The Gospel of Hip Hop According to KRS ONE, Part IV -- Thinking Very Deeply, Favorite Hip Hop Artists & the N Word

Posted by Billyjam, July 25, 2010 07:07am | Post a Comment

Boogie Down Productions "My Philosophy" (1988)

That 22 year old Boogie Down Productions (BDP) era quote of KRS-One's that goes, 'I think very deeply,' taken from the song/single "My Philosophy" off the 1988 BDP album By All Means Boogie Down ProductionsNecessary (Jive/RCA), remains true to this day. KRS-One really does think very deeply about every minute detail and aspect of Hip Hop and he digs deeper than most are prepared to, or are even interested in doing. As he said in the Amoeblog interview, "I dig deep: I'm rapping, I'm emcee'ing. What the hell is emcee'ing? Rakim said 'E M C E E, a repetition of words, check out my melody,' so why did he say E M C E E and not M C? What's the difference? I know other people didn't really care about what the difference was. They just wanted the money. But me, I ran and grabbed the Oxford English dictionary with a magnifying glass on it and I looked up E M. What is E M and what is C E E? And then what is I N? And what does it mean to take the G off of I N G? When did this happen in English language? Who else did this? Why are we thinking like this? No one asks those questions. I ask those questions."

At this point I asked KRS a question. Who are some of his favorite emcees or Hip Hop artists in general? He said that there were too many to mention every one, but that he counts Supernatural among his favorites, quickly adding, "People like Chris Rock I think encompass the kulture of Hip Hop. He applies the sight of Hip Hop to another medium and you could see Hip Hop in another way by looking at him." However, KRS was somewhat critical of both Will Smith and Queen Latifah, not as emcees but as Queen Latifahhigh profile movie actors in a position to represent Hip Hop more than they do.

"With Will Smith, I expected him to do more for Hip Hop in acting like I expected him to do more. He supposed to have the film The Complete History of Hip Hop up for film and DVD. Queen Latifah, who I personally trained as an emcee, I thought would do more in Hollywood for Hip Hop in particular; you know, maybe Wild Style II, you know, and do a tribute to female emcees everywhere or something like that. But this is some of the downsides. I'm just comparing Chris Rock to, like, them -- all coming out of the Hip Hop kulture but as you can see when you say who's really representin' these days."

KRS then said that of the current day Hip Hop stars, "I think Drake represents Hip Hop these days. I know people would cringe at me saying that but I really love the young kids coming up in the kulture these days. They young and they stupid like we was but what they are representing culturally is accurate. Certain people they will not disrespect, like Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, John Lennon even, people like this -- the greats of the sixties, the Black Panther movement, even the Weathermen. This younger generation don't disrespect them. Now they may diss their parents (laughs) but they will not disrespect Harriet Tubman. And I think this is amazing for our kulture and for our young people."

KRS-One "MCs Act Like They Don't Know" (1995)

In the DJ Premier produced 1995 hip-hop classic track "MC's Act Like They Don't Know" (from the album KRS-One on Jive), KRS raps that infamous, oft quoted verse that goes, 'What goes around, come around I figure. Now we got white kids calling themselves nigga. The tables turned as the crosses burned. Remember you must learn." And, as we know, in the fifteen years since KRS wrote & recorded those lyrics the N word has become even more of a hot button issue. Hence, I was curious to know his thoughts on it now. He weighed in on it referencing such high-profile media covered instances of white people saying the N word as Dog the Bounty Hunter, of whom KRS noted, "His whole family is affiliated with African Americans, so Hip Hop laughed it off. He even got his black reverend on Larry King Live to say that, 'This man is not racist at all. I've been his minister for 20 years. He may have said some stupid nonsense but he himself is not racist.'" He also offered his opinion on both Eminem and Imus, two instances over the past few years that he was invited on national media to address. KRS's Amoeblog interview excerpt about this appears in the YouTube clip immediately below, visuals produced by DJ ALF.

"The N Word" KRS-One Amoeblog Interview Excerpt IV (2010)
In celebration of his most recently published book, The Gospel of Hip Hop (Powerhouse Books), KRS-One will appear at Amoeba Music Hollywood for a lecture, Q+A session, and book signing on Wednesday, July 28th at 6pm, for a standing room only audience in the LA store's intimate scale Jazz Room. For more information on this special appearance click here

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. And if you have questions that you would like posed to KRS-One at this upcoming Amoeba exclusive appearance please post them in the comments below and, as moderator of the event, I will try my best to present them to the author.

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Hip Hop (93), Krs 1 (7), Boogie Down Productions (8), Krs One (7), Kris Parker (7), The Gospel According To Krs One (7), Bdp (10), Hip-hop (209), Interview (341)