Despite a minor hit single in "Love's Gonna Get'cha Material Love ," Edutainment was roundly criticized as being full of preachy, didactic lecturing, which also came at the expense of compelling musical backing. The record, Criminal Minded, earned them a rabid cult following on the streets when it appeared in , and today is considered an early classic of hardcore rap. The record's strong street buzz attracted the attention of RCA affiliate Jive, which signed the duo to a record contract. Led by the often brilliant and incendiary MC KRS-One, BDP were pioneers of both hardcore and political or "conscious" rap -- and if that seems contradictory, it also illustrates the scope of KRS-One's talent for chronicling and even shaping his culture. After the group jabbed at him as "a teacher of what? Melodie the latter, born Ramona Scott, was also his wife for a time.
He hadn't yet developed a unified message, but his was the voice of a rebellious, intelligent young street poet, and it connected mightily with his audience. The New York Times invited him to write editorials, and he found intense demand for his views on the college lecture circuit. Technology with the education-oriented side project H. It was basically a way to get the material from Criminal Minded back in print, in a format where royalties could be collected an ongoing dispute with B Boy Records was tying up the original recordings. Early in his teens, he dropped out of high school and left home, migrating to the South Bronx; although he survived mostly on the streets and in homeless shelters, he continued his education by studying extensively in public libraries. Despite a minor hit single in "Love's Gonna Get'cha Material Love ," Edutainment was roundly criticized as being full of preachy, didactic lecturing, which also came at the expense of compelling musical backing. However, many critics found that his intellectual credibility got the better of him on the next BDP album, 's Edutainment. KRS-One's detailed depictions of urban realities -- drugs, survival through violence, promiscuity, hip-hop turf wars -- were sometimes harsh and sometimes gleefully celebratory. Melodie the latter, born Ramona Scott, was also his wife for a time. At 19, he spent a brief time in jail for selling marijuana; after his release, he met social worker Scott Sterling at a Bronx shelter in Since then, he's released several more solo albums, and maintained an active presence in the media and on the lecture circuit. KRS-One further alienated his audience via a altercation with hippie-fied pop-rappers P. Unfortunately, not long afterward, La Rock was shot dead trying to break up an argument at a party in the Bronx. KRS-One retired the Boogie Down Productions moniker in the early '90s to release records under his own name; to this day, he remains one of hip-hop's most outspoken and respected intellectuals. In the meantime, BDP kept recording. Also in , Boogie Down Productions returned with an even more politicized, intellectual album, Ghetto Music: Meanwhile, La Rock's bare-bones production sometimes interpolated pop and rock samples, and the ragga inflections of the classic "9mm Goes Bang" produced a groundbreaking early fusion of hip-hop and reggae. Melodie's sister Harmony, but the sound wasn't any more fleshed out; in fact, it was resolutely skeletal, the antithesis of what KRS-One perceived as a new, unhealthy pop-crossover mentality overtaking hip-hop. Bowing to requests from fans, BDP returned to the harder-hitting beats of its earlier material on 's Sex and Violence, which some critics hailed as a return to form, but failed to recapture his former audience. Melodie, and had pared down his supporting cast to Kenny Parker and Willie D. Taking on issues like black-on-black crime, police brutality, education, and spirituality, KRS-One found his audience growing and the mainstream paying attention to his message. The record, Criminal Minded, earned them a rabid cult following on the streets when it appeared in , and today is considered an early classic of hardcore rap. Early on, BDP devoted itself to brash but realistic narratives of ghetto life, which made them a street-level sensation; however, after the murder of original DJ Scott La Rock, KRS-One -- who now essentially was BDP -- devoted himself to socially and politically conscious material that earned him the nickname "the Teacher. Musically, BDP usually employed spare, minimal backdrops that accentuated KRS-One's booming delivery, and they were also among the very first hip-hop artists to incorporate elements of Jamaican ragga and dancehall into their style. During this period, he became interested in hip-hop culture, writing his own raps and tagging graffiti under the name KRS-One originally an abbreviation for "Kris Number One" but later turned into the acronym "Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone".
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