As part of Boogie Down Productions, Bronx-born hip-hop legend KRS-One kicked off a thirty year career that’s seen him alternately lionised, lambasted, feted and vilified, whilst putting out bona fide rap classics like Sound Of Da Police and gaining a reputation as a spokesman, producer and founder of the Temple Of Hip Hop (which, remarkably has official United Nations status as a religion.)
He’s weathered all manner of controversies, from his comments regarding 9/11 to his recent statements in support of Afrika Bambaataa following accusations of sexual abuse. Through it all, he has kept releasing music with his discography now stretching to almost thirty albums. 2015’s Now Hear This, which KRS-One released online for free due to his desire for its ‘edutainment’ to reach the right ears, aimed to deliver a record of authenticity and depth. Touted by KRS-One as a kind of history lesson from one of rap’s great pioneers, it’s an album that saw him go in on a gritty, lo-fi boom bap sound, balancing party anthems with political sloganeering and bouts of righteous anger. If it’s an evening with a hip-hop icon you’re after, make sure to be in attendance at the Riverside on Thursday 16th February.