May 31, 1988 marks the release date of By All Means Necessary – Boogie Down Productions’ second album. The record took its name from the famous Malcom X declaration of “By Any Means Necessary.” The album was released despite the 1987 murder of BDP Producer and KRS One’s partner in crime, DJ Scott La Rock. On this album, KRS One moved away from the violent undertones of their first release Criminal Minded (a classic in its own right, and mild by today’s standards as this was before NWA and Ice T introduced Gangsta Rap to the masses), and focused on delivering socially conscious tunes under the moniker of “The Teacha.” Tracks such as “My Philosophy”, “Stop The Violence”, and “Illegal Business” gave the records a strong political presence while bangers such as “I’m Still #1” and the safe sex anthem “Jimmy” rounded out the album content. By All Means Necessary peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hip Hop/R&B charts.
Personally, at 8 years old at the time, I remember this being one of the first albums I would jam hard to back in the day. “My Philosophy” has always been my favorite BDP/KRS One song. I’ve always loved that memorable, “fresh for 88, you suckaz!” line that concludes the track. For creating a classic Old School album with a positive political and socially conscious edge, and for their inspiration as a truly groundbreaking Hip Hop group, Boogie Down Productions, we at JP Lime Productions salute you!
“Who gets weaker? The king or the teacher
It’s not about a salary it’s all about reality
Teachers teach and do the world good
Kings just rule and most are never understood”