KRS-One Explains Early Hare Krishna Affiliation And Changing His Name

In an exclusive outtake from Ice-T(TM)s oeArt Of Rap documentary, KRS-One explains how helping feed the homeless led to a few name changes.

While he answers to many aliases—“Blasmaster” and “The Teacha” to name a few—people generally recognize KRS-One by his Rap name and occasionally by his given name of Kris Parker. All of the above are fine, except Kris is not his given name. It’s Lawrence. In one of the many viral outtakes from Ice-T’s Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, KRS breaks down how an encounter with the Hare Krishnas led to his name change.

“When I went into the street, I was hanging with the Hare Krishnas,” KRS explained to Ice-T. “They used to come into the shelter and feed the homeless. They used to say, ‘If anyone wants to help us feed the homeless, we’ll give you a free Bhaktivedanta.’ My little philosophical self said, ‘Yeah, I’ll help you feed the homeless.’ And I got my Bhaktivedanta.’”

KRS said he developed an appreciation for a story about Lord Krishna instructing Arjuna on the battlefield. However upon returning to the shelter, the man then known as Larry Parker was uniformly teased by everyone he knew.

“They started calling me Krishna, and I’m like, ‘Yo. Stop calling me Krishna. My name’s Larry. Stop calling me Krishna…that’s the name of their god. That’s like calling somebody Jesus or Muhammad if you’re not down with that.’”

Parker was removed from the shelter due to failing to meet the minimum age requirements. However, due to a clerical error by the Bureau of Child Welfare Services, all of his paperwork said Krishna Parker instead of Lawrence. Krishna was shortened to Kris, and when graffiti bombing became popular, Kris’ tag was shortened to K-R-S. Faced with the prospect of separating himself from the rest of the bombers named K-R-S, Parker changed his tag to KRS-One.

You can ponder how the trajectory of Hip Hop history may or may not have been changed if MC Shan was battling Larry Parker instead of KRS-One, or simply watch the full video below. Ice-T’s Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap releases in theaters Friday, June 15th.

RELATED: KRS-One & DJ Premier To Release "Return Of The Boom Bip" Album

25 Comments

  • anthony rickman

    He gave us a different explaination during his show at the Last Days Saloon in Santa Rosa CA. He bullied the Krsna devotees by saying that his name stood for KRSNA and he is the ONE. He said he was younger then and we do stuff like that. I asked him about it during his concert because I found out this story from a devotee back in 1990. I had to ask! so now we the people get this.... JUST FOR THE TAPE or is this true?

  • Max

    KRS 1 is the truth!! You should see what he has to say in this video: http://youtu.be/QR-J1BUS_ww

  • Bout That

    Looking for that refreshing, classic hip hop? Check out Kaotik AKA Bruce Reignn. He got that flaming hip hop album/mixtape and more!!! http://kaotik.bandcamp.com/album/off-da-meter-freestyles

  • Art Vandalay

    More like the Assmaster. Worst old school rapper ever.

  • Art Vandalay

    More like that Assmaster. Worst old school rapper ever.

  • Times Up

    I suppose everybody dismissing a genuine story about someone's struggle really wants to hear the story of some rapper who makes another strip club anthem that convices them they can go out and lose their minimum wage paycheck in one night to lap dances and overpriced vodka drinks. Ooh, my favorite rapper said something on Twitter about some R&B singer. Let's argue about it and dismiss the culture and the history of our greatest artists in Hiphop. Fight, fight! Kids today.

  • @SmeezeF

    Dope little story

  • HHFAN

    I used to idolize KRS-1 when I was a kid. There wasn't a week passed by that one of his songs wasn't #1 on rap city. Then the Puffy era started and it became about style and street life with Big, Jay and then Nas (who jumped on the mafioso bandwagon). Raps just gotten progressively worst over 20 years. There's nothing authentic about it anymore. It's all love songs to strippers and who has the biggest bank roll. Boot Camp Click, BDP, DTIC, old school Rocafella, Deathrow...those were the last days of rap. It's all Hip Pop now.

  • Anonymous

    The blast master

  • HHDX Ain't Shit

    FUCK Hip Hop DX for blocking my comments fuck Jake Paine and her family fuck Allen Jacobs and her family fuck Sean Ryon and her family fuck Rashad Phillips and her family fuck Steven J. Horowitz and her family fuck everybody and their families and if you is a bitch FUCK YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TOO

  • eeeeeeeeee

    Wack ass story...

  • Sensaye252

    Yo, I love Krs. He just reminds me of when Hip-Hop was a dynasty that you could be proud of. You just don't see strong people in Hip-Hop like that anymore. And I mean strong in the sense of being smart, cultured, and still hood. Rappers now are like little kids. I fuck wit' my uncle Kris.

  • 007 is back!

    how the hell does ice-t not know this.

  • Anonymous

    Yo HipHopDX, KRS said Bhagavad Gita. It's a famous Hindu scripture.

  • Anonymous

    HEEELL Y EEEZZZ NIKKKAS FINALLY IT HAPPENED - JUST BOUGHT A NEW RIDE - A CAM A RO CONVERTIBLE.GOT APPROVED FOR 26 LARGE. BEEN 5 YRS SINCE IVE GOTTEN SHYT APPROVED, BUT NOW ALL MY CRE-DIT SHEET GONE. ALL OF IT. IF YOU STRUGGLING WITH THAT CRE-DIT HISTORY ISHH, GET RID OF ALL DAT TODAY - CALL THESE PEEPS AT 8^8^8-9-2-7 -3-3-5-6. . THEY DO AMAZING WORK AND THEY ARE CHEAP AS FUQQ. GOT RID OF ALL MY SHYYT IN NO TIME. MY HOMEBOY WAS IN THE GUTTA TOO, AND HE CLEANER THAN ME NOW-gettin a condo!! Hit em up - THEY WILL HELP U!!

  • youngsta

    no one cares, grandpa krs! hang it up, go crawl in a hole and never come out again. no country for old ass niggas. lil b >>>>>>> krs-one

  • Phat Dawg

    Bhakivedanta?? He said bhagvad-gita...smh.

Most Discussed News