Boogie Down Productions, Criminal Minded (1987)

Label: B-Boy Records

Nas: “KRS-One is someone that artists need to study. The artists today are spoiled and they want to go from nobody to the best who ever did it. It’s foolishness. Criminal Minded, KRS-One was the streets coming after the empire of rap, the Juice Crew, without the major backing that the Juice Crew had. You know this takes a lot for me to say because The Juice Crew was founded in my projects, but I gotta keep it real and give credit where credit is due.

“When KRS-One made the classic Criminal Minded—he didn’t need Warner Brothers, he didn’t need MCA records. He did it with an independent label. That’s why I say people show study him because here you are coming out with a classic album on an independent label, so did MC Shan. Cold Chillin’ was not a major label when Shan put out Down By Law.

“Artists today don’t see that entrepreneurship, they don’t live it. They claim to be the streets yet they’re looking for superstar record deals. If you have the talent and you’re a hustler, why don’t you go independent without the superstar record deal? If you’re not a superstar, then what are you looking for a superstar record deal for? Like I said on ‘The Genesis,’ I’m doing this like this even without a record contract. That meant I went to sign with an independent label and I just so happened to stumble upon Columbia Records.

“I feel like young artists should study KRS-One because here he is, a strong voice in hip-hop and he started off independent. I just feel like that’s a real street movement. I don’t see real street movements like that in New York anymore. I see people claiming to be the streets but I don’t see real street movements like that anymore. Big up to KRS.”