KRS-One is receiving his flowers while he can still smell them. The Hip Hop legend has been honored with a street mural in an area on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where he was once homeless.
The mural at 2nd St. near 1st Ave was painted by Italian street artist Jorit in honor of Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary. Talking to Fox 5 NY about the honor on Tuesday (January 31), KRS noted that out of all his success, nothing compares to being immortalized in a mural.
“Wow! Just wow!” KRS-One said. “There is no award that is above this. I grew up here. KRS-One grew up in this neighborhood and was less than every single person here. I was homeless. I might have slept right there. [Hip Hop taught me] I can do anything.”
The artist Jorit added: “KRS-One is aggressive but he always looked to unite the aggressiveness and force of rap with positive messages.”
In July of 2022, KRS-One, Chuck D, Kurtis Blow and Doug E. Fresh teamed up to establish the Hip Hop Alliance – a non-profit organization promoting fair wages, fair royalties and strong health and retirement benefits for artists in the Hip Hop and R&B community.
Chuck D and Kurtis Blow serve as both the president and vice-president of The Hip Hop Alliance, respectively.
Just last month, the Alliance responded to Bow Wow’s comments about Hip Hop needing a “board,” and extended an invite for him to join a discussion about the topic.
“Hip hop needs a board!” Bow Wow wrote. “No different than the NBA w/ the players association. A committee. That can set rules and keep things in control and protect this thing we call hip hop! And have a retirement plan for the og rappers. I hate seeing my heros liquor’d out no money just washed.”
“Like every other aspect of society’s workforce, the artists and creators of Hip Hop need protection, support and advocacy,” the The Hip Hop Alliance wrote in a statement in response. “From label disputes to intellectual property retrieval and the need for an overall governing body, the Hip Hop Alliance was established.
“Recent comments this weekend created a unique opportunity to bring forth a conversation that many in Hip Hop & R&B have been addressing for a long time. The need of a governing body of Hip Hop. The goal of HHA is to empower artists to make informed decisions about their career and ensure that their rights are respected and protected.”
“As our culture comes together to honor and celebrate the 50th year of the creation of Hip Hop, now is the time for all of us to come together,” the statement continued. The HHA then invited Bow Wow to join a Clubhouse conversation and its Black History Month online conference to discuss the issues.
“In fact, all of the Hip Hop community is invited to these two informative conversations about the HHA,” the statement added, “as we continue to build this organization to advocate, inform and service our brothers and sisters’ needs and concerns throughout the Hip Hop ecosystem.
“We welcome all of the Hip Hop culture to roll up their sleeves and join us, as we work to uplift, honor, and protect Hip Hop, for its past, present, and future.”