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KRS-One (born Lawrence Parker on August 20, 1965 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York) is an American MC. Over his career he has been known by several pseudonyms, including Kris Parker, KRS One, KRS-ONE (as given at his site), The Blastmaster and The Teacha. KRS-One is an acronym for “Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everybody”. KRS-One is a significant figure in the hip hop community and is often referenced in works by other hip hop artists and critics as being the ‘essence’ of an MC and one of the greatest to ever hold the mic.

KRS-One, originally a member of the hip hop crew Boogie Down Productions, is known for setting the path for both hardcore rap and socially conscious political rap.

Youth and early career

Born Lawrence Parker in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1965, the future KRS-One grew up with his brother Kenny and their single mother in assorted inner city neighborhoods of Brooklyn and the Bronx. According to interviews with The Source Magazine, one fateful day when he was 12 years old, he and his brother Kenny prepared a pan of flavored rice, which was to be the family’s dinner for the evening. The hungry pair ate the whole thing, and when their mother came home from work, she kicked them out of the apartment in a fit of anger. They stayed away for two days before younger Kenny decided to go back home, while Lawrence opted not to return. He spent the better part of the next seven years homeless, much of it at local libraries.


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