BB! Presents: Rap Music History #8

Lesson #8:

Boogie Down Productions (I can’t believe I had to go to VH1 for a BDP website. Where TF are the fan sites?!)
“Why Is That?” (2.75MB)

The summer before I moved from CA to MO Boogie Down Productions released their album, Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip-Hop. The music didn’t make its way to my ears until the following summer. Thus was my introduction to conscious rap. I’d listened to plenty of Public Enemy prior to hearing BDP but for whatever reason, PE’s message didn’t become clear to me until hearing Kris Parker’s (KRS-One’s) raps. The more obvious explanation was that I was listening to PE when I was 12 and 13…and first heard BDP when I was 14 going on 15. Boogie Down Productions quickly joined the ranks of my favorite rap acts. I picked up their earlier albums, Criminal Minded and By All Means Necessary. I learned the tragic backstory of their DJ, Scott LaRock, who was murdered shortly after the release of their first album – an early rap casualty. And I went on to seek out as much conscious rap as I could get my hands on: Poor Righteous Teachers, X-Clan, Brand Nubian, etc. – yeah, some parents worry there kids will become skinheads…here I am at 14 getting musical lessons on the 5% Nation of Islam – not that 5%ers are akin to skinheads but you my point).

What it boiled down to though is that KRS taught me to appreciate a blend of entertainment and education (appropriately enough, the BDP album after Ghetto Music was titled Edutainment). But more importantly, KRS got me thinking about history and its warped ways. I listened over and over to “Why Is That?” looking up in my family bible the quotes he references and then going to the library to look into the history of religions and religious movements.

It’s safe to say that BDP’s music had an extraordinarily positive impact on my way of thinking and approaching the world. For that, Kris Parker, I say “Good show.”


(The following disclaimer, stolen by me from Zombie and by him from Bob Mould, slightly modified to my purposes, will be standard for the BB! Presents: Rap Music History series unless otherwise stated.)

MP3 files are posted for evaluation purposes only. Availability is limited: one week from the day of posting. Through this series, I’m trying to educate, share my passion for good music, and promote that good music to others, who will also hopefully continue to support these artists. Everyone is encouraged to purchase music and concert tickets for the artists you feel merit your hard earned dollars. If you hold copyright to one of these songs and would like the file removed, please let me know.

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BB! Presents: Rap Music History #8

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