Hiphop Knowledge

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Lawrence Krisna Parker (born August 20, 1965), better known by his stage names KRS-One (a backronym for Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone), and Teacha, is an American rapper of Jamaican descent. At the 2008 BET Awards, KRS-One was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for all his work and effort towards the Stop the Violence Movement as well as the overall pioneering of hip hop music and culture. more »


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You know, life is funny
If you don't repeat the actions of your own success
You won't be successful
You gotta know your own formula, your own ingredients
What made you, YOU

1987 I was at the Latin Quarters
Listenin to Afrika Bambaata give the order
The call of the order was to avoid the slaughter
He said, "Record companies ain't got nuttin for ya!"
Without a lawyer, he taught The Infinity Lessons
In how hip-hop could be a, many a blessing
And that was great, so in 1988
There was no debate, we had to end the hate
The name of the game was "Stop the Violence"
And unity, knowledge, and self-reliance
We - started talkin bout Martin and Malcolm
Had these ghetto kids goin, "Huh, what about him?"
1989, Professor Griff speaks his mind
But his freedom of speech is declined
1990 came with the West coast
East coast, West coast, who is the best coast?
Lookin back now, of COURSE it was bogus
The whole argument was where we lost focus
We got hopeless; not with the lyrics and music
But with hip-hop, and how we used it
Or abused it, you know how the crew get
"You like it cause you choose it"
1991, we opened our eyes
With Human Education Against Lies, we tried
To talk about the state of humanity
But all these others rappers got mad at me
They called me "Captain Human", another message was sent
"Self Destruction don't pay the {fuckin} rent"
Remember that? Nobody wanted conscious rap
It was like - where these ballers at?
Where can they call us at? All was wack
Hip-Hop culture was fallin flat and that was that
So in 1992, I found my crew
They said, "Yo Kris, what you wanna do?"
I said, "Damn - why they wanna get with me?
If I bust they {shit} I'm contradictory.
If I play the bitch role, they take my shoe.
Tell me what the {f*ck} am I supposed to do?"
So I did it, don't stop get it get it get it
All of a sudden these critics they wanna spit it
"Kay Are Ess One is con-tra-dic-to-ry"
Just cause I wouldn't let these rappers get with me
{F*ck} that, {f*ck} you and {f*ck} your pen
If a rapper wanna diss, yo I'd do it again
But I'm makin these ends, and I got my friends
And I really don't wanna have to sit in the pen
So I go back to the philosopher
1993 hip-hop is uhh.. wack
Go back, check the facts
1994, "Return of the Boom Bap"
It wasn't all about the loot
It was all about Harry Allen Rhythm Cultural Institute
Blowin up, 1995
Conscious rap is still alive
But nobody wanna play it, nobody wanna say it
Nobody okayed it, they'd all rather hate it
1996 it really don't stop
We put together somethin called the Temple of Hip-Hop
Not just DJin, breakin, graf and lyrics
But how hip-hop affects the spirit
"Step Into a World," that's what I did
1997 I was raisin my kid
Or kids, but I, had to go
Cause New York DJ's changed the flows
To clothes and hoes, but that wasn't me
I'll be damned if I dance for the MTV
So in 1998 I began to debate
Should I go now, or should I really wait?
'99, I moved to L.A. you see
And took a gig with the WB
Started studyin philosophy full-time
To have a full heart, full body, full mind
But you know what the problem is or was?
DJ's don't raise our kids, cuz
They so caught up in the cash and jewels
How they gonna really see a hip-hop school?
How they gonna really see a hip-hop temple?
They don't even wanna play my instrumentals, but
Big up Dr. Dre, Snoop, Xzibit
Especially Xzibit, he was there in a minute
Mic Conception, all of them, said
"Yo you need help? I should call them"
When I was in L.A., I held the crown
Bloods, Crips, they held me down
I could never forget Mad Lion, killer pride
With the gat in the lap in the low-ride
Oh I can't forget, Icy Ice, Lucky Lou
Julio G, that was the crew
Davey D, Ingrid, David Connor
The list goes on and on, let me tell ya
FredWreck, and my man Protest
Much respect, no less
To my spiritual and mental defenders
Big up to L.A., temple members
But in 2000, I seen how I wanted to live
I wasn't no executive
So I picked up the mic and I quit my job
Said to Simone I gotta get with God
She said, "Don't worry bout these dollars and quarters.
Record companies ain't got nuttin for ya."
Damn, she took me back to Bam!
Took me back to who I am!
Brought me back to the New York land!
Now I overstand!

Now KRS-One, now you've been quoted as saying that
Rap is something we do, hip-hop is something you live.
{KRS} Yes!
Explain that to us please.
Well, well, today hip-hop, we are advocating that hip-hop is not,
Just a music, it is an attitude, it is an awareness, it is a way
To view the world. So rap music, is something we do, but HIP-HOP,
Is something we live. And we look at hip-hop, in it's 9 elements;
Which is breaking, emceeing, graffiti art, deejaying, beatboxing,
Street fashion, street language, street knowledge, and street
Entrepenurialism - trade and business. And uhh, that's where y'know
That's the hip-hop that that that we're about. We come from the uhh
The root of, of Kool DJ Herc, who originated hip-hop in the early 70's
And then Afrika Bambaata and Zulu Nation (mmhmm)
Who instigated something called The Infinity Lessons
And added conciousness to hip-hop, and then Grandmaster Flash
With the invention of the mixer, on to Run-D.M.C. and then myself.
And uhh, we created the "Stop the Violence" movement, you may recall
A song, "Self Destruction" and and and so on. All of this, goes to
Uhh uhh, the idea of LIVING this culture out and taking responsibility
For how it looks and and acts in society.

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