Sound of Da Police
"To me being hardcore is when you hit the core of your audience hard. To me, R. Kelly is hardcore," KRS-One told Vibe in 1995. This is one of a pretty much countless stream of quirky wisdoms and often contradictory worldviews from KRS-One, AKA The Teacher, whose name stands for Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone. After five years and six popular albums with Boogie Down Productions, "Sound of Da Police" became The Teacher's signature song, hitting the mid-1990s hard.
For KRS-One, Return of the Boom Bap was essentially a comeback album. He had been the object of criticism in the early 1990s because of his shift towards soap-boxing and away from making music. Return was his first solo album album, and it was an unexpected critical and commercial success. KRS had moved towards more hard-line politics, but it didn't undermine his creative drive—many feel it enhanced it, as it marked a move away from crass, youthful "gangsta" lyrics and into KRS' bent for sharp critique. "Sound of Da Police" was the second of two singles released from the album and is now a hip-hop classic. These days, despite all antics and thanks to ten more solo albums and nearly a dozen successful collaborations, KRS-One is considered nothing less than "one of the founding figures of modern hip-hop" (Stephen Thomas Erlewin, Old School Rap and Hip-Hop, 48). "Sound of Da Police" an important and still party-worthy example of hip-hop's ability to link great beats with strong political statements.