By All Means Necessary album cover
By All Means Necessary

Boogie Down Productions


After his creative partner, Scott La Rock, was murdered, KRS-One became Boogie Down Productions; the second BDP album is a solo work from top to bottom. It’s also more thoughtful and socially engaged than 1987’s Criminal Minded, avoiding violent braggadocio in favor of detailed description of social ills and vivid storytelling. “Stop The Violence” is much more than a call for peace within the hip-hop scene; it’s a multi-layered critique, set to a bouncing digital dancehall beat. The album’s musical range is surprisingly broad, ranging from the pounding beats of “My Philosophy” and “Ya Slippin’” and “Illegal Business” to the dancehall of “T’Cha T’Cha” to the house music(!) of “Nervous,” and KRS-One’s delivery is witty and charismatic throughout, delivering punchlines and trenchant insights with equal verve.

Phil Freeman

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