Top 100 KRS-One Quotes of 2021

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KRS-One is an American rapper, philosopher, and humanitarian. Often called “The Teacha,” he is most well known as the leader of the hip hop group Boogie Down Productions, an influential force in hip hop music since the late 1980s. KRS-One began his music career in the late 1980s, along with his DJ, the late DJ Scott La Rock. They released a series of innovative and controversial records including “The Bridge Is Over.”

He grew up in a church community in the Bronx, New York, and like many hip hop artists, used music as a way to escape from a difficult reality. He has been active in fighting for the rights of urban youth for decades, and he has published a number of books (like Gospel of HipHop), including Build, to help educate people about the origins of hip hop and the need for social change.

Best KRS One Quotations

“Hip-hop is not about crime. Hip-hop is not about being a gangster.”― KRS-One


“Self-management and self-control are the keys to advanced knowledge, and both are difficult to learn without a sense of your own cultural identity.”― KRS-One


“Illiteracy causes violence. If you don’t have enough words in your vocabulary, you can’t even seek your way out of a situation.”― KRS-One

KRS-One quotes
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“Hip Hop is an extension of our very being, and so the study of Hip Hop is the study of self-expression leading to the study of one’s true self.”― KRS-One


“The ones that sell the most aren’t the ones that are remembered.”― KRS-One


“It seems like racism in the United States is overflowing.”― KRS-One


“Hip hop is a human skill, and the practice of real hip hop should remind us of our humanity.”― KRS-One


“There is no forgiveness, justice, or healing on any level when hate is involved.”― KRS-One


“If you don’t know hip-hop, at least a little bit of it, you can’t even call yourself an American.”― KRS-One


“Only love is consistent because only love is unconditional.”― KRS-One


“I came from the heart of the ghetto – there ain’t no suburbia in me.”― KRS-One


“The single most important lesson I learned is that black people are the cause of black people’s demise.”― KRS-One


“When you know your self-worth, and you read and you ask questions and you study and you travel, you become free.”― KRS-One


“The truth is nobody was a Muslim until Public Enemy came out. Then, everybody was Muslim this and Muslim that. It’s a bandwagon thing. Islam is a way of life… it’s a religion. It’s not just something you put on a record.”― KRS-One


“There has always been a conscious effort to destroy any upliftment of the black race, whether that be physically, mentally, psychologically, morally, culturally, or economically.”― KRS-One


“Ask any rapper or singer what artist they are an expert on. What artist are they looking to emulate, and really, what artist is the one person they are an expert on? You see, if you want any kind of longevity, if you want any kind of legacy, you need to know what ancestral line you are from.”― KRS-One


“Why isn’t there any 50-year-old MCs killing it? I’m 46. Am I the only one? I can’t wait to get to 50. I’m going to let everybody know it! I’m going to wear a shirt that says ‘I’m 50.’”― KRS-One


“People say I contradict myself because I come gangsta and teach at the same time. I don’t want to be too much on either side, but I do want to speak to all audiences.”― KRS-One


“Hate is indeed self-destructive, and this is what real Hip Hop must avoid at all cost.”― KRS-One


“When I wake up in the morning, do I think I’m a role model? Yes. I’m not trying to have a pristine image, because a real role model shows you to the good and ugly.”― KRS-One


“Every ghetto kid that walks the earth can see something in KRS-One that reminds him of himself.”― KRS-One


“When you’re not attached to anything, nothing can harm you. When people become attached, they can be harmed. I know this, so I don’t attach myself to anything, really.”― KRS-One

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“When you seek to do something, if you don’t know the whole game plan, you’re usually going to work against yourself.”― KRS-One


“It’s always baffled me why BET looks the way it does. This is Black Entertainment Television. Why are we up there, then, looking like idiots? It’s because black people are marketing black people like that.”― KRS-One


“I think that Napster is the greatest invention since sliced bread. Napster, to me, is liberation and freedom for artists.”― KRS-One


“I think music should be free. I think all communication should be free. I think people should respect artists, and there should be a certain respect for artists who give their music away for free.”― KRS-One


“Bring the arts back, and treat it with respect.”― KRS-One


“You have to be educated to vote.”― KRS-One


“When we say, ‘Look, Donald Trump was a friend to hip hop back in the day; so was Bill Clinton,’ It doesn’t mean that because he was a friend to hip hop back in the day, that the same Bill Clinton wasn’t at the lead of this mass incarceration of African Americans today.”― KRS-One


“When you do an album, you don’t get to test an album live.”― KRS-One


“Even with so many artists using auto-tune, there’s still a growing group of artists rising up and going in the opposite direction, making music that’s real and fresh. And those cats are getting back to the basics without auto-tune. And a lot of those cats are packing out venues without getting played on the radio!”― KRS-One


“I have to put a business model together because certain businesses are approaching me as a legend, as if I’m on my way out. Same goes for the way I get presented on the VH1 Hip Hop Honors and BET. I get lifetime achievement awards because of who I am and what I’ve done, but they want to put me in a place, as if I’m on my way out.”― KRS-One


“Many of us were raised without a father, and the subject of deadbeat dads hits home in a lot of areas. Most of all, doing a song about being a father to your daughter flies straight in the face of the argument that says hip-hop is misogynistic.”― KRS-One


“What is American education? What should our students be taught? Is hip-hop something that is worthwhile and useful for students to learn? Of course, if you’re learning it from KRS-One, I would say yes.”― KRS-One


“In the future, hip-hop is going to be called American folklore.”― KRS-One


“I’m not a fan of public school at all; I think it’s one of the greatest catastrophes of American history.”― KRS-One


“This is the problem with the United States: 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 police.’ So, what, we’re not dealing with police. We’re dealing with a federally authorized gang.”― KRS-One


“I honestly now know that I’m the physical embodiment of hip-hop on earth. That’s my only purpose here on earth is to keep the culture together long enough for it to remain everything that we thought it could be when I was coming up.”― KRS-One


“When my time is up in hip-hop, it’s going to remain what Afrika Bambaataa thought it was supposed to be. It’s going to remain what Kool Herc thought it was supposed to be; what Wu-Tang Clan sees it as; what Outkast sees it as; what Snoop Dogg sees it as. People are trying to forget that brand of hip-hop.”― KRS-One


“Hate reveals itself for what it really is – evil! It cannot see clearly, so it exposes itself at every turn, and those that truly love can see it.”― KRS-One


“Rap is something you live; hip hop is something you do.”― KRS-One


“The Temple of HipHop has declared HipHop its own religion. We believe HipHop is divine. HipHop proves the existence of God.”― KRS-One

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“I find it fascinating how hip hop as a culture mirrors every mythology from the beginning of mythology. The concept of the single mother and child – the Madonna concept. Hip-hoppers were raised in that.”― KRS-One


“Maybe I’m the prophet of hip hop for real. Maybe I do come with some kind of divine principle behind me, because I know that every battle I’ve ever had I’ve always won.”― KRS-One


“For me, I see myself as a role model because, everything I do, there is a person somewhere who needs to hear me spread a message of non-violent conflict resolution.”― KRS-One


“I don’t see enough peace talk in society.”― KRS-One


“When I was about 15 years old, I began to embark on an MC career but also to study philosophy with an emphasis on theology.”― KRS-One


“There’s no distinction. A teacher is a preacher. The teachers in public schools are preachers, and the preachers in church are teachers.”― KRS-One


“I am a youth minister, ordained by the Riverside Church in upper New York. But to declare myself a minister and begin to preach from the pulpit, from the Bible, to a congregation and to build a church, so to speak – I don’t have a desire for that.”― KRS-One


“I do have a desire to bring a spiritual tone to the hip-hop community, which may force me to open a facility that teaches spiritual principles through the language of hip-hop culture.”― KRS-One


“When rap music needed to have a teacher, I became it.”― KRS-One


“Before I came out, there was no such thing as a black conciousness movement. Kids on the street didn’t know who Malcom X or Martin Luther King was until rap let them know.”― KRS-One


“I don’t even want my music on mainstream radio. They don’t deserve it. They destroy careers.”― KRS-One


“If the radio ever played my music, I would sue them. And they know it, which is why they don’t play my music.”― KRS-One


“I existed before the mainstream. Why would I join them? I watched the mainstream come up, and now I’m watching it collapse. I don’t want to be a part of that.”― KRS-One


“I was born in Hip Hop. That’s all I ever needed.”― KRS-One


“There was no hip-hop before Afrika Bambaataa.”― KRS-One


“Radio has always been just disgusting.”― KRS-One


“I’m hoping to make the kind of difference in my lifetime that allows me to be remembered positively.”― KRS-One


“I look at it like this: you may only sell 20,000 to 100,000 albums. But those albums are going to be heard by future doctors, lawyers, judges, firemen, etc. Those albums are being sold to the right people that move society. They’re interested in what you have to say.”― KRS-One


“I’m here to inspire young people to be part of the most magnificent culture on earth: hip-hop.”― KRS-One


“I mistakably paid respect and condolences to the wrong Beastie Boy member King Ad-Rock when it should have been MCA. In light of this, I am redoing the song ‘Hip Hop Speaks From Heaven’ and I am pulling the original version off of my digital release. Historical accuracy is extremely important to me, so I accept all responsibility for this error.”― KRS-One


“The only solution to the education system is to find yourself.”― KRS-One


“Religion and God are totally separate. Religion is created by government. God is God.”― KRS-One


“Everything God wants you to know is already written in your heart.”― KRS-One


“No child is racist. A child is born, and then they go through the educational system.”― KRS-One


“No one ever really talks about the punk-rock involvement in hip-hop, which influenced Afrika Bambaata.”― KRS-One


“The only time you had blacks, whites, and Latinos jamming together was in hip-hop. It’s an unsung history.”― KRS-One


“Rap is no longer a pastime; this is a worldwide profession.”― KRS-One


“The idea of New Zealanders sounding like Americans is not it. You got to rhyme in your language, your accent.”― KRS-One

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“High respect goes out to our mothers, our single mothers. This is why today the real community uplifts femininity and holds womanhood above, not equal to, masculinity.”― KRS-One


“I don’t need my fans to buy my music. My music is free, basically.”― KRS-One


“Educate yourself, because this society is geared to have us hate each other. The longer we hate each other, the more we can’t come together as humanity and look at the knuckleheads screwing it up for everybody.”― KRS-One


“When you know the law, you’re above the law. When you break the law, you’re under the law.”― KRS-One


“Where I go, rap goes. Rap is like my dog; it’s like my little pet. And where I go, I lead my little pet with me.”― KRS-One


“I’m the most humble rapper in the industry.”― KRS-One


“Violence on the community stops when the soul matures.”― KRS-One


“If you vote for evil, you are evil yourself.”― KRS-One


“The Temple of Hip-Hop makes sure that we don’t just approach hip-hop just through music or through rap. We approach the totality of hip-hop.”― KRS-One


“Record companies feel they are the culture. Hip-hop has to begin to define, protect, and promote itself, and that’s why we founded the Temple.”― KRS-One


“Every generation brings its own presentation of what hip-hop is to them.”― KRS-One


“Every ten years, we get a new old school. In 1987, we thought 1977 was the best era in hip-hop. Here we are in 2007, and we’re discussing ’97/’98, when 50 Cent just started.”― KRS-One


“Hip Hop is an idea. It is the pursuit of one’s authentic being through the arts. It is not a physical thing; it is an attitude – even an aptitude.”― KRS-One


“You must have an opinion about yourself, some kind of meaning to yourself, a purpose, if you are really going to learn anything or develop into that which you desire to be.”― KRS-One


“Original hip hop manipulated technologies of all sorts; it was not manipulated by the technology itself.”― KRS-One


“Young people may be stupid at times, but they respond to the truth when it is present, and for them, KRS-One is the truth!”― KRS-One


“Jermaine Dupri is a b-boy, and he’s dope.”― KRS-One


“I flew everywhere for the first 10 years of my career, and I started to not like commercial transport. I just don’t feel safe.”― KRS-One


“How can you call yourself a cosmopolitan modern person if you don’t know what hip-hop is?”― KRS-One


“Hip-hop is a worldwide culture. We have permeated every urban environment.”― KRS-One


“My theory is that hip-hop is the most advanced version of civilisation on earth, and we are here to usher the rest of humanity into the Age of Aquarius.”― KRS-One


“Graffiti art brings you back to your human skills – your spirit and what your being is really about.”― KRS-One


“I would say my flow is Aboriginal. Look at my face, nose, lips, and eyes.”― KRS-One


“In one sense, I wanted to study philosophy and theology, getting into the history of the Bible. I went through that for, like, two years while I took a desk job at Warners. It was very depressing but exhilarating at the same time.”― KRS-One


“I kind of backed into rap music. I thought I was going to do comic books or graphic art.”― KRS-One


“I don’t sell millions of records. As a matter of fact, I’m not even interested in selling millions of records. I enjoy MCing. I make a decent amount of money. I can feed my kids. I keep a roof over my head. I don’t have to sell a million records to maintain my lifestyle.”― KRS-One


“For KRS-One, I have a specific sound – sparse drums and bass. I try to steer away from elaborate productions.”― KRS-One


“DMX – everything this brother spits is hot. Everything. This is the heat right here. When I stand next to MCs, this is who I wanna stand next to.”― KRS-One


“You can never be too old for hip-hop.”― KRS-One


“I am a poet, and I speak poetically.”― KRS-One

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