KRS One: A Hip-Hop Scholar

In the 40 Year’s of Hip-hop documentary KRS One discusses the importance of how education, culture, history, and slavery relate to hip-hop culture. KRS- One says that to be a hip-hop scholar you must embody it to its core and spread the knowledge to others. 

One of the first topics KRS One talks about is subjectivity vs. objectivity in hip-hop culture. You cannot be objective to hip-hop culture, meaning you cannot invade the culture and then say you know it. You also cannot read a book and say you know what the culture is. The culture is within you. To me, KRS almost describes "appropriation". Most people do not take the time to learn, or study what they are trying to be involved in.To be a Hip Hop scholar you must embody the culture and spread the story with others. KRS talks about history, in which he describes how in the past colonizers have attempted to embody other cultures. Therefore, there is no connection between the person and the culture. A lot of rappers take on this same role by coming into the hip-hop world and just "take” what other rappers have done. KRS says the difference between hip-hop scholarship and other scholarship is this lack of knowledge of what it means to actually be within the Hip-Hop culture. 

Another point that KRS One makes is that you must “be” Hip-Hop at all times. Having a lot of money, of celebrity status or how how many records you sell does not make you Hip-Hop. Hip-hop is our collective conscious. I agree with this statement because you must actively be thinking about something to rap about it. You cannot be an "outsider" otherwise, they wouldn’t have anything to say. I also enjoyed how KRS did a breakdown of how “Hip Hop” should spelled depending on the context of the situation. I had no real prior knowledge or understanding that were three different ways that it could be spelled. The three spellings represent the nature and variety of hip-hop and how far it has come from 40 years ago.

Lastly, KRS One says that the education we have been learning has not been useful for everyday use. Learning the history of countries and where other countries have come from does not help us navigate life. No one is actively thinking or doing their research on their own. Rather they are just consuming what has been noted in the education systems. The same systems are repeated and the cycle never ends. For Hip-Hop, no one was doing their research or actively learning what the culture is about, only taking in information told from others. In return, Hip-Hop was seen in a negative light.