KRS-One Background information Birth name Lawrence Krisna Parker Also known as KRS, Teacha, The Blastmaster, Big Joe Krash Born August 20, 1965
Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York
Origin South Bronx, New York, U.S. Genres Hip hop Occupations Rapper, record producer, actor, author, activist Instruments Vocals, turntables Years active 1984–present Labels Jive, RCA, Duck Down Associated acts Boogie Down Productions, Geologic of the Blue Scholars Scott La Rock, Marley Marl, Diamond D, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Buckshot, Talib Kweli, Immortal TECH, R.E.M. Website 
Lawrence Krisna Parker (born August 20, 1965), better known by his stage names KRS-One (an acronym for Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone), and Teacha, is an American rapper. 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.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Awards
- 3 Discography
- 4 Filmography
- 5 Books
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Lawrence Parker was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York during the summer of 1965. Parker left home at 14 to become an MC and Philosopher, coming to live at a homeless shelter in the South Bronx where he was dubbed Krishna by residents because of his interest in the Hare Krishna spirituality of some of the antipoverty workers. By the time he met youth counselor Scott Sterling, he was also writing graffiti as KRS-One (Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone). Together he and Sterling, a.k.a. DJ Scott La Rock eventually created Boogie Down Productions, releasing their debut album, Criminal Minded, in 1987. KRS-One has been a vegetarian since his youth.
Boogie Down Productions
In the summer of 1984, KRS-One hit the music scene with a rap group called "Scott La Rock and the Celebrity Three" with a record called "Advance". In a time when most rappers rhymed about cars, jewelry, alcohol, and the latest dance, KRS-One was rhyming about nuclear war prevention. Scott La Rock and the Celebrity Three was composed of Scott La Rock, Levi167, MC Quality, and KRS-One. After legal problems with the head of the label, Scott La Rock and the Celebrity Three were released from their contract. In the winter of 1984, KRS-One wrote a song called "Stop The Violence" although by this time The Celebrity Three had broken up and only KRS-One and Scott La Rock remained. Because of the situation, the group was renamed The Boogie Down Crew.
In 1985, Scott La Rock, a friend of producer/writer Kenny Beck (2 The Limit, Octavia - Pow Wow Records and Mine All Mine, Cashflow - Polygram Records) asked Beck to do a record he had written for his brother Kevin Goldbeck. Since the record was not quite finished being produced yet for Sleeping Bag Records and Scott had a real affinity for the sty-lings of Krs-one, Kenny Beck decided to form a group around the three, Kevin (freshly released from New York State Prison), Scott and Krs-one. Their name was 12:41, given that moniker by Beck as that was the time they had completed the final mix. All three plus Beck can be heard rapping on the record. Scott, ever the social worker asked Beck to do this as a way out of the shelter for his friend Krs-one. Of course Kris and Scott wanted to concentrate on their own Boogie Down Crew but first they had to go through this. No one was paid for this project and the small amount budgeted by the label for the product prior to Scott La Rock's and Krs-one's involvement barely covered recording costs. This is why producer David Eng, Snow (Informer) and Inspector Gadget writer and studio owner of Bayside Sound (Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, UTFO was brought in. The original song was written, produced and recorded by Kenny Beck and royalties and claims are being pursued for all parties involved. It was this project that educated Kris and Scott as to the importance of being producers of their music, as well as the artists, so at this point they decided to change the name of their own Boogie Down Crew to Boogie Down Productions.
At the close of 1987, the B.D.P lifestyle got real when Scott La Rock was killed trying to settle a dispute in the Bronx. This 'shocked' the Hip Hop community and, once again, rap and violence became a topic in the mainstream press. The rap community thought Boogie Down Productions was over but this only led to new plans for KRS-One. In 1988, KRS-One left B. Boy Records to sign with Jive Records and "By All Means Necessary" was released. Rap music was under a mainstream microscope and KRS-One now was able to release what he and Scott always dreamed about, an album that gave rap a different image. His first video on Jive Records was for "My Philosophy", a song that re-established his presence in the rap world.
KRS-One began his recording career as one third of the hip hop group Boogie Down Productions, or BDP, alongside DJ Scott La Rock and Derrick "D-Nice" Jones. They met during a stay KRS-One had at the Bronx Franklin Avenue Armory Shelter. La Rock (real name Scott Sterling) worked as a social worker there. The duo would begin to create music. After being rejected by radio DJs Mr. Magic and Marley Marl, KRS-One would go on to diss the two and those associated with them, sparking what would later be known as The Bridge Wars. Additionally, KRS had taken offense to "The Bridge", a song by Marley Marl's protege, MC Shan (later on, KRS One produced an album with Marley Marl in 2007); the song could be interpreted as a claim that Queensbridge was the monument of Hiphop, though MC Shan has repeatedly denied this claim. Still, KRS "dissed" the song with the BDP record "South Bronx"; next, a second round of volleys would ensue with Shan's "Kill That Noise" and BDP's "The Bridge Is Over". KRS-One, demonstrating his nickname "The Blastmaster", gave a live performance that devastated MC Shan, and many conceded he had won the battle. Many believe this live performance to be the first MC battle where rappers attack each other, instead of a battle between who can get the crowd more hyped.
Parker and Sterling decided to form a rap group together, initially calling themselves "Scott La Rock and the Celebrity Three". That was short-lived, however, as the two peripheral members quit, leaving Parker (now calling himself KRS-One) and Sterling. They then decided to call themselves "Boogie Down Productions", "Success is the Word", a 12-inch single produced by David Kenneth Eng and Kenny Beck was released on indie Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records (under the group name "12:41") but did not enjoy commercial success. Boogie Down Productions released their debut album Criminal Minded in 1987. The album, whose cover pictured BDP draped in ammunition and brandishing guns, is often credited with setting the template for the burgeoning genres of hardcore and gangsta rap. Scott La Rock was killed in a shooting later that year, after attempting to mediate a dispute between teenager and BDP member Derrick "D-Nice" Jones and local hoodlums.
During this time KRS-One also gained acclaim as one of the first MCs to incorporate Jamaican style into hip-hop. Using the Zung gu zung melody, originally made famous by Yellowman in Jamaican dance halls earlier in the decade. While KRS-One used Zunguzung styles in a more powerful and controversial manner, especially in his song titled "Remix for P is Free", he can still be credited as one of the more influential figures to bridge the gap between Jamaican music and American hip-hop.
Following the fatal shooting of Scott La Rock in 1987, KRS was determined to continue Boogie Down Productions through the tragedy, releasing the album By All Means Necessary in 1988. He was joined by beatboxer D-Nice, rapper Ramona "Ms. Melodie" Parker (whose marriage to Kris would last from 1988 to 1992), and Kris's younger brother DJ Kenny Parker, among others. However Boogie Down Productions would remain Kris's show, and their content would become increasingly political through their subsequent releases Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop, Edutainment, Live Hardcore Worldwide and Sex and Violence.
KRS-One was the primary initiator behind the H.E.A.L. compilation and the Stop the Violence Movement; for the latter he would attract many prominent MCs to appear on the 12-inch single "Self Destruction". As Parker adopted this "humanist", less defensive approach, he turned away from his "Blastmaster" persona and towards that of "The Teacha", although he has constantly used "Blastmaster" throughout his career.
After five largely solo albums under the name "Boogie Down Productions," KRS-One decided to set out on his own. On his first solo album, 1993's Return of the Boom Bap, Parker worked together with producers DJ Premier, Kid Capri and Showbiz, the latter providing the catchy-yet-hardcore track "Sound of da Police". His second album, 1995's KRS-One, featured Channel Live on "Free Mumia", a song in which they criticize Black Civil Rights Activist C. Delores Tucker among others. Other prominent guest stars on KRS One included Mad Lion, Busta Rhymes, Das EFX and Fat Joe.
In 1997, Parker surprised many with his release of the album I Got Next. The album's lead single "Step into a World (Rapture's Delight)", containing a sample of punk and New Wave group Blondie, was accompanied by a remix featuring commercial rap icon Puff Daddy; another track was essentially a rock song. While the record would be his best-selling solo album (reaching #3 on the Billboard 200), such collaborations with notably mainstream artists and prominent, easily recognizable samples took many fans and observers of the vehemently anti-mainstream KRS-One by surprise. However, in August 1997, Parker appeared on Tim Westwood's BBC Radio 1 show and vociferously denounced the DJ and the radio station more generally, accusing them of ignoring his style of hip hop in favor of commercial artists such as Puff Daddy. Although having not been in the UK since 1991, due to the fact he does not fly, he claimed "to be in touch with the people", and said that "they weren't feeling Westwood, he's a sell out and has sold his soul to the dark side." This sparked controversy in the UK since Radio One was one of the main supporters of the single "Step Into My World" and caused the album to be his best selling. Parker has since visited the UK, most notably in May 2007, in a performance at the Royal Albert Hall where he once again dissed Tim Westwood in a freestyle.
In 1999, there were tentative plans to release Maximum Strength; a lead single, "5 Boroughs", was released on The Corruptor movie soundtrack. However, Parker apparently decided to abort the album's planned release, just as he had secured a position as a Vice-President of A&R at Reprise Records. The shelved album was again scheduled to be released in 2008, but ultimately an unrelated album entitled "Maximum Strength 2008" was released in its place. He moved to southern California, and stayed there for two years, ending his relationship with Jive Records with A Retrospective in 2000.
Parker resigned from his A&R position at Reprise in 2001, and returned to recording with a string of albums, beginning with 2001's The Sneak Attack on Koch Records. In 2002, he released a gospel-rap album, Spiritual Minded, surprising many longtime fans; Parker had once denounced Christianity as a "slavemaster religion" which African-Americans should not follow. During this period, KRS founded the Temple of Hiphop, an organization to preserve and promote "Hiphop Kulture". Other releases have since included 2003's Kristyles and D.I.G.I.T.A.L., 2004's Keep Right, and 2006's Life.
The only latter-day KRS-One album to gain any significant attention has been Hip-Hop Lives, his 2007 collaboration with fellow hip hop veteran Marley Marl, due in large part to the pair's legendary beef, but also the title's apparent response to Nas' 2006 release Hip-Hop Is Dead. While many critics have commented they would have been a lot more excited had this collaboration occurred twenty years earlier, the album has been met with positive reviews. KRS One has appeared on several songs with other artists, due to this he has received 9 Gold and 7 Platinum plaques.
KRS One has collaborated with several artists including Canadian Rap group Hellafactz, Jay-Roc N' Jakebeatz and New York producer Domingo among other. He and Domingo publicly squashed their beef that started over financial issues and released a digital single to iTunes on November 25. The single titled "Radio" will also feature Utah up and comer Eneeone and is dedicated to underground MC's that don't get the radio airplay they deserve. In 2009 KRS One guest starred on several albums including Arts & Entertainmen on the song "Pass the Mic" by fellow Hip Hop veterans Masta Ace & Ed O.G and featured on the posse cut "Mega Fresh X" by Cormega (alongside with DJ Red Alert, Parrish Smith, Grand Puba, & Big Daddy Kane) on his album Born and Raised.
KRS One and Buckshot announced that they would be collaborating on an album set to be released in 2009. The first single, ROBOT, was released on May 5, 2009. The music video was directed by Todd Angkasuwan and debuted as the New Joint of the Day on 106 & Park on September 4, 2009. The album leaked on the Internet on September 9, 2009 and released album was released on September 15, 2009. It debuted at #62, making it on The Billboard 200 selling around 8,500 copies its first week and was met with generally positive reviews. Steve Juon of RapReviews.com gave the album a flawless 10 out of 10, claiming "Buckshot and KRS have achieved something rather remarkable here - an album I can't find a single fault with. There's not a bad beat, there's not a whack rhyme, there's not a collaborator on a track that missed the mark, and the disc itself is neither too short nor too long." 
In 2010 KRS One was honored along with Buckshot by artists Ruste Juxx, Torae & Skyzoo, Sha Stimuli, Promise, J.A.M.E.S. Watts and Team Facelift to name a few on their mixtape 'Survival Kit' which is an ode to the 2009 album Survival Skills by KRS One and Buckshot. The mixtape was released for free download on DuckDown.com. The album features new version of KRS classics 'South Bronx', 'Sound Of Da Police' and 'MC's Act Like They Don't Know' as well as new versions of well known Buckshot songs and 'Past Present Future' from the Survival Skills album. The MC Fashawn stated in his verse on MC's Act Like They Don't Know that 'I did it to make Kris smile I figured he'd appreciate it' 
Most recently, KRS One was featured as the voice of Chris Cringle in the new Nike Most Valuable Puppets commercials. KRS One performed in May 2010 at SUNY New Paltz for their annual "Rock Against Racism" concert. KRS One also narrated the 2011 film Rhyme and Punishment, a documentary about Hip-Hop artists who have done jail time.
Stop the Violence Movement
During a concert by Boogie Down Productions and Public Enemy a young fan was killed in a fight. Coming soon after the shooting death of his friend and fellow BDP member Scott La Rock, KRS-One was galvanized into action and formed the Stop the Violence Movement. Composed of some of the biggest stars in contemporary East Coast hip hop, the movement released a single, "Self Destruction", in 1989, with all proceeds going to the National Urban League. A music video was created, and a VHS cassette entitled Overcoming Self-Destruction - The Making of the Self-Destruction Video was also released.
"Self-Destruction" was produced by KRS-One and D-Nice of Boogie Down Productions (Hank Shocklee of the Bomb Squad is credited as an associate producer).
Temple of Hip Hop
The Temple of Hip Hop is a ministry, archive, School, and Society (M.A.S.S.) founded by KRS-One. Its goal is to maintain and promote Hiphop Culture. The Temple of Hip Hop maintains that Hip Hop is a genuine political movement and culture, as it has been accepted by the United Nations as a culture. The Temple of Hiphop calls on all Hip Hop fans to celebrate Hip Hop Appreciation Week, occurring in the third week of May. It encourages DJs and MCs to teach people about the culture of Hiphop, to write more socially conscious songs, and radio stations to play more socially conscious hip hop. Hip Hop Appreciation Week is celebrated on the third week of May each year. Hip Hop History Month (November), founded by the Universal Zulu Nation, is also recognized.
September 11 comments
In 2004, KRS engendered a controversy when he was quoted in a panel discussion hosted by The New Yorker magazine as saying that "we cheered when 9/11 happened". The comment drew criticism from many sources, including a pointed barb by the New York Daily News that called Parker an "anarchist" and said that "If Osama bin Laden ever buys a rap album, he'll probably start with a CD by KRS-One."
Parker responded to the commotion surrounding his comments with an editorial written for AllHipHop.com, stating:I was asked about why hiphop has not engaged the current situation more (meaning 9/11), my response was "because it does not affect us, or at least we don’t perceive that it affects us, 9/11 happened to them". I went on to say that "I am speaking for the culture now; I am not speaking my personal opinion." I continued to say; "9/11 affected them down the block; the rich, the powerful those that are oppressing us as a culture. Sony, RCA or BMG, Universal, the radio stations, Clear Channel, Viacom with BET and MTV, those are our oppressors, those are the people that we're trying to overcome in hiphop everyday, this is a daily thing. We cheered when 9/11 happened in New York and say that proudly here. Because when we were down at the trade center we were getting hit over the head by cops, told that we can’t come in this building, hustled down to the train station because of the way we dressed and talked, and so on, we were racially profiled. So, when the planes hit the building we were like, "mmmm, justice." And just as I began to say "now of course a lot of our friends and family were lost there as well" I was interrupted...
In late 2005, KRS was featured alongside Public Enemy's Chuck D on the remix of the song "Bin Laden" by Immortal Technique and DJ Green Lantern, which blames American neo-conservatives, the Reagan Doctrine and U.S. President George W. Bush for the World Trade Center attacks, and indicates a parallel to the devaluation, destruction, and violence of urban housing project communities.
On April 29, 2007, KRS-One again defended his statements on the September 11 attacks when asked about them during an appearance on Hannity's America on the Fox News network stating that he meant that people cheered that the establishment had taken a hit, not that people were dying or had died. He also discussed amongst other things, the Don Imus scandal and the use of profanity in Hip-Hop.
Gospel of Hip Hop comments
In an interview with AllHipHop about his book "The Gospel of Hip Hop", KRS-One said:
"I’m suggesting that in 100 years, this book will be a new religion on the earth... I think I have the authority to approach God directly, I don’t have to go through any religion [or] train of thought. I can approach God directly myself and so I wrote a book called The Gospel of Hip Hop to free from all this nonsense garbage right now. I respect the Christianity, the Islam, the Judaism but their time is up. ...In a hundred years, everything that I’m saying to you will be common knowledge and people will be like, 'Why did he have to explain this? Wasn’t it obvious?'"
These comments have been referred to by numerous media outlets such as the AV Club who comment that "KRS-One writes 600-page hip-hop bible; blueprint for rap religion" and "KRS-One has never been afraid to court controversy and provoke strong reactions. Now the Boogie Down Productions legend has topped himself by writing The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument, a mammoth treatise on the spirituality of hip-hop he hopes will some day become a sacred text of a new hip-hop religion".
Randy Hubbard Parker, stepson of KRS-One, was found dead in his Atlanta, Georgia apartment on July 6, 2007 in an apparent suicide; he was 23. Simone Parker, KRS-One's wife and Randy's mother, released a statement on July 10 that stated her son's death was related to his continuous battle with "severe depression". The Fulton County Medical Examiner's office stated that Parker died of a gunshot wound to the head, and listed the cause of death as suicide. Parker was a graphic designer and fashion entrepreneur. A private memorial service was held on July 18 , which would have been his 24th birthday.
Benefit for First Responders
KRS-One spoke at a hip hop benefit concert on September 12, 2009 to benefit the first responders of 9/11 he spoke of non violence to take back the country. The event was presented by the 9/11 group We Are Change based in New York City and SMT Studios.
- 2004, VH1 Hip Hop Honors
- 2007, I am Hip Hop
- 2007, Lifetime Achievement
- 2009, Living Legend Award
Boogie Down Productions Year Criminal Minded 1987 By All Means Necessary 1988 Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop 1989 Edutainment 1990 Live Hardcore Worldwide 1991 Sex and Violence 1992 Solo Albums Year Return of the Boom Bap 1993 KRS-One 1995 I Got Next 1997 The Sneak Attack 2001 Spiritual Minded 2002 Kristyles 2003 Keep Right 2004 Life 2006 Adventures in Emceein 2008 Maximum Strength 2008 Back to the L.A.B. 2010 Collaborative Albums With Year Hip Hop Lives Marley Marl 2007 Survival Skills Buckshot 2009 The Just-Ice and KRS-ONE EP Volume #1 Just-Ice 2010 Meta-Historical True Master 2010 Godsville Showbiz 2011 Royalty Check Bumpy Knuckles 2011 Return of the Boom Bip DJ Premier 2011 KRS-One Presents Artist Title Year Greenie It's All Good 2010
Year Film Role 1988 I'm Gonna Git You Sucka himself 1993 Who's the Man? Rashid 1997 Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground Vendor 1997 Rhyme & Reason himself 2000 Boricua's Bond 2000 Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme himself 2002 The Freshest Kids himself 2003 2Pac 4 Ever narrator 2003 Beef himself 2003 Hip-Hop Babylon 2 himself 2003 Soundz of Spirit himself 2003 5 Sides of a Coin himself 2003 MuskaBeatz himself 2004 War on Wax: Rivalries In Hip-Hop himself 2004 The MC: Why We Do It himself 2004 Beef II himself 2004 And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop himself 2004 Hip-Hop Honors himself 2004 Keep Right himself 2005 Zoom Prout Prout himself 2006 A Letter to the President himself 2007 Bomb It himself 2008 The Obama Deception himself 2009 Good Hair himself 2011 Rhyme and Punishment narrator
Book Year Break the Chain KRS-ONE 1994 The Science of Rap (self published, 1996, out of print) 1996 Ruminations (Welcome Rain Publishers, July 25, 2003, out of print) 2003 The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument 2009
- Suicide, it's a suicide
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- ^ "KRS Plans New Hip-Hop Religion With 'Gospel of Hip Hop'". Allhiphop.com. http://allhiphop.com/stories/news/archive/2009/08/20/21903171.aspx. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- ^ "KRS-One Creates New Religion". Sputnikmusic. 2009-08-20. http://www.sputnikmusic.com/news.php?newsid=10404. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- ^ http://angryape.com/news/krs-one-forms-his-own-religion
- ^ Friday, August 28, 2009, 03:14 BST (2009-08-28). "Music - News - Rapper KRS-One 'starts own religion'". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/a174237/rapper-krs-one-starts-own-religion.html. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- ^ a b Rabin, Nathan. "KRS-One writes 600-page hip-hop bible; blueprint for rap religion | Music | Newswire". The A.V. Club. http://www.avclub.com/articles/krsone-writes-600page-hiphop-bible-blueprint-for-r,32127/. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- ^ Williams, Houston. KRS-One’s Stepson Commits Suicide. AllHipHop.com: July 10, 2007.
- ^ "KRS-One's son found dead in apparent suicide | News". Nme.Com. 2007-07-11. http://www.nme.com/news/krs-one/29642. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- ^ "The Just-Ice and KRS-ONE EP, Vol. 1 by Just-Ice & KRS-One - Download The Just-Ice and KRS-ONE EP, Vol. 1 on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. 2010-08-03. http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-just-ice-and-krs-one-ep-vol-1/id371229280. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- ^ "Daily News - : Exclusive: DJ Premier Breaks Down Year Round Records', New Compliation". Allhiphop.com. http://www.allhiphop.com/stories/news/archive/2010/11/11/22479348.aspx. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- ^ "The Science of Rap: Lawrence KRS-ONE Parker: Books". Amazon.com. 2009-09-09. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000J015S2. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- ^ "The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument (9781576874974): KRS-One: Books". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1576874974. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- ^ "The long awaited book from the legendary KRS ONE THE GOSPEL OF HIP HOP: FIRST INSTRUMENT". powerHouse Books. http://powerhousebooks.com/thegospelofhiphop/. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- KRS-One official website
- KRS-One MySpace profile
- Rolling Stone bio
- KRS-One talks to North Minneapolis citizens about tornado recovery
KRS-One albumsReturn of the Boom Bap · KRS-One · I Got Next · The Sneak Attack · Spiritual Minded · Kristyles · Keep Right · Life · Hip Hop Lives · Adventures in Emceein · Maximum Strength 2008 · Survival Skills · Back to the L.A.B. (Lyrical Ass Beating) · It's All Good · The Just-Ice and KRS-One Ep Vol.1 · Meta-Historical · Godsville · Royalty Checks · The BDP Album · Return of the Boom Bip Groups Filmography Related articles
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