Today’s Rap Flashback features Lawrence Krisna Parker, aka KRS-One, on his 51th birthday. A native of Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York, “The Blastmaster”, along with DJ Scott La Rock, formed Boogie Down Productions and released the classic Hip Hop album Criminal Minded in 1987. Since then he’s been responsible for a whopping 25+ albums (w/ BDP, as a solo artist, and as a collaborator), and has established himself as an activist and positive influence in the Hip Hop community.
KRS, moved by the murder of his BDP brother Scott La Rock, as well as the death of a concert goer who was killed in a fight at a BDP / Public Enemy show, created the Stop The Violence campaign in the late 80s. The movement galvanized several prominent East Coast Hip Hop artists and culminated in the release of ‘Self Destruction’, a track calling for responsibility, accountability, and tolerance within urban communities. It is this type of activism and calls for both accountability and higher learning that have defined KRS-One’s public persona. As he states on 1995’s DJ Premier produced ‘MCs Act Like They Don’t Know’, off his eponymous album, “Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everybody,” for which, of course, his stage name is an acronym.
“The Teacha” is also responsible for the Temple of Hip Hop, a ministry, archive, school, and society which aims to promote and maintain the culture of Hip Hop and encourages artists to be socially conscious in their creative endeavors. Also noteworthy is KRS-One’s 009 2book, The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument. It’s the first in a planned series where KRS uses a format not unlike that of the Christian Bible, to explore Hip Hop’s spirituality and divinity. As he puts it:
“It explores the spirituality of Hip-Hop, the divinity of Hip-Hop. I?m suggesting that in 100 years, this book will be a new religion on the earth. Now you talk about controversy, there?s some Christian ministries if you go online, look up some ministers, they dissing right now. ‘Who the hell does he think he is?’ Well, I think I have the authority to approach God directly, I don?t have to go through any religion [or] train of thought. I can approach God directly myself and so I wrote a book called The Gospel of Hip Hop to free from all this nonsense garbage right now. [I] respect the Christianity, the Islam, the Judaism but their time is up.”
Strong words indeed. Regardless of your viewpoint, you gotta respect this man’s longevity, accomplishments, and vision. Happy Birthday KRS-One, JP Lime Productions salutes you!