KRS!

KRS-ONE is born again! Praise the Lord.  It’s not very surprising to me, having been a huge fan of Kris for 10 or so years now... you could always hear him struggling for and against Christ in his rhymes.  It’s so awesome and encouraging to hear that one of the 2 greatest MCs ever (the other being, of course, Rakim) has come to Christ!  Here’s a quick lyric or two from his latest album:

I know what y’all thinkin, KRS-One doing gospel rap??
Say word son!  Word sonny,
we don’t spit verbs for money
Some of these churchs be absurd and funny.
Everything I said in the past, I still spit that.
Songs like ’The Truth’, ’Higher Level’ and ’Why is That?’
I give back quick facts,
but when I say God created hip-hop
many churches won’t admit that...

To be a conscious rapper ain’t a mystery.
You gotta laugh when they call you contradictory.
The whole industry, you gotta push and pull it.
To really get with me, you gotta dodge they bullets -
BLAOW, BLAOW, BLAOW - every day and every way.
You critics got somethin to say?
At the same time, you’ve got to uphold Christ.
Uphold life, while others flash cars and ice.

Expect some tracks in the music section soon.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply

Comments:

01. Jan 22, 2003 at 4:15am by Anthony:

It’s just hypocrisy on hip-hop’s part to cry racial profiling when your race is on TV acting like fools.
- KRS

I think that’s the single most important contribution that I can offer, the strengthening of people’s spirit and soul, the strengthening of families, the unity of a husband and a wife. To me, that’s most important. Without that, we have nothing.
- KRS

Here are a few excerpts from an interview that The Onion AV Club did with KRS-One in early 2001. This is some of the most honest and insightful stuff I’ve ever heard a person say, especially a famous person.  But that’s how KRS-One is, and always has been.

TheOnion: You left [the Jive record label] after I Got Next. What was the cause of that?
KRS: Jive Records gets my respect, but we went in two different directions. They started putting out Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys and ’N Sync on the same label as me. They knew it, I knew it, we all knew that this was a disaster, the fact that they got Britney Spears on the same label with KRS-One.

TheOnion: What did your A&R work for Warner Brothers teach you?
KRS: The single most important lesson I learned is that black people are the cause of black people’s demise. All the white executives there treated me as if they were my son and I was their father, not the other way around. But, then, when I met with my black brothers, I say to you today, very reluctantly, it was a disappointment. The attitude that I was confronted with on that level was ridiculous. They didn’t want to speak to me. ... I never again will join in on the rhetoric that the white man is the reason black people can’t get ahead in corporate America. That’s BS now, as far as I’m concerned. Maybe it was like that. Maybe in some corporations, it still is. But I know that at Time-Warner it ain’t, and I was there from the highest level to the lowest level. And the problem is, black people are just constantly immature in their thinking, undisciplined, and we suffer as a people. You know, this is not about race in the sense that black people got to get something better than whites or Latinos or Asians. This is just basically that we keep complaining about what we don’t have and what we can’t do, and then, when we get in positions to do stuff, we fight amongst ourselves like savages. That was the single most important lesson I learned.

TheOnion: Do you feel like people have a bias against older rappers?
KRS: Just black people do. Just black executives have a bias against older artists. We don’t respect our elders. Besides artists, we don’t respect Frederick Douglass. We don’t respect Martin Luther King. You look at every Martin Luther King Boulevard out here, and it’s a crack block. That’s not because of white people. That’s because of black leadership. We just have that problem, and it’s something that I am going to spend the rest of my life trying to conquer. So, yeah, when it comes to the artists themselves, you look at someone like myself. It’s these black DJs that are like, "Aww, man, KRS. He always preaching. Aww, man." But you go to the white DJs, and they can rattle off my songs. It’s so funny that, when Public Enemy was out, their whole audience was white. And they’re like, "Farrakhan, don’t say you understand until you hear the man," and "Fight The Power," or "Don’t Believe The Hype," and it’s white kids that are chanting the lyrics and benefiting from that kind of thinking. And black folk look at Public Enemy, and the best thing we could do is say of Public Enemy’s last album, "Oh, his beats was wack." Regardless of the message, regardless of anything else, "Oh, Chuck could’ve came with a better beat. He should’ve got [DJ] Premier. He should’ve went to Dr. Dre." This is the extent of our respect for our older artists, and I think it’s a shame. I think it’s appalling, and I think it’s one of the cancers of our race.

TheOnion: Do you feel like the media pay too much attention to people like Eminem, Puff Daddy, and Jay-Z, who are seemingly in constant trouble?
KRS: Yes and no. Yes, they pay attention, because they have to print controversy to sell, but those people pay more attention to the media than I think a conscious rap artist does. Eminem’s publicity agent is obviously aggressive about getting him out there, and getting controversial stories out there. In a way, Eminem benefits from all of this, especially with the image he’s portraying. If you’re an outlaw, you want the media to print the fact that you got arrested for gun possession. You want the media to print that you slapped up your girlfriend, that you smoked a blunt and ran down the block. You want that, and I think the media have done a great service to Eminem and Dr. Dre, and so on.

TheOnion: Do you feel like the police are targeting rappers?
KRS: Why, certainly. Certainly, just turn on the TV. I think BET and MTV are one of the main reasons why we have racial profiling in this country today... [Police officers] are human. They go home, they have to buy their son or daughter the latest rap CD, they listen to it, and they listen to rappers confessing crimes, saying how they got away with murder. They listen to that. Any responsible man or woman with a family cannot respect that, and so if you watch BET and MTV, and then you put on your uniform and go out to patrol the street, you’re like, "I know what you’re all about. You’re really only about shooting guns, smoking blunts, and promiscuous sex." It’s just hypocrisy on hip-hop’s part to cry racial profiling when your race is on TV acting like fools.

...

TheOnion: Do you feel like that’s starting to happen, like some companies are marketing to a conscious audience?
KRS: Oh, yeah. The whole world is conscious. It’s just that we become conscious at times, and you become conscious when you lose a parent, or just a loved one, period a wife, a brother, you know. You wake up and say, "Man, it’s real. I don’t need this pimp gangster stuff anymore, I need something with a little more substance." And there is marketing for that. ... You’ve just got to know where your audience is, and I do think there’s going to be a surge of it, especially again with the new administration, the presidency of George Bush. I think people are going to be reaching for this now.

TheOnion: What do you think has been your most important contribution to rap music and hip-hop culture?
KRS: The defining of it. ... What I’m thinking about is, if I were to critique myself step out of KRS objectively and look at him I would say that KRS has introduced the concept of being hip-hop, not just doing it. The concept of rap as something we do, while hip-hop is something we live. The concept of living a culture. Don’t just look at hip-hop as rap music, see it as a culture. My songs, in terms of "You Must Learn" or "Why Is That?" or "Black Cop," those kinds of songs make people question their environment. I think that’s the single most important contribution that I can offer, the strengthening of people’s spirit and soul, the strengthening of families, the unity of a husband and a wife. To me, that’s most important. Without that, we have nothing. If a son doesn’t respect a father, if a child doesn’t respect a parent, then we’re lost. And I think what I bring to hip-hop is that. I make intelligence cool. I make spirituality cool. If we can make one’s devotion to God cool, then I think I did a great thing. I can rest in peace.

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