KRS-One, the prolific and social conscious MC that’s been educating and entertaining audiences for 20 plus years, is taking on a new endeavor. The ‘Teacha’ is hosting an International B-Boy competition sponsored by Red Bull.
The Red Bull BC One competition draws in 16 B-Boys from across the globe all vying for the title of ‘The One’. The competitors will represent their country and themselves in head to head battles. Previous locations for the battle include Switzerland, Sao Paulo, South Africa and Paris. This year the Red Bull BC One takes place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on November 18. Tickets will go on sale at Ticketmaster.com on October 9.
KRS and Buckshot also recently spoke to Hip-Hop Wired about the spirit of Hip-Hop competition and the guidelines for MCs taking part in the sport:
HipHopWired: Obviously we know about the whole Joe Budden and Raekwon situation. But initially how this whole issue started off was Budden stating a fact which many have chosen to ignore which is: “Who is the best MC right now.” Budden’s words were taken out of context but in actuality all he was saying is if ‘re still in the game right now as far as competing, if somebody calls you out, should you, as an MC, should you step to the plate. This question is not about them but you’re the type of MC that is ready to go right now if somebody were to call you out. From a Hip-Hop perspective, do you feel you should always be ready if you still in the game playing it.
The key word is “Ready.” Yeah, you should always be ready. Well let me say this; it’s according to what line of Hip-Hop you’re coming at. No disrespect to anybody but let’s talk candid and real right now. Take a group like De La Soul. De La never claimed they were busting guns on their record at all. The image that they put forward, we about peace, we just trying to have a good time, we gonna spit our lyrics and we gonna make you feel good with our music.
Now if you’re on that and that’s your image that you put forward then you don’t have to be ready for no battle. In fact if somebody’s battling you, they playing themselves, really. And the community will check you on that quickly. Same thing with groups like A Tribe Called Quest, and in no means am I’m saying that somehow they’re soft, they pu**ies, I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying the image that they put forward is one of where we’re not here to battle, we’re not battling anybody, we’re not up on nobody’s neck.
Now, you take a guy like me, for instance. From the time I came out I was battling. Straight up and down. There’s others that said, “Fawk that I’m the best’ and others that said, ‘Nah, fu*k that I’m the best.’ Now us, in our little world in Hip-Hop, your question becomes relevant. Just for us over here. Us littler warriors over here.
Now if you claim to be a dope lyricist, not even a dope, the number one cat. You claim to walk around and saying my Shyte is ferocious. Then you do have to be prepared, you gotta be prepared. Whether old school or not, it’s no excuse. 44 is no excuse. If you’re gonna claim certain stuff, go over to gangster, I sold the most crack ever! I’m that dude, coke on the table, guns. B**ches, cars, houses, I’m him. Now you really have to get prepared now. And it’s no excuse.
If I run up on you and say yo, listen, “I’m trying to get this coke right now, you got me?” And you like, “Oh Chris, I’m just here to rock my songs.” Oh no, no, no, no. Not in Hip-Hop. It doesn’t go down like that. This is real right here. We’re spitting the experiences of our real life. So back to the question. Preparation is what makes you relevant but you gotta know what to prepare for. What are you preparing for? Really these days, I’m preparing for conciseness, I’m preparing for the “Stop the Violence Movement,” I’m preparing for the Survival Skills concept, teaching people how to survive off your skills.
Battling is not a bad thing for Hip-Hop either if you’re safely having fun. Safely having fun is like two rams and they ram each other in the head. That may look brutal to a lot of people but they’re made for that. So it’s really safely having fun to these rams. They’re not battling to kill each other, they’re battling for competition. That’s just to show your best strength and to show your best strength means to bring the best out of yourself. So me battling you is actually to bring the best out of you and to bring the best out of me. So when you look at it from that point of view it really becomes spectacular.
KRS-ONE and Buckshot also released their collaborative album last week entitled Survival Skills. The album features the hit single “Robot” as well as collaborations with Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, K’Naan and Mary J. Blige.