KRS ONE is a philosopher, activist, author, lecturer and emcee who has drawn both criticism and worship as he moves steadily with his purpose of peace. Many of those who know their Hip Hop history revere the icon as the guardian of real Hip Hop, while others point out contradictions in his music and life as indications of a mixed intent. But, the Teacha remains focused on his mission with the knowledge that his intention is pure and Hip Hop is a manifestation of divine culture.
What is the truth behind the Teacha? An enigma to many and controversial figure to some, KRS ONE has achieved legendary status not only as a major force in Hip Hop music, but as a decisive intellectual offering enlightened perspectives on life and peace that resonate with a population that has grown up with his music. Those who were around at the birth of Hip Hop are now the world’s leaders of industry, education, government, humanitarian efforts, technology, culture and other sectors of society. This means the influence of prominent and positive Hip Hop figures is more potent now than ever before because actual progress can be made at levels, which may have previously been untouchable.
KRS One’s mission is to harness this unique influence to turn up the volume on peace through the Stop the Violence Movement and other initiatives while churning out head-splitting rhymes, preserving the legacy of Hip Hop culture and promoting knowledge in all its forms. Music Homeless before the age of 15, young Kris Parker knew early that Hip Hop was a cultural force beyond just beats and rhymes. He met social worker (and part-time DJ), Scott “LaRock” Sterling at the Franklin Armory Men’s Shelter, quickly forming a friendship that would later manifest Boogie Down Productions, one of the most important of all early Hip Hop acts. KRS ONE has released a granite-solid catalog including nineteen full-length albums over his 25-year career along with a star-studded list of collaborations with hundreds of artists including Michael Stipe of REM, Ziggy Marley, Zach de la Rocha and Busta Rhymes.
His songs have been used in countless soundtracks and compilations, and 2007 brought a Grammy nomination for “Classic,” a collaboration with Kanye West, Nas, Rakim and DJ Premier. Currently in the studio with a laundry list of legends, KRS One is producing a 20-Year Anniversary Stop the Violence Album to be released in September. The single, released on radio last month, is “Self Construction” an all-star single with the purpose of promoting peace through the influence of today’s most-respected performers. This single is the first iteration of a full-length album of the same title, which will be released on the day of the Stop the Violence Movement No Crime Day Fund Raising Concert on August 26th. The “Self Construction” single artists are Ne-Yo, Nelly, KRS One, Styles P, Redman, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Wise Intelligent, Rakaa Iriscience, Talib Kweli, Rah Digga, The Game and newcomer, Lil AJ. Producer: Duane “DaRock” Ramos.
Activism As Founder of the Stop the Violence Movement, KRS One is leading the Hip Hop community into action. Stop the Violence is a collective of artists, activists, educators and entertainers exploring the roots of violence and working to promote the development of positive conflict resolution methods that can uplift our society instead of damaging it with the negative cyclical effects of violence. The organization and its projects allow artists to present an alternative to their public images, revealing a deeper and more concerned dimension that can serve as a powerful inspiration. The organization facilitates ongoing public service announcements from today’s most respected celebrities that help spread the message to bolster the results of Stop the Violence’s support of literacy programs, youth mentoring, online forums for victims of violence and a series of lectures, conferences and workshops focusing on conflict resolution issues. These are vital educational projects that open the door for more positive life choices in under-served communities.
KRS ONE has also founded The Temple of Hip Hop and Human Education Against Lies. He is a true man of the people and a living example of his own philosophy of self-creation. Public Speaking and Book Releases While music and activism will always be his foundation, KRS One is also an accomplished public speaker, and has presented lectures at more than 500 colleges, universities and other venues throughout the last 15 years including Harvard College, Tulane University, Oxford University and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His unique intellectual outlook is sought-after, and his inspiring lectures include topics such as the power of creating one’s own future, the history and business of Hip Hop music and the importance of learning to resolve conflicts nonviolently. In addition to an outstanding music career and public speaking resumé, KRS One has written two books,The Science of Rap (1996) and Ruminations (2003), with his master work, The Gospel of Hip Hop, coming this year on powerHouse Books. If there were ever a President of Hip Hop Culture, it would be KRS One; the legend, the leader.