KRS-One Has Received The Greatest Award Of His Life
On Sunday (February 5), the 65th annual Grammy Awards will take place in Los Angeles, California. There, artists including Kendrick Lamar, JAY-Z, Pusha-T, Future, Gunna, and Doja Cat will compete in the four Rap categories, as K-Dot hopes to win his first “Album Of The Year” category for Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. Onstage, Sunday’s Grammys are slated to honor Hip-Hop’s 50th anniversary year with a special performance curated by Questlove. One of Hip-Hop’s legends, Slick Rick, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, marking his first Grammy trophy.
Another Hip-Hop legend without a Grammy is KRS-One. Despite culture-shifting work as part of Boogie Down Productions and an extensive 30-year solo career, Blastmasta has never been nominated, let alone won. However, this very week, KRS says he received the award he cherishes the most.
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KRS-One appeared at a mural dedication in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Italian street artist Jorit created the piece. Now, near the intersection of 2nd Street and 1st Avenue, a portrait of the famed MC/producer/Hip-Hop advocate is up for public appreciation.
“There is no award that is above this,” KRS-One said to FOX 5. Although Hip-Hop music fans often associate KRS-One with The Bronx, he reminded fans of his ties to Manhattan. “I grew up here. KRS-One grew up in this neighborhood and was less than every single person here. I was homeless; I might have slept right there,” he shared, pointing to the sidewalk in front of the painting.
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FOX 5 asked Kris what Hip-Hop taught him above all else. “[Hip-Hop taught me that] I can do anything,” he replied. On the Boogie Down Productions song “The Homeless,” KRS blasted: “You could call a man a bum with disgust on your morning run. ‘Cause he lives outside in the street, you don’t know this, but you’ve failed to realize that the one you so despise reflects yourself ’cause every Black man is homeless.” During the homeless period of his life, Kris would meet social worker Scott Sterling at a men’s shelter. Those two men would ultimately form BDP and shape history far beyond their acclaimed debut album, Criminal Minded.
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Days ago, Kris also appeared with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY-16) at an announcement that $5 million of federal funding will go to the Universal Hip Hop Museum in The Bronx. KRS was in attendance, as were peers Roxanne Shanté, Grandmaster Flash, Eric B., and Grand Wizzard Theodore.
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Last year, KRS joined Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Kurtis Blow, and others in launching a union, Hip Hop Alliance. Also during 2022, the MC released his 24th solo album, I M A M C R U 1 2, in addition to collaborations with Method Man and Redman as well as AZ and O.C. Kris’ brother and frequent collaborator, DJ Kenny Parker, also co-authored a memoir, My Brother’s Name Is Kenny: The Greatest True Hip-Hop Story Ever Told.