Rapper Krs-One to Speak At UB's King Commemoration

By Mary Beth Spina

Release Date: April 8, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Musician KRS-ONE (a/k/a Kris Parker), whose intelligent, uncompromising views on life in urban America have led to him being dubbed the "conscience of rap" and "its leading advocate" by Rolling Stone, will deliver the keynote speech on April 17 at the University at Buffalo's 22nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration.

The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Mainstage theater in the Center for the Arts on UB's North (Amherst) Campus.

It will be produced by UB's Office of Conferences and Special Events and co-sponsored by the Black Student Union, the Center for the Arts and the Undergraduate Student Association, all at UB, and Buffalo State College's African American Student Organization.

Although the program will be free, admission tickets will be required. Both free and VIP reserved seating at $5 are available at the center's ticket office from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays. Tickets also will be available at the door. Proceeds will benefit UB academic scholarships.

A runaway at 13, Parker lived in the subway and public shelters, educating himself at the public library.

Shelter counselor Scott Sterling (a/k/a DJ Scott LaRock) recognized his talent and together they formed Boogie Down Productions (BDP). The partnership led to a self-financed single, "Crack Attack," followed by the legendary album, "Criminal Minded."

After Sterling was murdered in the South Bronx, BDP released "By All Means Necessary," a landmark in establishing rap as a tool for enlightenment.

Two years later, Parker formed the Stop the Violence Movement. Its all-star rap single, "Self Destruction," raised more than $300,000 for the National Urban League programs targeting black-on-black violence and education programs for ghetto youth.

With his next two LPs, "Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop" and "Edutainment," Parker sharpened his vision to attack hypocrisy, materialism and the Eurocentric view of history.

Immediately following Parker's speech, UB's Black Student Union will hold "Apollo Night" in the Mainstage theater.