Every culture produces its own “keeper”. Every culture produces its own principles, its own history, its own advocates, and its own prophet pointing the way to a higher quality of life. For the urban-street culture known in the world today as “Hip Hop”, KRS-One is all of the above. Appearing on the rap scene in 1986 as Boogie Down Productions releasing his first hit single “South Bronx” with the late DJ Scott La Rock, KRS “the one” made it clear that Hip Hop was going to have to take itself a lot more serious.
KRS, an acronym for ““Knowledge Reigning Supreme”, has been called the “conscience of Hip Hop” (Rolling Stone), “the greatest live emcee ever” (The Source), the “spokesperson for Hip Hop” (Wall Street Journal), “master teacher” (Zulu Nation) and the “son of Hip Hop” (Kool DJ Herc). With 20 published albums to his credit and his numerous appearances with other artists, KRS-One has literally written the most rhymes in Hip Hop’s history. In the 1990s as “hip-hop” grew more and more commercialized and corporate, it was KRS-One who openly rejected such cultural exploitation and grounded Hip Hop in its original principles of peace, love, unity and safely having fun. Teaching everything from self-creation to stopping violence; from vegetarianism to transcendental meditation, from the establishment of Hip Hop Appreciation Week (every third week in May), to establishing Hip Hop as an international culture at the United Nations (2001), KRS-One has single-handedly held the history and original arts of Hip Hop together now for over two decades.
In addition to lecturing at over 500 universities in the United States and publishing three ground-breaking books; “The Science of Rap” (1995), “Ruminations” (2003), and the Gospel of Hip Hop” (2009), KRS-One has also established the Stop The Violence Movement (1989), influenced the creation of the “West-Coast All-Stars’ anti-gang anthem “We’re All In The Same Gang” (1990), warned the Hip Hop community against giving up their humanity for technological advancement (H. E. A. L.—Human Education Against Lies-1991), and has established the Temple of Hip Hop for the spiritual exploration of Hip Hop’s culture (1996). It was KRS-One who first argued that “rap is something we do; Hip Hop is something we live” and introduced the “I am Hip Hop” philosophy in 1994 which Black Entertainment Television uses as the title of their Hip Hop Lifetime Achievement Award today. Without question, KRS-One has been the loudest voice for the actual preservation and expansion of Hip Hop worldwide. He is unquestionably the most influential Hip Hop icon ever!
Not only is KRS-One Hip Hop’s first official teacher and true philosopher, as an emcee/rapper, he is considered the best live Hip Hop emcee of all time! His freestyle abilities are amazing! KRS-One’s concert style is high-energy! A mixture of rap, reggae, spoken word and even classical music, KRS-One reminds you as to why you fell in love with Hip Hop. Always a refreshing break from mainstream rap content, KRS-One delivers an intense street-poet performance that leaves any audience rethinking their approach to Hip Hop and its culture. KRS-One is a must see concert and a mandatory lecture for anyone really interested in the true essence of Hip Hop and how to successfully live the culture.
These days, KRS-One finds himself in high demand amongst younger and younger audiences. Whether it’s his interviews on the BEEF DVD series, or his philosophical books, or any one of his online lectures, or U-Tube performance clips, or his seemingly endless stream of recorded music, KRS-One enjoys a solid respect from millions of people seeking authenticity in music and lyrics today. Through his “Temple of Hip Hop” preservation society and ministry, KRS-One continues to share his unique knowledge of Hip Hop to younger audiences eager to hear the ‘teacha’ speak.