KRS-ONE – THE BDP ALBUM REVIEW
DJ KENNY PARKER INTERVIEW
By: Fridae Mattas
This album review is the first of 2012, I have made record reviews a part of my 2012 resolution list because I normally don’t do that many. Personally, I don’t like crushing people’s spirits by trashing their artwork but many often misunderstand my intentions. I am different than most critics because I myself am an artist, I speak truth to help guide and refine a talent. Honesty is one of the finest qualities any person can have and I appreciate KRS-One’s opinion because he doesn’t run with the wolves, he herds them. This record is pure truth from the intro to the end and then you’re like wait a minute that’s it and you play it again. The BDP Album is available on CD, iTunes or on limited edition white vinyl at the 6.8.2 Records website.
KRS-ONE is a legend; he is one of the very few Emcees’ still alive who can claim credit for the birth and creation of Hip Hop and its culture. Lawrence Krisna Parker is known for bringing his Jamaican Boom Bap flavor to his enigmatic yet straight forward rhymes. Born in Flatbush, Brooklyn he moved to the South Bronx as a teenager to pursue his dreams of being a Rapper. It wasn’t until he lived in the Bronx that he adopted the moniker KRS-One which is an acronym for (Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone). On this record KRS-One brings in the “Teacha” to school these new kids about what real Hip Hop is. As the “Blastmaster” Kris furiously spits his valid opinion on tracks like “Tote Gunz” (This track is one of three chosen by the fans), “2012” and the current single “Times Up” featuring Jessie West (Another track chosen by the fans and one of my favorites.). This record like every KRS album was overseen by DJ Scott La Rock who was murdered back in 1987, this is Parker’s way of paying tribute to his fallen friend until the end.
DJ Kenny Parker brought the old school Boom Bap beats back, varied with these relaxing yet motivational new school sounds taking me on a journey back to when music was good and inspiring. Smooth and solid, each song having a different personality and message. The production for the most part is fantastic but does need work on the mixing for a few tunes, vocals are much louder than the beat and it sounds a little off not blending as intended. It is one thing to make a hot club banger but nobody sticks with the reruns, that is why loyalty has diminished because records these days lack the quality of the past and are easily forgettable. The media, the radio, the labels we are all at fault for promoting and signing less than stellar under par artists. I believe people deserve the best and I try to filter the content on this site accordingly to give people quality entertainment. Eminem is probably the only new school mainstream rapper who brought some much needed life into the mainstream Hip Hop world after Pac and Biggie’s untimely deaths. Now auto-tune has taken over and every tone deaf fame monger is trying to be a rapper or a singer.
KRS-One is here to give everyone the knowledge of what Hip Hop really is and everyone who doesn’t already know, your ears need to perk up and pay attention to this record! Kris “KRS-One” Parker is Hip Hop! The United Nations recognizes his Temple of Hip Hop as a genuine political movement and culture that is also known as the Ministry, Archive, School and Society (M.A.S.S). KRS remains in the game because he is all truth without deception. I couldn’t stop laughing at some of his lines “My lyrics are tighter than a hipster’s jeans.” and another example from the infectious track Time’s Up “Well, when it comes to DJ’s you got the has and the has not’s, some play records others play lap tops.” He basically shreds every glam rapper and fraudulent try hard DJ out there, you all know who you are.
I love hearing Toronto mentioned in songs, KRS-One gave us some love on the “Cypher Remix”. Parker is as real as they get and with The BDP crew KRS-One will forever continue to keep Hip Hop alive! After all, he did give birth to it and has the right to take it away if he wants. Enough of my opinions, you make the decision for yourself but before you do, read what DJ Kenny Parker has to say about the record and the state of Hip Hop in the interview below.
Fridae: If you could tell me and the world, who is DJ Kenny Parker?
Kenny: I am the younger brother of KRS-One. I’ve been Deejaying for BDP since 1990 and I’ve been producing for Krs since 1992 starting with The Sex & Violence LP .
Fridae: Majority of the tracks on the new KRS-One record “The BDP Album” were produced by you, why did it take twenty years to make this album?
Kenny: Sex & Violence was the last BDP album. After that, the theme of the KRS-One solo albums have been Krs working with different producers. I’ve done remixes and some album cuts over the years and I’ve co-produced some things with Krs over the years. He and I haven’t sat down and got together on some music since Sex & Violence, I felt like now was a good time. I asked him and he said let’s do it, so we started recording.
Fridae: When you were creating the foundation did you have a certain direction in mind?
Kenny: Yes. I was trying to make music with a combination of elements that I liked in the 90’s but also would sound relevant today. I wanted to have the boom bap but also show progression.
Fridae: What was the inspiration behind the music, where did you want to take the listener?
Kenny: I didn’t want the album to sound repetitive so I really tried to make tracks that would sound different from each other on the album but stay with the theme. I want to sound different from other producers as well. It’s not easy but that’s what I had in mind as I worked on the music.
Fridae: Where was the BDP album recorded and why was it titled The BDP Album?
Kenny: The BDP album was recorded in a few different studios over the course of about a year. We did like 3 or 4 songs at a time, at different times. I called it the BDP album because it was basically just Kris And I working just like old times. Like we did on Sex & Violence, the last BDP album.
Fridae: You and Kris have been in this industry for decades, in your eyes how is Hip Hop different today than it was back in the 80’s or 90’s?
Kenny: In the 80’s/early 90’s I felt like for the most part the people at the top of the rap game were actually the best rappers in the game. The top 10 hottest rappers in the game were actually the best rappers, it made sense to me. Nowadays I feel like the hottest rappers aren’t even close to the best in the world. If you look at those MTV 10 hottest rapper specials, do you really feel that this is the most talented rappers there are in America. I don’t, I get confused. The best should be the hottest in that order, it used to be like that, not anymore.
Fridae: Where do you think it went wrong for Hip Hop?
Kenny: A decision was made to make Hip hop more accessible to the mainstream audience by simplifying the rhyme flow, the music and the subject matter. The decision was made by record companies chasing radio play and video play. When the music was dumbed down the sales went through the roof. However, the creativity suffered. Artists were forced to either change there style or they were fazed out. Not right away but over a little time, like a slow bomb. New artists had to make commercial records or they wouldn’t get a deal. Fast forward a few short years and Hip Hop as we knew it was over.
Fridae: The BDP album has cuts that are classic Hip Hop, ”Tote Gunz” is the perfect example, a few people out there think old school Hip Hop is dated and this new ”Glam Rap” is the future. What are your thoughts?
Kenny: For the immediate future, glam rap is here to stay. The 21 & under crowd doesn’t even know how to react to the classic hip hop sound now. They never really heard it before as adults. Trends move in cycles though. I think it would take newer artists that are on the radio all day or some new incredible artist to make a classic sounding album for the youth to gravitate towards it. As for the 30 & over crew. If you don’t buy or support artists making classic hip hop. The labels won’t sign it and the radio won’t play it. It’s just dollars and cents to them. They don’t care what the music sounds like, they don’t even know the difference. Whatever sells is all they care about.
Fridae: Are there any songs on the album that have a specific meaning to you?
Kenny: “Tote Gunz”, I like when Kris goes in on MC’s. I like the solution a lot too! What he is saying is so on time right now, that song was recorded a while back but the message is timeless. If you listen to that song a few years from now it’s still gonna hit home. Check out the lyrics.
Fridae: You will be touring Australia with your Brother soon; please elaborate on this unique experience.
Kenny: I’ve been performing with Kris for so long that I have a real good understanding of what he’s trying to do on stage. People don’t realize how organic our show really is. Things change so much during the course of the show based on where Kris is trying to go with the audience. People don’t even realize how much improvising is going on during the course of the show. You would have to watch KRS three nights in a row to see how things can change from one night to the next. It’s areal challenge for me to keep up but I love it.
Fridae: There’s a track titled 2012 on the record, what does 2012 have in store for Boogie Down Production and KRS-One? Will there be any North American Tour Dates?
Kenny: That’s a good question LOL. You would have to ask KRS. I basically follow his lead.. There’s a couple of songs I want to remix and add new lyrics to. Maybe a BDP 2.0. who knows?!
Thank you so much for the real talk and taking the time to answer questions for the FridaeTV audience. I hope to see the BDP crew live in Toronto sometime soon!