KRS-One

The BDP Album

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After its founder and leader, rapper KRS-One, DJ Scott LaRock is the member most fans associate with Boogie Down Productions, seeing as he's behind the wheels of steel on their breakthrough and beloved album Criminal Minded. Still, KRS maintains that BDP happens whenever it's him and whoever he chooses, so here, on The BDP Album, his brother Kenny Parker returns with the beats and the results are both nostalgic and welcome. Don't call it a comeback, however, as Parker's productions are safe re-creations of yesteryear with no boom-bap terror to drive away the lightweights, but keeping it family and comfortable works to the prickly KRS' advantage, and if there's a solo album of his where you can hear him smiling, it must be this one. Even "I Do This for You" splits its lyrics between sacrifice ("No limousine, no entourage, I'm on the low, low, low") and fan club acknowledgment ("I do it for the people that love me, they run up and hug me"), while the great declaration dubbed "Forever" delivers "I don't do dance lyrics, I do advance lyrics" with much more bounce than bitterness. In that way, this is the smart-cracking, attractive, and, more than anything, proud KRS-One found on classic BDP albums, and even if the sternness of the past is replaced by more wise and subdued moments, there's no hint of a sellout or even cashing in. That said, the album is insider stuff that won't sway Jeezy or Weezy in the least, and it's also too short on ambition to shift that BDP tag from the album title to the artist name. Consider this a fine KRS-One solo effort with a solid BDP vibe, then relish the wealth of '80s drum machines and the rapper falling back in love with his excellent imitation of a Jamaican patois accent.

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