KRS-One is the most consistent rap artist (in terms of quality, not ideology) in the history of hip-hop--that's not debatable. What is debatable is why Jive Records would assemble a single-album retrospective for someone of this magnitude. A legendary rap career that spans over nine albums (to date) clearly deserves a box-set treatment. Sure, you do get a healthy sampling of his battle-rhyme headbangers from the beginning of rap's golden years in the late '80s ("South Bronx," "The Bridge Is Over," "I'm Still #1"). Likewise, the broad spectrum of politically conscious subject matter KRS-One masterfully waxes about is here: police brutality ("Sound of da Police"), antimaterialism ("Love's Gonna Get'cha"), safe sex ("Jimmy"). But for an MC whose material serves as a precursor to the profound protest rhymes of the dead prez or Poor Righteous Teachers, the glaring omission of any material from his majorly slept-on Sex and Violence LP is bizarre. Also, the compilers could have easily bumped "Step into a World (Rapture's Delight)" or "Jack of Spades" and replaced them with rare 12 inches and B-sides such as "Hip Hop vs. Rap" or "We in There." Thankfully, gems like "My Philosophy" and "Essays on BDP-Ism"--the last BDP song produced by DJ Scott LaRock--make this primer a great purchase. However, if you have some extra dough lying around, you should purchase the individual albums, too (minus Live Hardcore Worldwide and I Got Next). --Dalton HigginsAll songs and lyrics in this album are listed as followings. Click the song name to view lyrics and videos for it.
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