Legendary KRS-One adds messages to his movements
BRECKENRIDGE – For KRS-One, the music and message are one.KRS-One – born Lawrence Parker in 1965 in New York – reached the height of his career as a rap pioneer from 1987-90.He began as the voice of one of the most influential early hip-hop outfits, Boogie Down Productions.His nickname, “The Teacher,” was spawned from his politically and socially conscious lyrics, and his teaching reached beyond rap.He went from being homeless for more than five years as a teenager to lecturing at Yale, Harvard and other college campuses, as well as garnering the Reebok Humanitarian Award and three Ampex Golden Reel Awards.His interest in philosophy came at the age of 14, when he left home and educated himself from library books. While homeless, he volunteered to give out food with the Hare Krishnas, who taught him about Hinduism.He later shortened his nickname, KRSNA, to KRS and added “One” after KRS tags by other graffiti artists began showing up.A social worker, Scott La Rock, introduced KRS to New York’s club scene, and together they formed Boogie Down Productions.A few years after releasing the classic “Criminal Minded,” record sales of Boogie Down’s 1990 follow-up “Edutainment” decreased as listeners tired of KRS-One’s preachy overtones.Two years later, Boogie Down released “Sex and Violence,” which re-established its power with harder raps that didn’t weigh as heavily on raising consciousness.”Hip-hop as a culture itself goes through stages,” KRS-One said in an interview with The Onion A.V. Club.”It grows – it’s breathing, living. I’ve noticed that we usually start off conscious, then we wind up very highly sexual and then we thug it out. Then things get a little funny again, with comedy and that kind of thing …”We’re getting ready to leave the sex and violence – which, by the way, won’t disappear. It’s just that the community of hip-hoppers is going to look at something different.”This will now spur on a whole lot of artists to start thinking more consciously and making music that pertains to their self-worth.”After his solo debut in 1993 – “Return of the Boom Bap” – which extended themes on “Sex and Violence” – KRS-One returned to his social causes.He formed a number of positive hip-hop benefit projects including Stop the Violence Movement, HEAL (Human Education Against Lies) and the Temple of Hiphop.He designed HEAL to “rescue humanity from the most lethal disease facing it: Common Sense Deficiency Syndrome (CSDS),” according to the HEAL Web site.Believing CSDS is the root of most of the world’s social problems, KRS-One and Zizwe Mtafuta-Ukweli aim to raise people’s awareness about lies propagated by educational, religious and political systems and help young people develop reasoning skills.KRS-One wrote a book, which he distributed on tours and in bookstores.His latest endeavor is the Temple of Hiphop in Atlanta, Ga., where he teaches spiritually minded people to use hip-hop to increase health, love, awareness and wealth.KRS-One comes to Sherpa & Yeti’s in Breckenridge about 10 p.m. Wednesday.Tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance at Sherpa’s or at Space Cowboy in Breckenridge.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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