Foreign Gists

The KRS-One verse Chuck D called “century bending”


KRS-One is a legend, a lyricist and a wordsmith who unintentionally shifted hip-hop culture with his rhymes. Along with Scott La Rock as part of the duo Boogie Down Productions (referred to as BDP), KRS-One had a massive impact in the 1980s and continues to do so in modern-day hip hop.

In 2020, both Big Daddy Kane and KRS-One returned to the forefront of hip hop when they agreed (for a one-off ‘versuz’) to revive the Bronx versus Queens beef, an ’80s clash that saw BDP of the South Bronx go to war with Juice Crew of Queens.

The 2020 revival saw KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane take to the stage of the Barclays Centre in a head-to-head that blew the crowd’s minds. The battle royale was preceded by performances from an ’80s all-star lineup that included Roxanne Shanté, Eric B, Mad Lion, Das EFX, and more.

Following the epic showdown, Public Enemy’s Chuck D took to Twitter to share his thoughts and congratulate his longtime friend, KRS-One. However, while on the platform, the Public Enemy frontman chastised several music publications for failing to write about the rapper with proper respect.

Tweeting about the event, Chuck D lauded its participants and, showing pure passion, emphasised its cultural significance, posting, “The way he’s hurling bars I told him it’s ignorant for these so-called rap media mags podcasts etc. to IGNORE!” He continued, “Also, I told him it’s convenient for these coIntel agents to want him to disappear or pretend he never existed.”

Chuck elaborated about his respect for the Bronx rapper, insisting that anyone who watched the ‘verzuz’ and didn’t come away in awe at KRS’ lyricism needed to “give back their Hip-Hop cards” because it was “century bending.”

KRS-One, after the battle, even performed an acapella freestyle for the audience, and this was what blew the legendary Chuck D away. With lines such as, “The mic, I bent it / I’m not a playa, I just crush a lot / No Pun intended,” and “So they ask, ‘who is he?’ / I’m that dude that coulda been king of New York but I gave it to Biggie.” The crowd were flabbergasted.

Chuck also made sure to tweet that KRS’s 2020 album, Between Da Protests, and his 2022 album, I M A M C R U 1 2, were fire. You can watch some of the ‘versuz’ battle between KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane in the video below.