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June is Black Music Month and WERS at Night will recognize black musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters who have made enormous contributions to the music industry. Today, June 4th, 889@night is highlighting KRS-One.
KRS-One is more than just a rap artist; he is the true definition of rap music. An acronym for Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone, KRS-One is recognized as one of the top pioneers of Hip Hop music. Starting off his career in 1987 as one third of the Hip Hop group Boogie Down Productions, KRS-One used music to help draw attention to real life issues and promote healthier lifestyles. To this day KRS-One stands by his values, which makes him a highly idolized artist. The sound KRS-One developed in Boogie Down Productions and the experience he endured played a major role in KRS-One’s achievements. Boogie Down Productions released numerous successful albums: Criminal Minded (1987), By All Means Necessary (1988), Ghetto Music (1989), and Edutainment (1990). By All Means Necessary reached number 75 in the Pop genre and 18 in R&B. Both Ghetto Music and Edutainment went gold and peaked high in the Pop and R&B categories. In addition, KRS-One’s solo projects were a success. His solo debut, Return of the Boom Bap (1993) reached number 37 in the Pop genre and number 7 in R&B. I Got Next (1997) reached number 3 in Pop and number 2 in R&B. “My Philosophy” and “Stop the Violence” are two important songs that helped solidify KRS-One’s authentic style and form Stop the Violence Movement in 1989.KRS-One is more than just a musician; he is an innovator and an inspiration. Not only did he want to create music, but he also wanted to communicate positive messages through his music, which he successfully achieved. He created Stop the Violence Movement to bring awareness to the violence that was occurring in the hip hop and black communities.
KRS-One is a remarkable emcee and educator. He believed that sharing knowledge is important. He conducted college lecture tours touching upon the subjects of Afrocentrism, religion, politics, violence, and his own views of American history. This lead to the organization, H.E.A.L. (Human Education Against Lies): Civilization vs. Technology in 1991. This organization consists of a group of consciousness-raising artists including Chuck D, L.L. Cool J, Queen Latifah, Billy Bragg, and R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. Another organization was developed during the 1990s, which was dedicated to the teaching of the Hip Hop history. KRS-One named the organization the Temple of Hip Hop. In addition, he became a mentor at a church in Harlem. KRS-One continues to use his artistic qualities along with knowledge to enlighten others and create positive messages in Hip-Hop and around the world. Look beyond his music and you will understand why KRS-One is being recognized as an artist during African American music appreciation month.