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Maximum Strength 2008

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Album Review

From the opening barks "I know we ain't getting' soft!" over the stripped-down piano and drum production of "Beware," it's evident that KRS-One has been reevaluating his sound, and is responding to criticism with fire. The teacher's back and class is in session. After several lackluster releases, in which Blastmaster Chris obsessed over the state of hip-hop and spent his time pointing fingers at other rappers for not bringing it, Maximum Strength shows him at his maximum strength and doing what he does best: preaching. As the first KRS One album with a real sense of purpose in years, nearly every track focuses on the beefs he has with politics and society. This is the educator at his purest. He pulls no stops as he rifles through his rhyme book, dropping lines like "take a look at the police and how they treat you/ take a look at corporations and how they cheat you/ democrats and republicans are all see through/ now we votin' for the lesser of two evils, man, don't let them deceive you/ this is an autocracy not a democracy/ but to call this a democracy without mock interest in the laws of society, that's called hypocracy." He continues waxing political in "Pick It Up," breaking open the European history textbooks to provide a background on the last time a true democracy was practiced: by Cleisthenese in 508 BC before Athens was conquered by Alexander of Macedon. Thought-provoking raps like these seem like luxuries when compared to the typical flash in the pan party raps that are embraced by radio stations, which encourage listeners to throw their hands in the air rather than pushing core values. Kris preaches unity in the community and loving your sister, but also knows when to lighten up and reminisce about the good times with party raps of his own. "Let Me Know" shows him spitting rhymes with the finesse and lyrical prowess of Busta Rhymes over a dancehall jam, and "Straight Through" shows him furiously speeding through B-boy topics without taking a breath. At the worst moments, "New York" and "Hip Hop" suffer slightly, scarred by scatting female vocals and dated production, but for a middle-aged rapper at this stage in the game, it's surprisingly relevant and not only one of the better hip-hop releases he's dropped in years, but one of the best of his career.

Customer Reviews

Yo Hip-Hop fans

If you call yourself a hip-hop fan you need to get this one For Real Then after buying this buy Better than I've ever Been Peace and Love Spanky P. aka Destruction Productions

A New Lesson From The Teacha

Big Homie KRS is back at it again. This guy is 42 and is still killin beats with his phat rhymes. Ever since i started listening to this cat, ive had a complete different view on hip-hop. This album is a must buy for any hip-hop head, if u bang screw down in houston, if u bang the gangsta rap on the west coast, or if u like that real east coast hip-hop, buy it, this guy will make any emcee better at controlling the mic. But it, PICK IT UP!!

the blast master...

word up,another 5 star album from the God of Rap! BO-BO-BO!


Born: August 20, 1965 in The Bronx, New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

KRS-One (born Kris Parker) was the leader of Boogie Down Productions, one of the most influential hardcore hip-hop outfits of the '80s. At the height of his career, roughly 1987-1990, KRS-One was known for his furiously political and socially conscious raps, which is the source of his nickname, "the Teacher." Around the time of 1990's Edutainment, BDP's audience began to slip as many fans thought his raps were becoming preachy. As a reaction, KRS-One began to re-establish his street credibility with...
Full Bio
Maximum Strength 2008, KRS-One
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