Born Lawrence Parker, KRS-One is a Bronx, NY native and one of hip-hop’s earliest participants and pioneers as member of the group, Boogie Down Productions (with DJ Scott La Rock and Derrick “D-Nice” Jones). The group released their debut album Criminal Minded in 1987. Soon after, La Rock was murdered and KRS-One was inspired to start the Stop the Violence Movement.
BDP continued with KRS-One and D-Nice. Parker took the reigns and developed the group’s content to become more political in nature. In 1993, Parker stepped out on his own with his solo album debut, Return of the Boom Bap. The album was well received by critics, earning him a four-mic review in The Source.
His later projects would play with genres, in the same way his collaboration with rock band R.E.M. did. In 1997, his album I Got Next featured a lead single “Step into a World (Rapture’s Delight),” which incorporated punk and new wave through an interpolation of Blondie’s “Rapture.”
Parker would later give the role of record executive a try. In 1999, he was named the Vice-President of A&R at Reprise Records. It was a short-lived period in KRS-One’s professional career. In 2001, he resigned from his position at Reprise and continued to record albums. Soon after, he recorded a gospel-rap album titled Spiritual Minded, even after making controversial statements about Christianity.
Throughout his career, KRS-One has released a total of 25 albums, including 2017’s The World is MIND.