Monday, December 19, 2016

Boogie Down Productions "Edutainment" (HHC, 8/90)


"What? A hip-hop artist releasing a fourth album? Surely not. Well, okay, but it can't be any good. I mean, these hip-hop artists don't have any staying power, you know. Ha! KRS-One delivers a slap in the face (metaphysically, of course) to all those people who refuse to give hip-hop any respect. "Edutainment" is the fourth Boogie Down Productions album and KRS-One is only just getting started on the suckers. The depth of his thought should put them to shame. The first two BDP albums stand as hardcore classics. But KRS-One doesn't stand still in one mentality, he alters his approach as he reaches a steadily wider audience. This doesn't mean compromising or commercializing - if anything, his lyrics have become bolder and more direct. And if revealing truth is the ultimate hardcore expression, he's more hardcore than ever."


"Interspersed among the 13 musical tracks on "Edutainment" are six live speech interludes. With 'Point A,' KRS-One opens the album by proclaiming that 1) rap music is the voice of black people; 2) it's the last voice of black people; and 3) black people have created every music you hear out in the streets today. After loud cheers he adds: "What I would like to bring out today is rap music as a revolutionary tool in changing the structure of racist America" ... Fear not, though,  "Edutainment" is still a hip-hop album and KRS-One hasn't forsaken rapping. Musically the album continues the mix of rap and reggae that he forged on Ghetto Music, while lyrically he deals with diverse and deep subjects. 'Blackman In Effect' finds him giving an upfront history lesson on the black roots of early civilization, while 'Ya Know The Rule' gets into some metaphysics... 'Material Love' and '100 Guns' are cautionary tales in the tradition of '9MM Go Bang' (but not nearly so starkly delivered), while 'Homeless' starts out as a story about two rich white joggers looking down on a homeless black man and develops into a much deeper meditation on how all blacks in America are actually homeless. KRS-One continues to do what he does best in the way that only he can." - HHC, August 1990.