This year there were many celebrations for the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. Yet, there have been many recording artists who have a historic place in this genre who have not been happy with the bastardization of the culture, specifically among corporate entities. The latest hip-hop artist to make his thoughts known, Boogie Down Productions’ KRS-One expresses in a recent interview the reason he turned down a chance to perform at the Grammys’ recent hip-hop celebration.
A video has appeared online on the YouTube channel of Harold St. Louis of KRS-One expressing his feelings towards the Grammys who he feels has not treated hip-hop with the respect it deserves in the first 49 years of the genre’s existence. He starts the video off by stating the reason he did not accept a personal invitation from another pioneer of hip-hop, LL COOL J.
After telling the interviewer that he did not watch the airing of “A GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop,” the New York City lyricist goes into his thought process in terms of the organization’s tribute.
“I was asked about two months ago; they asked me to do it and I turned them down,” he said. “With all due respect, LL COOL J himself called me, spoke to my wife, and pretty much begged for me to be on the show but we turned him down. And reason being is because I know others, people don’t understand this — and I say this respectfully. Meaning that, KRS-One is a Hip Hop extremist. I’m not violent, a violent extremist, no. I’m insane with this culture. I know I must have lost my mind in this.”
The legendary rapper then states that he doesn’t apologize for his experience or the reason for feeling this way. The “temple of hip-hop” is “our home” and the corporate entity behind the Grammys has exploited the culture and he will never stand “in the environment” where hip-hop is being taken advantage of.
He goes on to say, “So when I got the call, I immediately said nah, nah. First of all, it’s the Grammys? You get no respect here. None. None, you have no respect here. Now, we respect your existence, we know you exist. And we know that you’re the Grammys and we understand that and we respect that. Your existence. But you ignored hip-hop for 49 years. At the 50th year, you wanna call us? 49 years you ignored us. The 50th year, that’s when you call. You couldn’t even call on 47 and gear it up to at least 50. Ok, at least get us into 47. You wait to the 50th year to want to call hip-hop’s authentic teacha? Nah, you don’t get that privilege. I refuse to show up.”
Check out the full interview below:
The Grammys have an immediate concern that has to be addressed. With the recent settlement of Cassie’s sexual assault lawsuit against Sean “Diddy” Combs, with an added three pending lawsuits of the same nature, the Recording Academy may have to rescind the music mogul’s invite. Diddy was nominated for Best Progressive R&B Album at the 2024 Grammy Awards but reportedly, other nominees and executives are stating that they don’t want to be seated near the “Bad Boy” during the ceremony.