When KRS-One emerged as the rapping half of Boogie Down Productions in the mid-1980s, his native New York was being ravaged by crack cocaine and suffering from the fallout therein. The rapper-producer says that the conditions in which people lived back then are the same today. KRS-One then amends his comment. 

“Things have gotten worse because we have an African-American president,” the South Bronx, New York rapper says during an interview with CNN, “and it seems like racism in the United States is overflowing.”

The rapper takes things a step further. 

“There’s no order in the United States,” he says, “so now there’s lawlessness.”

One example of the chaos KRS-One cites in the interview is the status of police in America in the wake of the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray, both of whom died either directly or indirectly because of the actions of law enforcement agents. The strained relationship between police and the urban community is a topic KRS-One has long addressed through his work with Boogie Down Productions and a solo artist, including 1989’s “Who Protects Us From You?” and 1993’s “Black Cop” and “Sound Of Da Police,” among others.

The rapper says that the antagonistic relationship between police and the people they are supposed to protect and serve is a symptom of a larger issue in America.

“This is the problem with the United States,” KRS-One says. “There’s no leadership. A leader would say, ‘Police brutality is an oxymoron. There are no brutal police. The minute you become brutal, you’re no longer the police.’ So what we’re dealing with out here [points to the window], we’re not dealing with police. We’re dealing with a federally authorized gang.”

Boogie Down Productions’ “Who Protects Us From You?” KRS-One’s “Black Cop” and “Sound Of Da Police,” as well as KRS-One’s CNN interview are as follows:

For additional KRS-One coverage, watch the following DX Daily: