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5 Best Songs on KRS-One’s ‘Return of the Boom Bap’


In 1992, KRS-One dissolved the Boogie Down Productions moniker and set out to continue his career as a solo artist. With his career at a crossroad, the Bronx legend turned over the production reins for his first solo album, recruiting Gang Starr‘s DJ Premier to handle the majority of the project.

The result was the strongest album KRS-One had delivered since Boogie Down Productions Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip-Hop in 1989.

Released on Sept. 29, 1993, while doing all of the things KRS had always done well–social awareness, storytelling, boasting about mic supremacy–Return of the Boom Bap also features more of the rhymer’s growing contempt for hip-hop’s commercialization. That angst and bitterness had become more prominent on BDP’s latter albums and the sentiment is strong here.

We decided to pick our favorite tracks from KRS-One’s 1993 solo debut.


“Return of the Boom Bap”

Prod. KRS-One

One of the songs that proved that no one believes in KRS-One’s emcee supremacy and hip-hop reverence more than Kris himself, it’s also one of the better examples of his own production style. On an album full of Primo brilliance, Kris has his moments.


“Black Cop”

Prod. KRS-One

Another brilliant takedown of police brutality and profiliing, this time, KRS squares his scope on self-hating black police officers. Another self-produced track, it features Kris Parker’s verbal smackdown of those who rock a badge to get license to stand on the necks of their own.


“The P Is Still Free”

Prod. DJ Premier

First released on the Menace II Society soundtrack (credited to Boogie Down Productions, no less), this sequel to 1987s original “The P Is Free” features KRS once again revisiting the cracked-out street tales of sex and violence. With an assist from DJ Premier.


“Outta Here”

Prod. DJ Premier

One of the shrewdest breakdowns of hip-hop history and how fleeting a rap star’s fame can be, KRS looked back over his own career and how he’d watched hip-hop go from the parks to the charts and beyond. And how anyone can get caught by the trappings of fame.


“Sound of Da Police”

Prod. Showbiz

The album’s most famous track is a classic anti-police anthem that’s as topical today as it was in 1993. Pointing out the similarities between police officers and plantation overseers. One of the greatest songs of all time.

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