Word is bond! When the state of hip-hop is in crisis with commercialized lyrics, unappreciative emcees, and NAS’ statement that hip-hop is dead, it becomes hard to focus on what is real hip-hop and what is not.
Every so often an emcees will reemerge to enlighten the world of all that is pure and true, and this time around the teacha is back. KRS-ONE is back with his 15th album entitled Hip-Hip Lives, teaming up with his former enemy, the legendary Marley Marl, to produce every track.
The album’s title track defines hip-hop and the importance of intelligence in society. “Rising to the Top,” recounts some of the most prolific moments in the hip-hop culture, while “I Was There” puts it straight that most of the emcees cannot relate to history. “Kill A Rapper” brings up the deaths of Biggie, Pac, and other prominent artists, and questions the unresolved murders of many rappers. “The Teacha’s Back” takes the album back to the golden age, being one of few songs that brings up misogyny in the current state of hip-hop.
One of the greatest surprises is the collaboration with Chief Rocker Busy Bee on the album’s final track, “House of Hits.” KRS-ONE’s outspoken influence on culture, politics, and music is present in every sense possible, showing that old school hip-hop can co-exist flawlessly amongst the new school, and that KRS-ONE can rock crowds even harder than ever.