KRS- 1 emulated a widely circulated picture of Malcolm X as the artwork for ‘By All Means Necessary’. That along with the title conveyed the overall message of this project. ‘By All Means Necessary’ is long overdue for Throwback Thursday.
Rap is like a set up a lot of games a lot of suckas with colorful names I’m so and so I’m this I’m that but they all just wick wick wack
The year was 1988. After the death of Scott La Rock and the success of ‘Criminal Minded‘ KRS-1 came into his own as the self-proclaimed teacher of the hip hop community. The first track, My Philosophy delves into topics that are still relevant today.
Subjects like creativity and innovation in hip hop and artistic integrity are challenges we still encounter in the industry. He vowed not to sell out for money or fame and instead chose to go the route of a “real MC”. By doing so, he set an example for up and coming artists. This is why he deserves to be featured on Throwback Thursday.
See I’m telling and teaching real facts
the way some act in rap is kinda wack
and it lacks creativity and intelligence
but they don’t care cause their company’s selling it
It’s my philosophy on the industry
don’t bother dissing me or even wishing we
soften dilute or commercialize all the lyrics
cause it’s about time one of y’all hear it
‘By All Means Necessary’ also explored poverty, government corruption and violence in the hip hop community. He spoke on the importance of diet and safe sex for overall health. The “teacher” was endorsing veganism before it was popular. KRS- 1 was in a league of his own at that time.
His rhymes were meaningful and easy to understand. He gave gems on “nation building” without even using the term. And he didn’t complicate his lyrics with heavy use of metaphors. Instead he relied on his truth. Because of that, his music was easy to digest for listeners at any level.
KRS-1 could be considered by many as a pioneer of conscious hip hop. But unlike many other MCs in his league he’s rarely considered underrated. In fact, he’s one of the few of his era who has the critical acclaim he deserves.
Even his name sends a poignant message. Knowledge Reigns Supreme is a concept we should all practice in our daily lives. Thirty years later we’re still acknowledging his impact on the culture.
There’s a link to the entire album in the first paragraph in case you need to remember why he was so dope. You’re welcome.