In celebration of Hip Hop legend KRS One's recently unleashed 800 + page book, The Gospel of Hip Hop: First Instrument presented by KRS ONE for the Temple of Hip Hop published by Powerhouse Books, the Teacha himself will make a special exclusive Amoeba Music Hollywood appearance tomorrow (Wednesday, July 28th) at 6pm. He will present a lecture, Q+A session, and book signing for those lucky to gain access to the standing room only Jazz Room section of the Southern California Amoeba store.
For more information on how you can still attend this unique Amoeba instore appearance by the man who literally wrote the good book on Hip Hop, click here. And if you cannot attend this one off event but would like to purchase a copy of the book online from Amoeba and have KRS sign it for you, you can do so by clicking here. Also, should you have any questions that you would like presented to KRS, please write them in the comments below and, as moderator of his lecture at Amoeba Hollywood, I will do my best to have him answer your question.
Meantime, this is the fifth in the six part KRS One Amoeblog interview, with each installment leading up to the KRS instore on July 28th. On the topic of the Gospel of Hip Hop, KRS One insists, "If we are going to create a kulture, an international kulture, then we are going to have to dig a little deeper than rap music CDs and Wild Style movie watching. We're gonna have to actually know, to the deepest aspect of our being, who we are and what we mean. And this is done in mathematics. This is done through language. This is done through gnostic knowledge, dreams, visions, miracles. And to live that even you have to live a dangerous life. You have to live on the edge. You might get arrested. Your friend may die. And people don't want to go that path. They don't want to investigate anything that deep. So for me there is no debate. I have delved deep into Hip Hop for my own survival by the way, love of craft, and my own survival."
KRS believes that not everyone is meant to fully understand the deeper meaning to Hip Hop, to the Gospel of Hip Hop, but that he certainly does. "I'm the philosopher in Hip Hop. GOD gave me this eye, this sight to be able to dig deeper into a subject than [just] the surface of it," he said in the Amoeblog interview. "I got this sight from divine intelligence. I don't see anything on the earth that could have given me this kind of sight but I do read it and it has come to other men and women as well -- this gnostic kind of knowledge, this intuit kind of knowledge where you don't need books to know what you know and you can test it in physical reality to see if it is real, which is why I always name the practice of Hip Hop the practice of Hip Hop art and science, because we're only looked at as an art, but our art is a repeatable science. You could test our existence and our being in our physical nature."
For all the love that KRS-One gets there are also many detractors -- those who criticize him for "playing God" or constantly preaching when, they say, he should stick to just rapping. So how does KRS deal with these people or these situations when confronted by the disbelievers? "It's always a gain. It's never any malice or disrespect. In my early years when I was younger and more arrogant a few rappers got thrown off stage and punched out. Yes, indeed," he said, making direct reference to the controversial, well documented run in he had with PM Dawn back in 1992 when, in protest of the group, he bum-rushed their stage show. He continued, "But now, I'm 44, now I have realized that a truth -- a truth about my kulture, about what I've lived for twenty years now, really my whole life, but got serious [about] the last twenty years. And when people have a difference of opinion; first they're allowed to have that opinion. I am only a student and a teacher. Either I'm teaching or I'm learning. It's one or the other. You could be yelling at me, screaming at me. You could be disrespecting me. You can be whatever. Either I'm learning from you or I'm teaching you. It's one or the other for me. I don't get emotional over it and I don't try to convince people that I'm right and they're wrong or even convince them that they're right and I'm wrong. There's no convincing. There's no need because what I've discovered is that the truth -- everybody will get it, even if you get it in death you get it. Even if you have to get it on the other side, you get the truth. So once you have captured the truth or I will be humble enough to say a truth."
"In Hip Hop I would say I have the truth. In the world there are other truths. This Hip Hop reality, this Hip Hop atmosphere that we are creating, is the truth of my being and other peoples' beings as well," said KRS One. "So if you say, 'I'm into Hip Hop. I love Hip Hop. I am Hip Hop,' but if you say, 'As for this Gospel of Hip Hop - I don't believe it. I don't think this is right' -- well, the only thing that I can say is, well m'am or please, sir, please pass the book onto someone else or save it for the autograph that may be in it because eventually -- you may be 60, you may be 70, you may be 90 years old, you may be dead -- but eventually you are going to see what was written in this book was the truth for this group of people at this age in this time. This was the truth for them. And for all generations to come Hip Hop is literally preserved. It is actually preserved, which is my point exactly; it is not to argue but to preserve a kulture. So if I don't agree with the way you're preserving the kulture then can I see your plan to preserve the kulture? And let me either update my plan or update yours, but let me see the plan. There is no reason to argue if we're all doing good work. And if one is doing bad work and the other is doing good work then the guy who is doing the bad work is going to last? No way. We know that to be the truth. So again I say that those who may not understand the deep philosophical side of Hip Hop -- that is fine. A lot of people are not meant to understand that either."
And in the YouTube clip below KRS One speaks further about those he believes should take heed of the Gospel of Hip Hop and also about the benefits of speaking the truth, especially within the kulture of Hip Hop, and why Hip Hop is unique in that it draws no discrimination between different religions or even Satanism. Also below is the video for the KRS-One single "Outta Here" off his 1993 solo album Return of the Boom Bap (Jive). Check back here tomorrow for the final installment in the KRS ONE Amoeblog series.
KRS ONE Amoeblog Interview Excerpts Pt 5: GOD, Satan, Religion, & The Gospel of Hip Hop (2010)
KRS-One "Outta Here" (1993)