After being asked about the connection between the social context, political context, and the official birth of Hip Hop in the 70s, during an interview with Vlad TV, KRS-One addressed a number of topics including the lack of respect for Hip Hop in America, Public Enemy’s pull on revolutionary white kids, and more.
The Bronx, New York lyricist started off by stating that being a part of America was never a goal for those in his generation. He then questioned why he has to currently travel to a country like Switzerland to make money as a Hip Hop artist.
According to KRS-One, Hip Hop is more accepted by the government in a place like Switzerland than it is in the United States.
“Our parents were on their hands and knees begging to be a part of America,” KRS-One said. “We were never part of that, ever…Blacks and Latinos get it the worst. We get it the worst in America. But the white people in America too started looking. And just a sense of justice. Was just like ‘Wait a minute, why is it like this if it should be like this?’ And this is when Hip Hop exploded. With Public Enemy who was representing Minster Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. And their whole audience was white kids…You can tell that the government here [Switzerland] is lenient towards Hip Hop. Towards it elements. Breaking in the street, graffiti on the wall, people rapping. I can’t make money in America. Why am I here? It’s 2013, okay. Why is KRS in Switzerland and not in Ohio…The political leadership of Ohio don’t respect me.”
KRS-One also spoke on one of the founders of Hip Hop, Afrika Bambaataa. While speaking on Bambaataa, the rapper revealed that Hip Hop wasn’t as impromptu as a network like MTV might have led people to believe, and was instead a deliberate and carefully planned out movement.
“What built this movement, what made this all come together is a guy names Afrika Bambaataa,” he said. “He is the sole author of Hip Hop’s cultural existence. I’m called an architect of Hip Hop culture cause I popularized it. But Afrika Bambaataa is the first one to tell all of us, ‘Let’s come together under this banner called Hip Hop. And we gon’ call ourselves Zulu Nation. But really, it’s Hip Hop. It’s this new thing that we’re gonna cause in the world.’ It was deliberate. Hip Hop was never a mistake…Those principles: peace, unity, love, and having fun. Became the principles for this new culture called Hip Hop. Afrika Bambaataa would meet with us regularly. This was no haphazard thing. We just rapping on the corner. That’s MTV’s history. Real Hip Hop history is Afrika Bambaataa sitting everybody down and saying ‘Listen, all this black, white, red, yellow is stupid. We’re all human beings. Let’s come together on that.’”
KRS-One’s interview with Vlad TV can be found below.
For additional KRS-One coverage, watch the following DX Daily: