sparking the musical feud with The Juice Crew of Queensbridge, New York.
However, tragedy would strike the BDP crew only months after the release of “Criminal Minded” when Scott La Rock was shot to death trying to settle a dispute between BDP member D-Nice and some young men he had a dispute with, making La Rock hip-hop’s first martyr.
This tragic incident would have a powerful impact on KRS as he would now leave B-Boy Records and sign with Jive Records.
BDP would now consist of KRS, himself, his brother DJ Kenny Parker, his wife Ms. Melody and Ramona.
In 1988, BDP released the album “By All Means Necessary” which contained the classic track “My Philosophy”, which would mark the change in KRS’ lyrical content as he, now along with Public Enemy, spearheaded the socially conscious period of the “Golden Era” of hip-hop.
The album also contained “I’m Still #1”, which was influenced by his battle with Melle Mel earlier at The Latin Quarter, which many saw as the changing of the hip-hop guard.
In 1989, BDP released “Ghetto Music – The Blueprint Of Hip Hop”, and KRS was now known as “The Teacha”, evident on such tracks like the hit single “You Must Learn”.
1990, saw the release of what many arguably consider his finest work ever on the album “Edutainment”. “Edutainment” contained KRS’ most profound work ever on an album that could be a manifesto for socially-conscious and political hip-hop.
Among the classic cuts on the album were “Love’s Gonna Getcha (Material Love)”, “Beef” , “Blackman In Effect” , “100 Guns” , “The Homeless” , “Breath Control II” and “30 Cops Or More”.
During this time KRS started the “Stop The Violence Movement”, in ode to his fallen musical comrade and soldier Scott La Rock and H.EA.L. (Human Education Against Lies).
KRS would organize and produce the anti-violence anthem “Self Destruction”, one of hip-hop’s first all-star posse cuts which would feature Public Enemy, Kool Moe Dee, Just-Ice, Heavy D, Doug E. Fresh, MC Lyte and Stetsasonic, among others.
KRS would release two more albums with BDP, 1991’s “Live Hardcore Worldwide” and 1992’s “Sex And Violence” before disbanding the group.
KRS would return as a solo artist releasing 1993’s “Return Of The Boom Bap”, which would feature production by DJ Premier, Kid Capri and Showbiz and contain cult classics like “Mortal Thought”, “Black Cop”, “Sound Of Da Police” and the smash hit “Outta Here”.
KRS has released ten more solo albums to date, most notably 1997’s platinum-selling “I Got Next”, which featured his biggest hit ever “Step Into A World (Rapture’s Delight)”.
KRS’s most recent album was 2010’s “Back To The L.A.B.”
KRS-One has also released seven collaboration albums with Bumpy Knuckles, DJ Kenny Parker, Marley Marl, Just-Ice, Buckshot, True Master and Showbiz with a new one with DJ Premier tentatively scheduled to be released this year.
Throughout his career, KRS has also collaborated with the like of R.E.M., Mad Lion, Busta Rhymes, DAS EFX and Fat Joe just to name a mere few.
In the late 1990’s, KRS founded The Temple Of Hip Hop M.A.S.S.; Ministry, Archive, School and Society, to promote and preserve the history and culture of hip-hop.
KRS has also appeared in several films like “I’m Gonna Get You Sucka”, “Who’s The Man”, “Rhyme And Reason”, “Subway Stories – Tales From The Underground” and Ice-T’s “Something From Nothing – The Art Of Rap”, which was released in 2012.
KRS-One has published four books, 1994’s “Break The Chain KRS One”, 1996’s “The Science Of Rap”, 2003’s “Ruminations” and 2009’s “The Gospel Of Hip Hop”.
KRS-One is considered by many as the greatest rapper and MC ever in the history of hip-hop.