This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
“You’re Rudy Ray Moore, I’m Martin Luther King,” is how KRS-One views himself next to all the gun-toting, blunt-puffing, ho-slapping gangsta-rappers on the scene. He’s got a point.
Like his old-school counterpart Chuck D from Public Enemy, KRS — nee Kris Parker, the former leader of Boogie Down Productions — always has plenty of reason to go with his rhyme. Now, after a few years off (and a few ill-advised attempts to revive his sagging career by flirting with hardcore rap), the mush-mouthed rapper long nicknamed “The Teacher” is back at the head of his class. On the 19-track Sneak Attack, Parker drops science, political commentary and Afrocentrism into his flow with the same ferocity of any thug rapper, and a great deal more intelligence. “Rap is something you do — hip-hop is something you live,” he repeats like a patient teacher (or preacher), delivering a message of pride and self-reliance that never goes out of style. Wish I could say the same for his tracks, which are nowhere near current. The old-school beats and wicky-wicky scratching on these cuts don’t sound retro, classic or timeless — just tired and dated. Come on, Kris — even Martin knew how important delivery was to the message.