KRS-One Apologizes to LL Cool J For Dissing Him, With A Detailed Freestyle (Video)
On Saturday night (November 21), KRS-One performed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In a concert joined by Rakim, Ras Kass, Domingo, DJ JS-1, and others, KRS was filmed (by Akil Esoon) as he welcomed a fan to the stage to perform some rhymes. That fan, dressed in a white track-suit and matching bucket hat, dissed the headliner, who on Friday (November 27) will release 13th solo album, Now Hear This. As expected, KRS-One did not go quietly. The Boogie Down Productions co-founder lambasted the concert-goer, who left the stage, in an extensive freestyle battle rhyme. Within that rhyme, Kris accused the anonymous MC as jocking MC Shan’s style. He then called the man “wack,” and attached the same label to Rap peer LL Cool J.
In the days since, many Internet users have questioned if the “H.E.A.L.” and “5 Boroughs” collaborators were actually going to engage in a battle, more than 30 years into their amicable careers. On November 23, at Lower Manhattan’s S.O.B.’s, KRS-One deaded those notions. In a rare act, the Bronx, New York MC recanted his less than one bar diss about LL Cool J, and clarified why he said it—while asking for forgiveness. In doing so, KRS-One equated the former Def Jam MC to a father figure, and called him “the greatest.” During the middle of his homecoming concert, Kris addressed the issue as an accapella freestyle:
GrandGood captured video of the event. Here are the exact bars of what Blastmasta KRS rhymed:
“I’ma say this / I wasn’t a witness / Hold it down right quick / I’ma ask for forgiveness / I fucked up with my lyrical physical fitness / I want y’all to see this, heaven or hell / I did a rhyme, and I dissed LL / Now some of y’all might know this / I did it in Pittsburgh, the other day, with Chris / I was battlin’ this dude, / Tryin’ to get in my face, I ate him like food / But check it out / With no doubt / I was off the top, like how I am now / He was dressin’ like LL, like ‘wow.’ / So as I was dissin’ him, it came out my mind / I didn’t want to say it, but I said it / The YouTube caught it, now they playin’ it / Why am I shorted? / Because I feel bad / See, LL Cool J, he’s like my real dad / Aww.” He paused to draw out an “aw” from the crowd, before continuing. “He’s like my real dad / 1984, my dude made ‘Bad’ / Not that, it was ‘I Need A Beat’ / In 1994, that shit was the street / I wanna say this now, to LL Cool J / I got not beef with you or your DJ / I was battlin’ another kid and I slipped / I’ma do it live like this, off the lip / I’m askin’ for the forgiveness, at S.O.B.’s / ‘Cause I’m a real MC, you know me / I would never, ever try to pull my weapon / And try to disrespect another legend / No, that’s not how I roll / But when dudes wanna battle me, I roll / And when shit goes off the top of the head / Sometimes a rapper on the side, BOW!, get dead.”
No longer rhyming, KRS-One shifted to address the crowd in a monologue. “Before I go, I just want to say that I said it in rhyme, but I just want to say it again: LL Cool J is my man—no diss, no beef, no disrespect. I’m a battle MC. Sometimes I go off the edge. And I went off the edge. And so, as a I fall down, I pull my parachute. I just want to make that clear, ’cause dudes online are [like], ‘Yo, KRS, battle LL! Yo!’ Nah, that shit is not happening.” The iconic battle MC gave way to his peer, who also has a propensity to battle. “LL Cool J is the greatest. Now of course if I’m challenged, okay.”
Does this show a new side of KRS-One than you’re used to?
As a note, both KRS-One (Criminal Minded) and LL Cool J (Radio) have two of the reader-voted Top 10 albums of the 1980s. Those albums, along with nominated albums from the 1990s and 2000s are doing battle in Ambrosia For Heads’ “Finding The GOAT Album” series.