KRS-One & True Master - Meta-Historical

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4.07

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Not only does KRS demonstrate the ability to rhyme at level not seen since I Got Next, he does so over some of the better production he's seen in recent memory.

When KRS-One joined forces with Marley Marl in 2007 for Hip Hop Lives, it must have struck a chord for The Blastmaster. Since then he released Survival Skills with Buckshot, and an EP with Just-Ice and now Meta-Historical with True Master. All three of these albums are arguably KRS-One’s most focused efforts since Sneak Attack. True Master and KRS-One sees Boogie Down Productions and Wu-Tang Clan joining forces for the first time. It’s by no means a classic combination, but they seem to have a chemistry that works for both artists.


KRS with True Master is the most natural collaboration that Blastmaster has had in recent memory. While Survival Skills was ultimately a successful album, Buckshot never brought out the KRS-One that True Master is able to channel. The production never overwhelms, but it is always consistent. It seems to complement the South Bronx legend perfectly. Even the preachy "Palm & Fist," KRS-One lyrically captivates over solid board-work. This match hasn’t been seen in recent memory. KRS is able to educate without the listener wanting to hit the skip button. The track is the highlight of the project from a lyrical and production tip.

On “Murder Ya,” KRS-One breaks out his vaunted Reggae-meets-Rap flow. The beat is rather repetitive, but Kris attacks the beat in a manner unseen in years. It’s clear that The Blastmaster is still hungry and this track shows that he can still spit with the best of them. “Unified Field” hears KRS going off on molecular structures at the beginning of the track. It is doper than it sounds, but has little replay value. “Gimme Da 90’s” has a sentimental value, when you hear names like Channel Live and Das Efx, but the hook fails the presentation. Throughout the project unnerving hooks seem to plague perfectly capable tracks. It’s a criticism that has seemed to follow KRS lately, and one that Meta-Historical can’t seem to avoid.

Breaking the trend, “Old School Hip Hop” has a catchy hook, and KRS murders the beat. While “1-2, Here’s What We Gone do” sees a RZA collaboration go to waste with questionable verse from The Abbott. Production-wise, it is one of the better True Master efforts. The Title track here’s KRS spitting knowledge and one hopes that when he spits, “Let's give the future something it can respect” that Hip Hop follows the advice. “Street Rhymer” hears True Master flipping a vocal sample which works, while KRS and Cappadonna drop solid verses.

Like his books, KRS promotes his philosophy throughout the project. There are a handful of skits where he can be heard discussing everything from the bible to mythology all the way to the origins of Hip Hop a few thousand years ago. It is the comprehensive philosophy that keeps him relevant even if it does also bring along a lot of naysayers. It also seems to keep KRS’s content more focused. On previous albums in the 2000s, his fusion of random knowledge with other content often made the end result appear scatterbrained. Meta-Historical has a focus that allows KRS the emcee to shine.

There is no denying that KRS-One is one of the most important and talented emcees to bless the mic. Up until Sneak Attack every album he released was brilliant. Since the 1999 solo independent debut, he has wandered between sub-par, disappointing and rumor filled studio sessions. On Meta-Historical, KRS is back and hungrier than ever. Not only does he demonstrate the ability to rhyme at level not seen since I Got Next, he does so over some of the better production he’s seen in recent memory.

65 Comments

  • Joe R

    This is another lyrical masterpiece from the greatest emcee of all time. We need more of this kind of Hip Hop, even the skits hold a deep and meaningful message, peace KRS. 5 stars.

  • animalovich

    one of a kind,,, this album is a history

  • Steel Town Brown

    Sneak Attack came out in 2001,not 1999.

  • the_killer

    just remember this....it krs-one..86 to now..still gettin it in..

  • Riley

    Match made in heaven...KRS has so much to say, especially this time around. "Palm & Fist" might be my favorite track of 2010.

  • How I Got Over

    I haven't heard much of the album, but what I've heard is extra dope. However, RZA really didn't come through on his verse, he sounds like he doesn't want to be on the track at all.

  • Midd West

    I don't think this is a 5-star album but it's surely better than a 3. About time KRS came back to this level.

  • Real Hip Hop

    KRS-One is a legend and this album is a must buy from any Real Hip Hop fan

  • Ron Young

    5 stars based on What you expect from Independent, underground hip hop & what u expect from KRS-ONE ... I can't stop bumping it

  • Robert Laryea

    alot of yall dont need to be up here on this site or any real hip hop site. i mean honestly what is out right now better than this and kill devil hills... rah digga cd is good but the production is only sub par. black milk got some bangers but the whole thing isnt the shyt. i'm not sayin that this is the best krs cd ever but for an mc who has been in the game since 86 and still spittin some conscious shyt over some dope true master beats it is unmatched. some of yall need to go listen to young money or gucci they got new cds coming soon so maybe u should go pre order them shyts. anyone who knows krs flow and enjoys it will appreciate this. if you arent a fan of krs than who are you to speak about this. i dont rate wacka flocka cd or gucci because i am NOT a fan so i dont listen to that shyt. if you aint a fan than dont rate this. one thing i can say is that if you didnt like the teacha then then you wont like him now cause he aint changin. one thing i agree wit in this review OTHER than the rating is the fact they mention he is in full form here... I TOTALLY AGREE!

  • Scare-Crow

    I've been a fan of Krs One since the late 80's. And I've been a Wu Tang fan since '93 so to hear Krs with True Master is great. As we all know Krs is independent and as such doesn't have the corporate backing to have all the hottest production. The Marley Marl project and the Buckshot Project were very good, but some of the other solo work I've heard could've used better production. Which brings us to this project...production on a high level and Krs drops some real gems lyrically. My beef, not enough true songs and some short songs.

  • ShyU

    Hey Luke if your head wasnt up ur ass, u would have been recognized RZA spit some conscious shit. No u cant recognize supreme math let alone understand it. U stupid Ho. you dont know Hiphop so dont pretend.

    • How I Got Over

      Yeah he might have being saying some interesting stuff, but he rapped like he was asleep. Shit sounded wack as fuck. And I know RZA is way better than that.

  • jack johnson

    man i can't believe some of these comments, wtf man this album was not that good as you guys below are saying. the rhymes are played out, sure krs is a legend but that doesn't mean all his albums are 5 stars

  • jack johnson

    don't be fooled by the "real hip hop" crap. the album is ok but krs-one is on some looney hip hop cult stuff here. if only True Master used some of these dope beats on a wu project instead. the whole album is basically to promote krs hip hop religion. one skit he even compares himself to Jesus

    • ShyU

      R u serious he said there was no J back then so Jesus is pronounced "HES US" not Teacha. the rhymes are played out no simple minded ignorance is out. Hip Hop is not a religion or cult it is a Kulture. That ur not a part of so mind urs.

  • rooney420

    damn didn't think people could be that ignorant to call the motha fucker who started this shit an "ignorant peice of dogg shit". damn the industry is fucked up. no wonder its like how it is today when the fucking blastmaster cant even get no love when hes droppin shit like this. dudes need to take their head out their ass and lil waynes dick out their mouths

  • R P

    naw i said this shit once an ill say 10 more fukin times KRS aint shit FUCK THIS BITCH ASS DUDE hes still a piece of dogg shit an still, big fukin surprise, hasnt changed his tired ass bullshit flow that aint nobody wanna hear. Stick to bitchin about not gettin paid by the fukin hiphop museum to put u in there, an keep ur punk ass out the rap game. u still an arrogant piece of dogg shit who cant spit a good verse an thinks hes on a fukin pedestal

  • The2DopeNinja

    I don't care how long he's been in the game... This is wack to me... And no. I do not listen to yung money or any of them other things.

  • tyson

    This cd has way too many skits. Give it a fucking rest. Just rap.

  • BONKEIRA

    Dope for sure, just not as mind-blowing as i thought it would be, 3xs

  • FRoSTYtheSNoWMaN

    Dope album! Front to back. Real Deal Hip Hop. School is in session when KRS is on the mic. 3/5???? Luke Gibson clearly sucks cock. Track 16 Meta-Historical “Hip-Hop is all spirit, so let’s get down with what the truth is, They not recording hip hop, they recording what it produces, Winner and losers, CD’s and toys, That’s not hip hop, that’s rap music folklore, That’s why these rappers are no more, Because they followed no principles, traditions, and no laws, That’s why the future remembers me, KRS, rhyming for the century”

  • Jesús Diaz

    5/5 on my book

  • B. Davis

    The realest part of this review is that last paragraph, couldn't agree with you more. But as far as the rating goes, I'd give this album 4-stars for the lyrics alone!

  • H2O_atlanta

    Honestly, i was about done with any new KRS albums. He's had so many below average releases that i turned my attention off of him - just didn't wanna hear anymore let downs. But this album right here... which i wouldn't have given a listen to if it weren't for the comments on this review... is definitely some thorough KRS shit! At times i felt like his rhymes were too dope for the beats but then as the album played, everything started to solidify. Again, i did NOT wanna give this album a chance but dammit I'm glad that I did. Big up to the Blastmaster, he went in lyrically harder than he did on "I Got Next".

  • wqe

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7v9707Jnc Nasty Boy by $WonDough$

  • BlackFlair

    I will get this today....been waiting for that raw KRS...Word Perfect shit..he let Buckshot dub his delivery down on Survival Skills...I had kind of liked the album with Raptism on it...

  • claaa7

    damn i've been waiting patiently for y'all to review this and of course it's all opinions but come on now - 3/5?? nooooo way, this is more of a 4.5/5 - best album of the year for me probably. production work from True Master is incredible and perfectly compliments Kris's rhyme style. All three guest verses did a great job too. "Wu Massacre" was a 4.5/5 and this a 3/5 - nope, it's the other way round. come on now.

  • Koko B Wear

    Are You Serious KRS ONE???? The Most OverRATED Rapper Of All Time... Nigger Give it already Fuck Suck has is it.... Nigger Y are still trying 2 Rap???? Nigger You where Never Good First Place..Im Gald Nelly Diss Ur Black ASS...Aiyyo I’m tired of people judgin whats real hip-hop half the time you be them niggaz who fuckin album flop.... Pussy

  • 718rob

    Get Right was better than this. Kris needs to stop freestyling on albums, and True Master is way better than this.

  • DJJJJ

    This is the type of hip-hop we desperately need. Kids are listening and imitating all of the garbage these rappers promote. So now we have messed up youth that think it is cool to get hoes and chase money. They see these garbage rappers that don't care about knowledge or living a healthy life and want to be that. KRS-ONE is the total opposite of these rappers that are popular today and I think it is sad. Why don't kids want to look up to mos def,Talib Kweli and krs because being smart is the best thing you can do with your life. KNOWLEDGE REINGS SUPREME OVER NEARLY EVERYBODY! READ READ READ STUDY! That is gangsta to me! BUY THIS ALBUM IT IS BANGING AND THE LYRICS ARE GREAT! PEACE & LOVE!

  • Blackula

    DX reviewers need a slap. Real talk. KRS on top of his game warrants him a 3/5? That what the review is saying. Bish please!!

  • TYBO2020

    DECENT..LOOKING FOWARD TO GODSVILLE W/SHOWBIZ..REALITY CHECK W/BUMPY KNUCKS..AND THE PREMO ALBUM..

  • obatron1

    Deserves more than a 3. C'mon DX!

  • mcdangle

    the editor who reviewed this is officially a douchebag...this album would get 4 in the real source all day....the beats are ill as fuck and krs sounds rejuvenated compared to the buckshot album

  • Robert Laryea

    like i said FUUUUUUUUUUUCK THIS REVIEW!!

  • Njck Atkins

    Krystyles was fire!!! Keep Right was nice as shit too. And KRS and Wu is nuts

  • Anonymous

    this shit was fire, i don't know what the editor was listening to at all. KRS lyrics are fuckin fire b. great album. not the best ever but this shit was crazy.. WUUUUUTANNNNG wa da da dey BLAM!

  • Ness

    THE TEACHER KILLED IT NUFF SAID.

  • shaaka

    honestly, this review suck... for me this is krs-one's best album yet since he released krstyles in 2003.true master is on point 4 dis one.when real hip hop is on point you rate it poorly but your quick to give auto-tuned & garbage rap music of lil wayne and co. good reviews.anyone above 28 will know dat this album is on point....

  • BIG FACE ITALY

    KRS ONE IS HIP HOP

  • BIG FACE ITALY

    Ok this review is a fucking joke. And dudes that be acting like idiots nowadays anyway... its not about creativity but about materialisme and being as loud as fuck. O and I almost forgot the fakest trend hip hop beefin about who is more gangster LOL BIG UP to the Almighty Wu and BDP KRS ONE.

  • Robert Laryea

    HOW CAN YOU SAY THE BEAT ON MURDA YA IS REPETITIVE? ISNT THAT WHAT REAL HIP HOP BEATS SOUND LIKE? MOST DOPE BEATS ARE LOOPED UP ANYWAY????? WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN??? THIS CD IS BETTER THAN SURVIVAL SKILLS!

    • tony axlrod

      yes "real hip hop" uses loops but sometimes beats can be too repetitive, people often break up the beat, add things to the beat so it doesn't get repetitive, i agree with the reviewer though it was. seems like everyones just rating it high coz of the "real hip hop" thing and because hiphopdx dared to give it 3

  • Robert Laryea

    FUCK YOU HIP HOP DX ARE YOU MUGFUGGIN KIDDIN ME! FUCK YOU WITH A GREAT BIG KRS ONE HIP HOP DICK! I BEEN BUMPIN THIS SHYT SINCE IT CAME OUT! HOW CAN YOU SAY THESE THINGS THEAT KRS ONE IS ON TOP OF HIS GAME BUT ONLY GIVE IT THREE STARS!! FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUUUUUUUUUUCK YOU! IMA KEEP BUMPIN THIS FOR THE TRUE HIP HOP HEADS!!!!!

  • Vocab

    Im sorry man, im a huge Kris fan and all but he sucked on this album. Possibly his worst performance yet. Palm & Fist sums up pretty much everything thats wrong with Kris these days, his lyrics were so contrived and borderline gibberish. The production was ok and Murda Ya bangs in the whip, but as a whole KRS sounds like he's freestyling his way through the album. Very disappointed.

  • DJZZZ

    This album is awesome! I love hip-hop and KRS IS THE PRESIDENT OF OUR CULTURE!

  • Assassin221

    Why is such a positive review only getting 3 stars? Come on DX, this happens with every review and each time you get a bunch of people in the comments section complaining about it, obviously you need to reevaluate how you do your ratings.

    • Anton Lavey

      it happens with every review because fans always want their favorite artist to get a 5 or 4 and when they get less they get all pissy

  • Jim

    5 Star album....if skills sold truth be told, this shit would be Jigga Jay-Z....... AND U KNOW THIS

  • keith

    KRSONE is the best rapper alive! the second best is EM! this cd is 5 stars!

  • gdiggedy

    This review is stupid! To end it saying Krs sounds hungrier than ever, rhyming at a level he hasn't touched in a while over dope beats gets him a 3 out of 5??? Krs One at his best over dope production is only a 3 out of 5??? Get the f#ck outta here with this bullshit review.

  • Jim

    One of the best albums this year!! but it only gets 3 stars?? this is the problem people say rap is shit these days and its nowhere near as good as the 80s/90s yet when a bangin album comes out that Krs absolutley smashes people dont pay attention and it get mediocre reviews, nonsense!! If this came out in 1990 it would be a classic no doubt. Sometimes i think people just say that rap has gone crap to sound cool and actually love soulja shit!!! If you love beats and rhymes this album is CLASSIC.....simple

  • Mister K

    Tell you what, this is refreshing :)