KRS-ONE shocked us all in 2002 with the release of Spirtual Minded, the once atheist rapper’s leap of faith into gospel rap, led many fans to say that the always contradictory emcee had finally fallen off. Never that. Before you could say “G. Simone”, Kris came back with Prophets Vs. Profits, that would later be picked up by Koch (minus a few songs due to sample clearances), and condenced down to EP size as The Mixtape.
KRS says on this album that it this project was recorded over a weekend, but judging from his standards of quality control, you’d never know it. Kris is a complete natural as usual, returning to the boom-bap sounds that were somewhat left behind on Spiritual. Much of this album is in fact spent dissecting the increasingly worsening state of hip-hop, and the way it used to be in the good old days. Naturally, his public beef with Nelly brought back out the battle-cat in Kris, where he lets loose on the St. Lunatic on two excellent dis tracks, the Beatminerz produced “Ova Here” and the raw soundbwoy killing, “You Really Don’t Want It”. On the introspective “Down The Charts”, Kris speaks from experience of losing your spot on Billboard, and how each fall backwards brings you one step closer to reality. It’s especially relevant coming from an MC no longer concerned with chart positions that used to scream “I’m number one!”, and equally an important message to the band-aid faced pop-tart who is screaming it today. The album’s best track is undoubtedly “I Remember”, a somber look back to how different hip-hop was just fifteen years ago, where KRS remembers the era of Public Enemy, Yo!, and outrageous clothes.
However, even in his old hip-hop age, Kris still remains an incredible lyricist, who after penning a quoted 500 songs, still comes with lyrical gems like “My last name should have been Letterman, like Dave / But I wasn’t his slave” or the crown jewel – “By All Means Necessary was a dope album truly / but besides the style / I still got the uzi / I call my man Robocop / and it will happen so fast you won’t even know you shot / you walk two three four more blocks / till you hear them shots from the glocks on the Criminal Minded desktop.” Come again!
While Kris may be past his potential to deliver classic records in 2003 (or arguably not), Prophets Vs. Profits is a nice teaser project to hold us over until his next album, Kris-Style drops. And don’t forget – Krs-One will never, ever fall off – this album is proof positive of that.
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