This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, and New York City is giving a nod to KRS-One. The Boogie Down Productions icon has been involved in the culture since its inception, and he’s grown to be a respected artist, activist, and teacher. FOX 5 News reported that KRS was recently honored in the Big Apple with a stunning mural on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. His initial reaction was a shocked “Wow!”
“There is no award that is above this,” the “Self Destruction” icon said. This mural was carefully constructed to celebrate not only KRS-One but Hip Hop’s 50th. The mural’s location also touched the rapper’s heart because he grew up in that neighborhood, and it was a humbling, full-circle moment.
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“I grew up here,” he told the news outlet. The powerful artwork stopped him in his tracks. “KRS-One grew up in this neighborhood and was less than every single person here. I was homeless. I might have slept right there.” The placement was important for the mural’s creator, Jorit. The Italian street artist explained to Fox 5 the impact KRS has had on Hip Hop culture.
“KRS-One is aggressive, but he always looked to unite the aggressiveness and force of rap with positive messages,” Jorit shared. KRS was asked what he learned from Hip Hop, and he replied, “I can do anything.”
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Hundreds of thousands of people turned into Verzuz in real-time to watch KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane join together. The union was supported by several of their Rap pioneer peers, many of which we haven’t heard from in decades. Verzuz prides itself on celebrating Black culture and music, and they promise more will come in 2023 following a minor legal setback.