19 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

KRS-One had remained a hip-hop leader through several generations of new talent and had proven himself as an artist in a multitude of different ways. Knowing that he'd earned the permanent attention of his peers, he started challenging them anew. I Got Next includes a live spoken-word lecture (“2nd Quarter—Free Throws”), a crawling, near-tipsy piece of jazz poetry (“Over Ya Head”), and a blistering exercise in alternative metal (“Just to Prove a Point”). In that last song, when KRS says he’s “not the type to listen to what everybody will say, but more and more it’s seeming that I can’t trust you anyway,” one gets the feeling that he's referring to an audience whose complacency he's come to resent. Of course, the second golden age of New York hip-hop wasn’t quite over, and I Got Next also delivers a slew of jazzy, shadowy, menacing songs that fit easily alongside classics by Nas and The Wu-Tang Clan. Among these are “A Friend” and the stealthy “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” produced by DJ Muggs.

EDITORS’ NOTES

KRS-One had remained a hip-hop leader through several generations of new talent and had proven himself as an artist in a multitude of different ways. Knowing that he'd earned the permanent attention of his peers, he started challenging them anew. I Got Next includes a live spoken-word lecture (“2nd Quarter—Free Throws”), a crawling, near-tipsy piece of jazz poetry (“Over Ya Head”), and a blistering exercise in alternative metal (“Just to Prove a Point”). In that last song, when KRS says he’s “not the type to listen to what everybody will say, but more and more it’s seeming that I can’t trust you anyway,” one gets the feeling that he's referring to an audience whose complacency he's come to resent. Of course, the second golden age of New York hip-hop wasn’t quite over, and I Got Next also delivers a slew of jazzy, shadowy, menacing songs that fit easily alongside classics by Nas and The Wu-Tang Clan. Among these are “A Friend” and the stealthy “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” produced by DJ Muggs.

TITLE TIME
0:17
2:05
3:15
4:10
3:07
4:49
4:12
2:10
0:39
0:16
0:59
3:40
3:06
2:10
3:59
2:16
3:45
1:47
5:03

About KRS-One

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 harder, sparer beats and raps. 1992's Sex and Violence was the first sign that he was taking a harder approach, one that wasn't nearly as concerned with teaching. KRS-One's first solo album, 1993's Return of the Boom Bap, was an extension of the more direct approach of Sex and Violence, yet it didn't halt his commercial decline. Still, he forged on with a high-quality self-titled 1995 effort and 1996's Battle for Rap Supremacy, a joint effort with his old rival MC Shan. After 1997's I Got Next, he put his solo career on hiatus for several years, finally returning in early 2001 with The Sneak Attack. The following year brought two full releases: the gospel effort Spiritual Minded and The Mix Tape, the latter including a single ("Ova Here") that stood as a response to Nelly, only the latest hip-hop figure to feud with the Blastmaster. In 2003 KRS-One released two albums, Kristyles and D.I.G.I.T.A.L., while the next year brought only one, Keep Right. In 2006 Life came out on the small, California-based Antagonist Records. The following year KRS-One reunited with Marley Marl to create Hip Hop Lives, an attempt to preserve the golden age of hip-hop. His 2012 effort, The BDP Album, was nostalgia from a different angle, reuniting the rapper with former BDP DJ Kenny Parker.

~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

  • ORIGIN
    New York, NY [The Bronx]
  • BORN
    August 20, 1965

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