Record Label: Jive Records
Hip-hop music owes a lot to KRS-One. Lyrically speaking, no other rapper has contributed so much knowledge to the culture; musically, every song hits you in the head like a hammer. At a time when hip-hop has begun expanding into new genres (new-jack swing, g-funk, gangsta rap, R&B hip-hop, etc.), Kris Parker brings all rappers back down to earth with KRS-ONE, reminding them what hip-hop is really about.
Since his days with Boogie Down Productions, KRS-One has declared that his "Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everybody," and, due in part to his street-poet-like use of clever analogies to wake up his community, it does. On "Ah-Yeah," KRS takes on the form of his ancestors to show how the hardships they suffered are coded in today's society: "This is not the first time I came to the planet/But every time I come only a few could understand it... They try to harm me/I used to be Malcolm X/Now I'm on the planet as the one called KRS." the song is only the latest of many on which KRS has used his rhymes to educate the hip-hop nation about African-American history. Although each song on KRS-ONE has something to teach, the idea that his music still pumps life into hip-hop through hardcore beats can not be overlooked. On "Rappers R.N. Dainja," KRS' lyrics warn others of the industry tactics of wack MCs ("the style that I am kickin' is like chicken/It will be bitten, re-written then performed for a twenty-five dollar admission"), as DJ Premier rocks the track with a wicked scratch of O.C.'s "Time's Up," allowing KRS-One to make it fresh for '95 just like he did in '86.