Hip Hop History ~ KRS-One [Part II]


This is [Part II].  If you missed [Part I] of this Hip Hop History article on KRS-One, go here: https://1ncredible.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/hip-hop-history-krs-one-part-i/

“I am Hip Hop”

In ’94 KRS produced an untitled album for Supernatural and created the “I Am Hip Hop” philosophy, which holds that “Rap is something you DO, Hip Hop is something you LIVE!”  Therefore, if you live Hip Hop, then you can say “I Am Hip Hop”.  Some artists took offence at this statement, interpreting it as KRS-One being arrogant.  The same year, the first Hip Hop “Meeting Of The Minds” conference was held in Harlem.  The preservation of Hip Hop was discussed, as was the concept of a Hip Hop Museum and the building of Hip Hop into an authentic world culture.

In ’95 KRS released the album “KRS-One” which included “MCs Act Like They Don’t Know” (original video):

Having been recording for ten years at this point, he worked with younger artists for the album, and the production was fuller than on “Return of the Boom Bap”.

Track four on the album was “Ah-Yeah”,which was on the Black Panther movie soundtrack (original video):

another track was “R.E.A.L.I.T.Y”:

Track 6 was “Free Mumia”:

“Represent the Real Hip Hop” featured Das Efx:

“Build Ya Skillz” was track 11:

The album was originally meant to be titled “Hip-Hop Vs. Rap” and as well as this change, many tracks were scrapped from the album at the last minute.

The scrapped songs songs ‘include the Diamond D produced song “What I Know”, the ragga-flavoured “Dem Cubs” and a few interludes including “Kris Is…” and “Meta-physician”. All of these songs still remains unreleased to this day although they have all been posted at XXL Magazines webpage for streaming.’

“What I Know”:

“Strickly For Da Breakdancers & Emceez” was an instrumental album produced by KRS. It was first recorded and released in 95 as two separate vinyl records, Strictly For Da Breakdancers and Strictly For Da Emcees (The Goddess Set).

He also released his first book, “The Science of Rap” and produced tracks for Channel Live and Mad Lion in ’95.  He created the “Future Flavas” show for Hot 97 radio station and received a lifetime achievement award from Afrika Bambaataa at the Zulu Nation Anniversary celebration.

The Temple of Hip Hop

In ’96 KRS released a series of white labels – records with no titles, credits or label artwork.  Also the Temple of Hip Hop was also announced, which is a ministry, archive, School, and Society with the purpose of maintaining and promoting Hip Hop Culture. The Temple of Hip Hop maintains that Hip Hop is a genuine political movement, religion, and culture. The principles of the Temple are explained on KRS’s website:


In ’96 KRS produced tracks for many more artists and developed a lecture entitled “Hip Hop: Its Meaning And Purpose”.  Also “The Battle For Rap Supremacy: KRS-One Vs. MC Shan” was released (mentioned in Part 1 earlier) – a collection  made up of the classic diss records KRS-One/Boogie Down Productions and MC Shan/The Juice Crew made during the “Bridge Wars”.

In ’97 he released the album “I Got Next”,  became Ethics Editor of Blaze Magazine, and spoke out against C. Delores Tucker’s campaign against what she labeled “Gangsta Rap”.

“I Got Next” was more commercial / mainstream in its use of samples and collaborators.  It was certified Gold, and sold 94,000 copies in one week.

“The MC” was track three on the album:

Here is another track from the album, “Step into a World (Rapture’s Delight)” (original video):


“Come to da Party”(track 14):

Track 16 was “Over Ya Head”:

In ’98 he started working as A&R for Warner/Reprise and signed Kool Moe Dee, Lady Red and others.

He also released a Temple of Hip Hop album called “Criminal Justice”.

Hip Hop Appreciation Week & Hip Hop History Month

In the same year he established Hip Hop Appreciation Week every third week in May.   The purpose of the week is to encourage DJs and MCs to teach people about the culture of Hip Hop, to write more socially conscious songs, and for radio stations to play more socially conscious Hip Hop.

The Temple of Hip Hop also recognises Hip Hop History Month (November), founded by the Universal Zulu Nation.

In ’99 he was the keynote lecturer at Rock And Roll Hall of Fame’s Hip Hop Exhibition conference.  He also hosted a radio show called Temple of Hip Hop Kulture on The Beat (KKBT) Radio station, LA, until it became Hot 92.3.

In ’99, there were tentative plans to release an album called “Maximum Strength” – and a lead single from it, “5 Boroughs”, was released on The Corrupter movie soundtrack.  Eventually in 2008 an album called Maximum Strength was released but the tracks and cover art were different.

“5 Boroughs”:


in 2000 KRS declared himself “The Teacha” of the Hip Hop arts and sciences and attended a Hip Hop Summit.  He also was named Creative Director at the Riverside Church in Harlem and mentored young boys and hosted the Blaze Battle rap battle show.  He was released from Jive Records which had gone in a more Pop direction.

In 2000 “A Retrospective” compilation album was released, featuring many songs that were originally released under the Boogie Down Productions name, and some songs released as KRS-One’s.

In 2001 “The Sneak Attack” album was released, which included the track “Hot” produced by the original Jazzy Jeff from rap pioneers the Funky Four Plus One.  This year, KRS provided two educational programs for kids at Riverside church and Cleveland Elementary School.  And he attended the Hip Hop Hall of Fame conference focusing upon the creation of an accurate Hip Hop history.

“Hot” (original video) – this song goes hard!

“Hip Hop Knowledge” was track nine on “The Sneak Attack”:

“Hush” – track 15:

A couple of motivational songs on the album were “I Will Make It” and this one, “Get Yourself Up”:

“Shutupayouface” was track 17:

The last track on the album was “The Raptizm”:

The same year, KRS-One and many Hip Hop pioneers signed the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace at an event where the United Nations recognised Hip Hop as a legitimate international culture of peace and prosperity.

“KRS-One and The Temple of Hip Hop” also released the album “Spiritually Minded” in 2001 which charted in the Billboard Gospel charts at number four.   Wikipedia states that ‘ KRS-One’s Christian lyrical content came as a surprise to fans and critics, as he had previously written songs critical of Christianity and organised religion.’

“South Bronx 2002” was track 6:

“The Conscious Rapper” was track 11:

“Never Give Up” was track 7:

Track 3 was “Take Your Tyme”:

“Trust” was track 13:

“Aint Ready” was track 15:

The Temple of Hip Hop held its first “sermonar” around this time too.

Nelly battle

In 2002 KRS-One battled Nelly and released the “Mix Tape” album and “Prophets vs. Prophets”.  It is known for the song “Ova Here” which disses Nelly for being commercial and disrespecting KRS-One.  A very limited version of the street album was released in Europe under the title Prophets vs. Profits.

“Ova Here”:

Another Nelly diss from “Prophets vs. Prophets” was “You Don’t Really Want It”:

A pro-female song on the album was “womanology”:

“My People” was on the mixtape but not the album:

Track two was “Things Is About To Change”:

Track 3 – “Down the Charts”:

Track 10 “Problemz”:

In 2003, album “The Kristyle” came out and his second book, “Ruminations” published.

‘”The Kristyle” featured production by Da Beatminerz, DJ Revolution and KRS-One’s brother and long-time collaborator DJ Kenny Parker. The song “Ya Feel Dat” did not appear on some versions of the album’.

“How Bad Do You Want It” was a single:

“Underground” was track two on the album:

“Its all a Struggle”:

“Aint the Same” featured a young Joell Ortiz:

A song about diversity was “Somebody”:

“Gunnen’ Em Down” was track 13

The “D.I.G.I.T.A.L.” compilation album was released in 2003 which included songs previously only released on white label 12″ singles, and B-sides, plus some remixes and KRS-One cameos on other artists’ records.

Many of the tracks on the compilation were given different titles from their original releases.

In 2004, KRS-One, DJ Kool Herc, The Sugar Hill Gang and Chuck D were honoured by the first VH-1 “Hip Hop Honours”.  Rolling Stone also named KRS Hip Hop’s “institutional authority” and “self help guru” and Billboard named him “Pioneer of the Year”.

“Keep Right” was released this year.  ‘For a short time it was bundled with a free DVD. It peaked at #80 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

“Illegal Business (Remix 2004)” (original video):

“Phucked” – track six on “Keep Right”

Track 13 – “Me Man”:

“My Mind Is Racing”, track 11 on the aln\bum:

Track 16 was “I Been There”:

Also in 2004 the album “Life” was released. ‘It was a collaboration with little known production team The Resistance.’

“I Am There” was a track on “Life”:

“My Life” was the last track:

“Still Slippin’” was another track:

“Bling Blung” was the first track on the album:

“Fucked Up” was another song:

“Freedom” was track 6:

Track 7 was “I’m On The Mic”:

September 11

In September ’04 KRS-One was criticised due to comments about 9/11.  He explains “I was asked about why Hip Hop has not engaged the current situation more (meaning 9/11), my response was “because it does not affect us, or at least we don’t perceive that it affects us, 9/11 happened to them”. I went on to say that “I am speaking for the culture now; I am not speaking my personal opinion.” I continued to say; “9/11 affected them down the block; the rich, the powerful those that are oppressing us as a culture.  Sony, RCA or BMG, Universal,  the radio stations, Clear Channel, Viacom with BET and MTV, those are our oppressors, those are the people that we’re trying to overcome in Hip Hop everyday, this is a daily thing. We cheered when 9/11 happened in New York and say that proudly here. Because when they were down at the trade centre we were getting hit over the head by cops, told that we can’t come in this building, hustled down to the train station because of the way we dressed and talked, and so on, we were racially profiled.  So, when the planes hit the building we were like, “mmmm, justice.” And just as I began to say “now of course a lot of our friends and family were lost there as well” I was interrupted…”

In 2005 he toured extensively and gave “sermonars” after shows and at events.

In late 2005, KRS was featured alongside Public Enemy‘s Chuck D on the remix of the song “Bin Laden” by Immortal Technique and DJ Green Lantern:

“Bin Laden (Remix)”:

In 2007 he appeared on the track “Classic”.  The following year BET introduces the “I am Hip Hop” award, after the term KRS coined in ’94.


“Hip Hop Lives” (original video):

in 2008 KRS recorded “Hip Hop Lives” with Marley Marl, the title a reference or sequel to, but not a criticism of, NaS’s album / assertion that “Hip Hop Is Dead”.  ‘This is a historical album in the sense that 20 years prior, KRS and Marley were bitter rivals involved in the legendary Bridge Wars.  Marley Marl produced this album.

“Hip Hop Lives” (original video):

“The Victory” feat. Blaq Poet (scratches by DJ Premier):

“All Skool”:

“Strictly Hip Hop”:

“The Most Dangerous Emcee”:

“Kill a Rapper”:

“Stop the Violence” (Part 2):

In 2008, he released the album “Adventures in Emceein” and he collaborated with Talib Kweli on a track called “The Beat”.  The first single from “Adevntures in Emceein’” was “The Real Hip-Hop” which featured NaS talking, who called KRS-One “The greatest MC that ever lived”.

I like this track a lot from “Adventures in Emceein’” – “Our Soldiers”:

“Money” featured MC Lyte:

“We Dem Teachas” name checks great leaders and featured Keith Stewart:

“What’s Your Plan?”:


A collaborative song “Self-Construction” was released in 2008, by KRS resurrecting the Stop The Violence Movement.


KRS also appeared in online documentary “The Obama Deception” the same year.

“The Obama Deception”:

In 2007 KRS received The I am Hip Hop and Lifetime Achievement awards from BET.

The album “Maximum Strength” was released in 2008.

“All My Men” was track 3 on “Maximum Strength”:

“New York” was track 8:

“The Heat” was the last track:

“The Kool Herc” was track 6:

“Straight Through” was track 4:

In 2009, he hosted the Rock The Bells tour with Supernatural.

KRS produced “The J.I.L – Justice, Inspiration and Love” album for G Simone. and assisted the National Urban League’s anti-violence campaigns in Detroit Michigan.

The Gospel of Hip Hop

Also in 2009 his book “The Gospel of Hip Hop”, which is definitely worth reading, was also published.

In 2009 KRS One guest starred on several albums, including “Arts & Entertainment”, on the song “Pass the Mic” by fellow Hip Hop veterans Masta Ace & Ed O.G:

“Pass The Mic”:

KRS also featured on the posse cut “Mega Fresh X” by Cormega(alongside DJ Red Alert, Parrish Smith, Grand Puba & Big Daddy Kane) on his album “Born and Raised”:

“Mega Fresh X”:

Collaboration albums

KRS One and Buckshot collaborated on an album with a more commercial production style, “Survival Skills”, released in 2009.

“Oh Really?” featured Talib Kweli:

“Runnin’ Away featured Immortal Technique:

“Hear No Evil” was track 11:

“Amazin@ was track 10:

“Past Present And Future” was the last track on the album:

“Murder 1” featured Bounty Killer:

KRS-One spoke at a Hip Hop concert on September 12, 2009 to benefit the first responders of 9/11. The event was presented by the 9/11 group We Are Change and SMT Studios.

He also received a Living Legend Award from the Urban Music Awards in 2009.

In 2010 on behalf of Afrika Bambaataa, Kenny Yoda and Zulu Nation KRS declared the National Hip Hop Museum “illegitimate” and the Universal Federation for the Preservation of Hip Hop formed a game plan.

The same year, “Meta-Historical”, a collaboration album between KRS and Wu-Tang Clan affiliated producer True Master was released.

The title track, “Meta-Historical”:

Track 2 was Ya Murda:

“Palm and Fist” was another track:

“Here’s What We Gon’ Do” featured RZA:

“Street Fighter” was another track on the album:

“He’s Us” was track 19:

He also released a six track EP, Back to the L.A.B (Lyrical Ass Beating).

The last track was “TEK-NOLOGY”:

“Never Afraid” was track 5:

“Show Shocked” was track 4:

In 2010 artists including Ruste Juxx, Torae & Skyzoo, Sha Stimuli, Promise, J.A.M.E.S. Watts and Team Facelift released ‘Survival Kit’ as an ode to the 2009 album “Survival Skills” by KRS One and Buckshot. The mixtape was released for free download on DuckDown.com. The album features new version of KRS classics ‘South Bronx’, ‘Sound Of Da Police’ and ‘MC’s Act Like They Don’t Know’ as well as new versions of well known Buckshot songs and ‘Past Present Future’ from the Survival Skills album.

In 2010 Zulu Nation also named KRS Hip Hop’s “Master Teacha” and he toured Europe.

The same year, “Godsville”,a collaborative album between KRS and Show, from Showbiz and A.G. was released.  It was released digitally in February, but the physical release didn’t hit stores until May. It  followed the theme of KRS-One creating an album fully produced by a legendary New York producer, following “Metahistorical”  with True Master and “Hip Hop Lives” with Marley Marl.

Track 2 on “Godsville” was “Show Power”:

Track 3 was “We Love This”:

“Here Me More” was track 8:

“Running in the Dark”:

“Another Day” featured Jeffrey Nortey:

In 2011 he recorded a live freestyle DVD with Snoop Dogg and Battle Cat.

In the same year, “controversy over KRS-One and terrorism re-surfaced for the 10th anniversary of September 11, when a video for his song “Real Terrorism” (featuring an upstart rapper named “Greenie”) was banned from YouTube for “unwatchable” and “graphic” content. The video contained actual news images of American atrocities throughout history while the song featured Krs-One co-arguing that the United States is just as guilty of terrorism as are those who the country accuses of terrorism. The song & video caused much online controversy late in 2011 and a number of supporters of free speech went ahead and re-posted the banned video to YouTube anyway. Sites like Vimeo saw it get over 50,000 hits in just a few days and YouTube refused to comment on the banning” according to Wikipedia.

“Real Terrorism” (music without the original video because its banned):

KRS One also narrated the 2011 film Rhyme and Punishment, a documentary about Hip-Hop artists who have done jail time.

Trailer for “Rhyme and Punishment”:

In 2012, “The BDP Album” was released made up only of tracks created by KRS and brother Kenny Parker.  KRS also appeared in the film “Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap”:

Trailer for “Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap”:

KRS-One interview and short freestyle from the movie:

Track 1 on “The BDP Album” was “Tote Gunz”:

“The Hustle” was track 11:

“All Day” is another track:

“Do It” was track 10:

“Time’s Up” was track 12:

KRS-One continues to rap, produce and be The Teacha.

His website is here: http://www.krs-one.com/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/IAmKRSOne

And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/KRS-One/153571167636


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