There’s a reason KRS-One is down by law. He’s one of the only Bronx emcees left that actually lived the progression of hip hop from 1973 to 1993 — and hasn’t sold out along the way. There was the brief Ivy League teaching stint, but KRS-One lecturing at Harvard and Yale must have been positive, yes? Rightly so, the now Atlanta-based “Teacher” is back with his 13th album, Keep Right, geared at letting fools know that indeed, Knowledge still Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone.
Keeping in line with the Temple of Hip-Hop movement he helped spawn after his split with Jive records, Keep Right bypasses the ears and goes straight to the soul. Collabs with Mad Lion, Afrika Bambaataa and Buckshot help highlight the important fusion between rap and rebel music on wax. Tracks like “Illegal Business” call out American drug interests, with lines like, “Who you think really bringing the drugs, you no seen?” KRS doesn’t just spit for the conscious; he spits for the world in 2020.
Though there is a self-admitted “I told you so” feel to the album, not unlike most KRS releases, much of this project still manages to educate sans soapbox. Pulpit moments include “Phucked,” a lament to all the flashy emcees of yesteryear who didn’t heed the warnings of KRS and fell off. Yet, the original mad rapper manages his emotions long enough to produce a bona fide gem, with lyrics and fresh cuts like lifejackets for those drowning in the mainstream.
Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.