KRS-One is seen as an underrated Rapper. His work has been consistently recognised in alternative circles (for Hip Hop/Rap music) as groundbreaking and worth hearing. This is his debut album, and it should be an interesting listen, despite KRS-One’s obscurity. Let’s find out if this album is true, and worth a listen according to the urban myth.
KRS-One Attacks begins with a distorted and delayed vocal from KRS-One stating the basic purpose of existence before this tune launches into a fantastic piece of Hip Hop/Rap that sounds good. An enjoyable and listenable piece of music for what it is. With a slow steady beat, scratched vocals and an interesting funky groove, KRS-One makes a good impression from the start. Somewhat worth hearing, this is better than most mainstream Rap today. Just under three minutes in length, but a good start to this record.
Outta Here begins with some basic beats and a deep bassline. Eventually, some repeated vocal samples enter and KRS-One gets onto the microphone, Rapping about enjoying Rap music This tune is additionally okay as well, and it sounds really well delivered and precise. A funky, deep and driven piece of music, KRS-One is a real Hip Hop man and the music on this track is good. It is a very autobiographical tune. There is some double bass riffing in the background, whilst KRS-One sounds very much like fellow contemporary Rapper Ice Cube here with his delivery. This music is decent for what it is. Sure, it is not like Eminem or Dr Dre in terms of popularity, but it does sound okay. Simple, pounding and awesome, a nice starting point for a long career by KRS-One. Excellent music. This ends with some nice cut-up samples.
Black Cop begins with some straightforward Hip Hop beats and sounds, along with a funky bassline. Without question, this is a fairly direct tune. The lyrics address racism and the institutionalisation of such a career as being a police officer in the early 1990s. A short and rather rant style piece of music, this music sounds decent but amateurish. A good three-minute-long tale of music that is interesting and lively, but still essentially a rant. Good for what it is, however. It ends with looped vocals and a killer bassline.
Mortal Thought begins with some weird lone vocals, before heading into a retro sounding piece of music that is inspired by Reggae, Funk and Hip Hop. Sure, KRS-One may be inspired, but his music is fairly ordinary for Hip Hop/Rap. In any case, good to hear but it is not really fantastic. It is a good listen nonetheless, but by this point, this is fairly clearly an average record, not an extraordinary one. A good mixture of sound and style, even if it is clearly a mash-up of style rather than substance. Anyway, it is still enjoyable for what it is. It sounds incredibly dated today and ends with some repeated rhymes. Okay, but not fantastic.
I Can’t Wake Up begins with some deep basslines and launches with a ridiculous section of vocals encouraging one to go to sleep. It then launches into a piece about dreaming about being blind in one’s sleep. A really weird tune, and certainly not something you’d expect on a Hip Hop album. Fairly average stuff, this music is not very impressive. It’s barely okay but has aged terribly poorly. With talk of rolling blunts and meeting other Rappers and Bill Clinton in one’s dreams, this is weird music. In any case, this is okay, but like smoking weed in real life, not overly smart. If you like being intellectual musically, do avoid this tune.
Slap Them Up has a guest vocalist, to begin with, who encourages KRS-One to get the music going, which he eventually does. This is incredibly dated 1990s Hip Hop that sounds very good, but not great. In any case, it’s a good tune without being a great one. Some clever but try-hard rhymes are present here, and KRS-One may sound confident, but his craft needs some work. Anyway, one can appreciate the effort, all the same, this does sound good for 1993, but not the present day. KRS-One’s music is somewhat like the first album by The Prodigy: different but extremely dated. It ends with an extended outro with organ and Rapped vocals.
Sound Of Da Police begins with some yelping and goes straight into a very pathetic tune about the nature of law enforcement. Again, this sounds very dated and this tune isn’t overly impressive. It is a tune about rebelling against the police and has a lot of yelping vocals within. In any case, this is a rather big disappointment for an album by this point, and this song is one of the more notable numbers from it as well. Not exactly a logical choice for an original tune, this sounds rather irritating and repetitive as well. A really ordinary listen, only really recommended for old-school Hip-Hop fans here. Good to hear, but not great. The outro has lone vocals, which aren’t necessary here.
Mad Crew begins with the repeated phrase, “Booyakasha!” which was later immortalised by Sacha Baron Cohen’s Ali G character. Some dedicated lone vocals for those out there listening occur before this tune begins going. This is a fairly minimal and rather ordinary tune with some fairly dull samples about it. Nonetheless, one cannot help respecting KRS-One for trying, but this is not the best Hip Hop/Rap music out there. A really punchy piece of music that could have been better done, KRS-One seems to selfishly Rap about himself and his life, rather than actual situations out there of real importance. In any case, this fails spectacularly badly. Not a record worth hearing, this is a massive failure of this album. Terrible. Four and a half minutes of your life wasted, so avoid this if you can.
Uh Oh begins with some deep percussive beatboxing and some simple rhymes over the top. Again, this has a whiff of a try-hard attitude and Reggae overtones, which is disappointing. No other sounds here. This may have been innovative at the time, but it is very, very dated today. This falls flat, it does not have any musical worthiness here, to be honest. This is just a repetitive and annoying piece of music that could have easily been shortened or redone. A really awful listen, this is a piece that would have been better scrapped. It is an ordinary listen, and one worth skipping. The looped beatboxing ends this through to a fade out.
Brown Skin Woman begins with some yelping for KRS-One before some real beats launch into another fairly ordinary tune. Although KRS-One attacks the evil that is racism with another Funk based backing track. Still, by this point, the formula of the album is tired and worn out. The music here is really ordinary. This album is only really recommended for those who like really old Hip Hop that hasn’t lasted very well, and it lacks musicality and purpose. A real disappointment, this music is a genuine failure. In any case, this album is so naff that it warrants stopping and never hearing again. Seriously, a misguided failure for music. The extended outro here is also not good, a real waste of time.
Return Of The Boom Bap begins with some ordinary and basic beats, before launching into a fairly straightforward tune. Sadly, the music on this album is very irrelevant and naff, and this song is no different. In any case, one can just think that this is a nice try, but otherwise a big failure. Also, this record is very aged and as a result, suffers. “Boom bap, original Rap,” is repeated here, and the music is just a big case of an epic fail. In any case, it’s okay, but nothing fantastic. A bit of a drag, but nonetheless, some niche Hip Hop fans will enjoy this. Otherwise, this is quite trashy. Repetitive and poor. You’ll be quite glad when this is over.
“P” Is Still Free is a funky sounding tune, to begin with, at least. Still, this is a joke musically, and it does not sound interesting, impressive or decent. Sadly, this is a failure of both a song and an album. Again, this is neither good quality nor inspired musically, it does not sound entertaining or decent. It’s about unwanted pregnancies, which is interesting but not really necessary here for those desiring to listen to it. In any case, this is a weird tune about sexual misadventures. Still, this has been bettered elsewhere. An eye-rolling tune that is very uninspired and boring. A big drag to get through, and something that is not great to hear. There are some scratched vocals at the end, but this is banal. Avoid.
Stop Frontin’ is a basic tune, to begin with, with some totally annoying vocals and out-of-tune melodies. Seriously, it’s really awful. Fortunately, it is only three minutes long and you can definitely hit stop and do something more constructive. Guarantees are, you’ll never want to hear this ever again. A lame and fake-sounding piece of music, it is really a sad and pathetic attempt for a debut album to create such trite music. Hip Hop and Rap deserve much better music than this, and the lyrics are terrible. A bad tune, avoid this one. Head shakingly awful.
Higher Level begins with a check one-two style intro, which is awful. This is followed by a Funk rip-off-styled tune and it doesn’t sound very good. This closes up a very ordinary and unappealing listen as a song, there is nothing overly impressive, although the backing track is okay here. A better effort than the previous tune, but it still fails to inspire listeners out there. It’s okay, but not fantastic. Anyway, it is a political tune but is proof that mixing music and politics isn’t always a good idea. The mixture of religious attacks and political notions is pretty pathetic here and is likely to offend. Please tell us something we do not know. Ditch this album in the bin, nothing special is here. It ends with the repeated Funk instrumental backing track.
This album is very much a good shot, but it is definitely more miss than hit. Some of the songs on this album are downright awful, in fact, and the whole album is very forgettable. Avoid it if you can, there is nothing great or special about the music on this, even for Hip-Hop/Rap fans. KRS-One never made it because these songs are a joke.