KRS One is a New York rapper and a producer who is known as a member of Boogie Down Productions. KRS One is very politically active and is the promoter of the hip-hop culture.

Early years

He was born as Lawrence Parker on August 20, 1965 in Bronx, New York, United States. His mother’s name was Jacqueline Jones and his father’s name is Sheffield Brown.

He was a little boy when his father was deported to Trinidad (his native state) so his mother was left alone to bring him up. She got married again and Lawrence got a stepbrother and a stepsister.

His childhood was very hard although he was loved by his mother who single-raised him. Neverthless, the situation in his home became very tensive amongst family members.

He decided to to leave home when he was only 16 because he wanted to make a career as MC. He found himself living in a homeless Bronx shelter, trying to stand up from the poverty and become an important person in his hometown.

Career development

He was lucky because he met Scott Sterling, who was appointed to him as his youth counselor, who shared KRS One’s passion for music.

KRS One’s name comes short for „Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone“. He used that name as alias during his youth when he wrote graffiti over buildings and houses in Bronx.

Scott Sterling was already working as DJ Scott La Rock and the two of them decided to form a hip hop group named „Boogie Down Productions“ in 1987.

The third member of the group was Derrick „D-Nice“ Jones, a beatboxer and a rapper from NY.

Boogie Down Productions were rejected by Mr. Magic and Marley Marl (who were both radio DJ’s) after what KRS-One started „The Bridge Wars“.

He dissed their songs which claimed that Queensbridge was the most important place for hip-hop then.

KRS One battled against Mc Shan (a Marly Marl’s performer) and their performance is considered as one of the 187 battles where Mc’s turned against each other instead hyping the crowd. Their first single was „Success in the Word“ but it wasn’t very successful.

In 1987 the group has released their first album named „Criminal Minded“. The album was covered in pictures of Guns and was amongs the first gangsta rap album templates.

Unfortunately, Scott La Rock was killed the same year and KRS decided to release an album in 1988. It was named „By All Means Necessary“, and it featured D-Nice, Ramona Parker (KRS One’s wife) and DJ Kenny (KRS One’s young bro).

KRS songs became very political but afterwards he became peaceful: he was amongst the founders of „Stop the Violence Movement“ and he wanted to become more a teacher.

„Stop the Violence Movement“ was formed to minimize violence and death in hip hop communities. It was a great movement suported by many great artists.

Many artists joined it and the first single was released in 1989, titled „Self Destruction“.

He also formed „Temple of Hip Hop“, an organization devoted to promotion of Hip Hop as a culture and a movement.

The group has released five albums: „Ghetto Music“, „Edutainment“, „Live Hardcore Worldwide“, „Sex and Violence“ and ofcourse the first one was „By All Meand Necessary“.

KRS One decided it was time to start his solo career. His debut album was released in 1993 named „Return of the Boom Bap“ which was made in collaborations with Kid Capri and Showbiz.

„KRS One“ is the name of his 2nd solo album, featured by Fat Joe and Busta Rhymes.

KRS was determined to include his Jamaican roots into hip-hop and he is considered to be the first rapper who succeeded in this cohesion.

In 1991, he collaborated with R.E.M., a rock group, on their single „Radio Song“. It brought him a lot of fame and he often worked with more popular artists in order to gain fame.

Four years later he was a former of a group called Channel Live and he produced their 1st album named „Station Identification“.

In 1997, he released a surprising album „I Got Next“. He collaborated with Blondie and Puff Daddy and made it to No.3. on Billboard Top 200.

However, many critics didn’t like him go mainstream. They felt like he was losing his original roots and that he is becoming dull.

He produced several records for Just-Ice, Steady B., Schooly D and a few singles for Queen Latifah.

He became a vice president at Reprise Records in 1999, but left the position in 2001 when he started making his new songs.

In 2001, he released „The Sneak Attack“ in 2002 „Spiritual Minded“ (an album with elements of gospel) and in 2003 „Kristyles“. From 2004 to 2006 he released „D.I.G.I.T.A.L.“, „Keep Right“ and „Life“. Those albums haven’t gained the attentio of the fans much.

In 2005, joined by Chuck D from the Public Enemy, he released a song „Bin Laden“ which blamed Bush for „9/11“.

His 2007 album named „Hip-Hop Lives“ in collaboration with Marley Marl received a lot of attention. They were known enemies from the past who dissed each other but today they are collaborating on an album.

In 2009, he released a single „Radio“ and was available for download on iTunes. He made a collaboration with Buckshot on a single „RoBoT“ which gained a huge success.

His voice was featured in a Nike commercial. He performed in „Rock Against Racism“ concerts. His fans were very happy because he showed himself in  true light.

KRS was a narrator in a hip hop documentary from 2011 called „Rhyme and Punishment“. He toured Australia in 2012 (by boat because he is affraid of flying).

In 2004 he was involved in controversy when he stated that the tragical event „9/11“ hadn’t made him sad. Later he tried to explain that he was missunderstood.

In 2017 he released his latest album „The World is Mind“ with singles „Raw BEAT“ and „Out of Fame“:

He made a tribute to M. Luther King. He is known to fight for the rigts of black people and talks about this topic often, although he is sometimes called out by the media. He says that he will  never stop to empower those who are underarrestimated.

He founded Human Education Against Lies (H.E.A.L.) alongside Zizwe Mtafuta-Ukweli. It is a movement which tries to warn and rescue humans from lies they are surrounded with: involving racism, sexism and imperialism.

Many known stars were featured on the first album which was also called H.E.A.L. Queen Latifah, Kid Capri, LL Cool J, Ziggy Marley are just some of the names which worked and sang on this CD.

This non profit organization focuses on helping humanity to get their respect back.

Personal life

He was married to Ms.Melodie, a known MC whose real name was Ramona Parker. They were together from 1987 to 1992 after which they separated and finally divorced. Ramona died in 2012. Her death was a mystery since the coroner couldn’t find the cause of her death.

He married Simone Parker after a while. Simone is a singer and an author and the owner of a management agency called Front Page Entertainment Group.

She is involved in work of organizations which promote black female power and knowledge.

His stepson Randy Hubbard, who was a graphic designer, suffered from severe depression and comitted suicide when he was only 23. This was a terrible shock for the rapper who loved his stepson a lot.

He is a vegan. He was vegeterian for a long period of time but he decided to become a vegan. He says that this lifestye changed his life for the better and that he feels a lot better now.

His stepson Randy comitted suicide in 2007 in Atlanta in Georgia. This was a very hard time for him and his wife. He was out of the country when it happened but he rushed back home after he was notified. The family had a little private ceremony to say goodbye to Randy. In 2009 he received „Living Legend Award“. In 2009 he published a book „The Gospel of Hip Hop“.

At the beginning of his career he was called „BlastMaster“, today he is called „Teacha“.

He often visits universities and comunity centers where he talks to students and young people about hip-hop, about their dreams and hopes and their future.

Quick summary

Full name: Lawrence Parker

Date of birth: August 20, 1965

Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

Age: 53

Profession: rapper, producer, activist, actor, philosopher

Height: 193 cm

Weight: NA

Net Worth: $6 million