KRS’s Best Album in Years?
It has always been with certain consternation that the post-‘90s albums of KRS-One (all twelve of them) failed to garner the buzz they deserve. Hip-Hop Lives (2007) with Marley Marl and Survival Skills (2009) with Buckshot were two of the best albums of their respective years, yet both only offer a taste of the quality music KRS has contributed to the culture this past decade. That said, perhaps it is not so much that the latest albums are of a lower quality, but rather that fans still desire the rugged boom-bap sound that KRS forged after going solo in the ‘90s. Most hip-hop heads have accepted that the ‘80s are over, but for some reason still hold out for that ‘90s sound.
Well, remember KRS’s Jamaican rhyme style from Return of the Boom Bap, derived from, but not derivative of Shabba Ranks? Right on Meta’s first track, “Murda Ya,” it’s back. In fact, fans of 1995’s KRS-One or 1997’s I Got Next will embrace Meta-Historical. Wu-Tang-affiliated True Master handles all of the production duties and has given KRS the best beats he’s rhymed over since the aforementioned albums. Anyone who digs dusty percussion layered with horn stabs and Wu-inspired guitar samples is in for a treat.
Lately, KRS has been accused of being lyrically repetitive. On the track “Gimme Da ‘90s,” he rhymes, “’My Philosophy’ dropped in ’89/But now in 2010 it’s on your mind,” and he’s right. KRS’s years of lecturing at high-profile universities have provided him with fresh philosophical content to communicate (“Palm and Fist”), which, combined with an intense delivery and a classic throwback production sound, makes this an album to renew faith in The Teacha.