"I am the God of Hip-Hop music"
By the time Blastmaster KRS-One(Knowledge Rules Supreme Over Nearly Everyone)announced his latest self-affirmation,it was not only ironic but gratuitous.Ironic because he began his career dissing Run-D.M.C. for pronouncing themselves the "Kings of Rap."Gratuitous because by his seventh album there was hardly a Hip-Hop fan on the planet who'd quible about his role in creating modern rap.With "Return of the Boom Bap" he'd come full circle.A homeless B-boy from hip hop's birthplace,the South Bronx(the Boogie Down),Kris Parker released his debut classic "Criminal Minded" to reclaim hardcore.Thanks to the commercial success of Run-D.M.C.,the music and culture had spread beyond New York's five boroughs.With "Criminal Minded",Boogie Down Productions(primarily KRS and his mentor,DJ Scott La Rock)stripped hip hop to its essence.KRS kept the beats,expertly crafted on no more than a RE 808 Drum machine,simple,his diction clear,and his delivery direct.Shortly after the release of "Criminal Minded",Scott La Rock was murdered trying to settle a dispute for BDP member D-Nice.KRS had an epiphany after the loss.The result was "Self-Destruction,"which went on to become an all-star posse cut and one of the most important singles in hip-hop history ,prompting the Stop the Violence movement.The album's cover art(an allusion to a photo of an armed Malcolm X)and songs like "Illegal Business"were explicitly political.Suddenly MCs bore more responsibility than simply moving the crowd:KRS insisted that rap artists were teachers with the attention of a generation and the mesmerizing power of the microphone.This is KRS-One:An improvisational innovator onstage and a radical philosopher in the studio.


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