Music News

KRS-One and Marley Marl

KRS-One likes to pick a fight. Anyone who remembers anything about ¨The Bridge Wars,¨ the feud between KRS-One´s Boogie Down Productions and DJ Marley Marl´s Juice Crew featuring MC Shan that spawned a number of classic hip-hop songs in the early ´80s, knows that KRS started it. The Juice Crew´s ¨The Bridge¨ was only singing the praises of the Queensbridge neighborhood, not taking bragging rights from the South Bronx as the birthplace of hip-hop. But now, sans Shan, KRS and Marley Marl have decided to put the old rivalry aside and make a combo album. Unfortunately, for a good portion of Hip-Hop Lives, KRS spends too much time resting on his laurels and engendering nostalgia on songs like ¨I Was There¨ and ¨All Skool.¨ Highlighting the good components of hip-hop is admirable, but his earlier records did that too, and overall the rhymes were fresher. One track that has the same edge as KRS´ early BDP stuff is ¨Kill a Rapper,¨ which questions why whenever a rapper gets murdered -- Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Jam Master Jay, and the newest one, Stack Bundles -- authorities never find the killer. ¨You wanna get away with murder?/Kill a rapper¨ goes the chorus. KRS is as sharp as he ever was when he says: ¨It seems like whenever a rapper dies, it don´t matter/He simply becomes a poster, something to run after/A reason for these kids to pull their guns faster/Trying to emulate and be like dead rappers.¨ In ¨Rising to the Top,¨ he points out that he and Marley Marl ¨could have been gun strappin´, but they wasn´t,¨ because they were on some ¨real¨ hip-hop, which isn´t about violence. Well, maybe the young bucks can still learn a few things from ¨The Teacha¨ and Marly Marl after all.
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Makkada B. Selah