Tuesday, October 07, 2008 | Posted in ,,,

By 1993, hip-hop was transitioning from an organic form of musical expression into a big business fabricating stars. With many icons from his era either aging or losing their relevance (e.g., Chuck D, Rakim), KRS-ONE dropped a gem of an album that not only navigated the sound of the day but led the charge. Shedding his previous Boogie Down Productions moniker, KRS-One's Return of the Boom Bap is not just an album: it's KRS's call to arms for the return of hard beats and real rap in hip-hop music. The former took many forms, thanks to the recruitment of Gang Starr's DJ Premier, who was hitting his stride as hip-hop's preeminent beat-maker. Primo crafted the classic head-nod rhythm of the title track, the bump of "Outta Here," an autobiographical tale of KRS-One's rise in hip-hop, and the dancehall-inspired riddims of "Black Cop" and "Sound of da Police." Lyrically, KRS-One displayed variety in both style and content, meshing old-school bombast ("Mortal Thought"), consciousness ("Higher Level"), and crafty and conceptual wordplay ("I Can't Wake Up"). The album opens with KRS-One boasting, even decreeing, that he would "be here forever." At the crossroads, this album made it seem true.

1 KRS-One Attacks 2:51
2 Outta Here 4:28
3 Black Cop 2:59
4 Mortal Thought 3:20
5 I Can't Wake Up 3:34
6 Slap Them Up 3:59
7 Sound of Da Police 4:18
8 Mad Crew 4:25
9 Uh Oh 4:06
10 Brown Skin Woman 4:39
11 Return of The Boom Bap 3:47
12 "P" Is Still Free 4:57
13 Stop Frontin' 3:19
14 Higher Level 5:14