Maybe it was the grotesque cover art. Maybe it was because it began with a minute of unhinged screaming. Whatever the reason, Boogie Down Productions’ fifth and final album, Sex and Violence, failed to catch fire. It sold half of what BDP’s previous album, Edutainment, had. KRS-One himself blamed it on backlash from an incident the previous year in which he rushed PM Dawn onstage, which seems a fairly unlikely reason for the album to fail but please keep in mind that KRS-One is completely insane.
Regardless, with the benefit of hindsight, Sex and Violence is perhaps BDP’s most fully realized album, surely its most fun. It avoids past pitfalls like getting bogged down in dull educational skits such as Edutainment’s "Exhibits A" through "Exhibit F," which saw KRS reading speeches by Abraham Lincoln.
Meanwhile, the rapper sounds positively elastic over beats that were state of the art in 1992, including three contributions from hip-hop’s resident genius, Prince Paul. A highlight is “Build & Destroy,” which sees KRS criticizing Afrocentrism and calling out Colin Powell as a fraud over a decade before Powell addressed the UN to declare Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.