My Philosophy on ‘Edutainment’

My Philosophy On ‘Edutainment’
220px-Edutainment

I am sitting here listening to ‘Edutainment’ by ‘Boogie Down Productions’…I haven’t heard this album in years.
I remember when this album dropped. I was about 15 years old. I was a young white kid whose musical tastes had started to really evolve. My mother had instilled the love of music in me at very young age. She has a very eclectic ear. She is also a poet and my writing skills come from her as well. But now I was going in my own direction.

So around 86-87…I was in full metal mode. But there was something happening.
I met a 17-19 year old black man named ‘Juice’. He was short, very dark skinned, stocky, smelled of Drakar Noir and dealt in herbal medication. And as a 13 year old, he changed my musical life and put me on the path to becoming a Lyricist. Juice exposed me to a lot in life.
My family had moved from Cedar point apartments to a house in East Arlington when I was in 6th grade. But all of my friends still lived in the apartments, so I would ride my bike over and hang out on a daily basis. My mom didn’t know all of my friends though and what I was really doing…
I was in a dark apartment listening to Hip Hop and getting my first contact high.

It really changed for me when I walked up to find ‘Juice’ on his patio with his Jam Box.
He had bought a tape from the Forum mall called “Yo..Bum Rush the show”…
I started laughing at the title and clowning on it…Juice said something like “Just shut up and push play”…So I did..and the song ‘M.P.E’ came on..”PUBLIC-PUBLIC-PUBLIC ENEMY” in a very authoritative voice over these blaring/Screeching sirens…
I was blown the F*** away! That moment cemented a love. The music was hard and aggressive as much as the metal I dearly loved…but it was raw and different.

I am young and very impressionable and suddenly I am hearing very knowledge driven, “Black revolutionary” lyrics/ vivid stories and cussing over a musical pallet that my ears had never drawn from. And I was addicted…

To be honest…the first strike of the match came one day when I had heard “I’m Bad” by L.L. and it stuck with me and I requested it one day from my friends older brother…he played it and I liked it…But still..not enough at the time to make me completely dive into the art-form.

Then I had the P.E. moment. With my young vocals, I had a pretty damn good Flavor Flav impersonation that used to make ‘Juice’ and another homeboy, ‘Jimmy’ laugh while we rode around and they smoked and I hid in the backseat out of fear of seeing my parents.

And then…Juice exposed me to a song called ‘Criminal Minded’…
“Criminal minded you’ve been blinded looking for a style like mine you can’t find it”

Now…KRS had become my new favorite emcee. His voice, his look, his words, his stories…
To this day I can damn near flawlessly spit that first verse of Criminal Minded…It had a huge impact on me. And then…’By any means Necessary’ dropped…Wow…

“Teachers Teach and do the world good- Kings just rule and most are never understood- If you were to rule or govern a certain industry- all inside this room right now would be in misery-no one would get along nor sing a song-cause everyone be singing for the king am I wrong? am I wrong..say yo- what’s up it’s me again- Scott LaRock Krs BDP again…”

Man…
I have a memory of being so scared that my parents would hear “Ya Slippin” that I was trying to figure out how to record one cassette to the other and push pause on the curse words…I guess I was trying to figure out how to make an edited version…I just couldn’t explain..
“At ten your fucked-at nine you suck-at 8 your a sucka at 7 a mutha fucka”…
I knew mom wouldn’t approve… so I had to listen in stealth…

One song that is still a fav of mine that I can recall pretty good…

“One afternoon around 11 o’clock-it was freezing cold-he was standing on the block-selling cheeba-mixing dimes-saying a rhyme just to pass the time-the cops passed by-but he stayed calm-Cause there leather trench coat was keeping him warm…”

The part that started awakening me…
“You owe us some money-you owe us some product-cause you could be right in the river tied up- he thought for a second and he said..”What is this?…You want me to pay you to stay in business?” They said “That’s right or you go to prison-cause nobody out there is really gonna listen to a hood-so he said good-I’ll pay you off for the whole neighborhood…Because Cocaine Business controls America-Ganja Business controls America-Krs One come to cause some hysteria-Illegal Business controls America..”

Wait..What? I thought I was supposed to be friends with the police and them with me? I thought my government cared for me and America? What the fuck is really goin on?

KRS and Chuck D were my teachers…my earliest teachers.
The majority of their lyrics were aimed at uplifting their people…Use your mind..quit fuckin up…respect yourself…Learn…Love..Be angry at injustice…question everything…
So even though I wasn’t the same skin tone as their people- I was still a person. And that encouragement of their words inspired me and instilled a deeper desire in me to wanna be an inspiration in that same sense.

I have the P.E. logo tatted on my arm. Obviously I ain’t bullshittin about that…
But I find when it comes to certain quotes that have never left me..KRS has the most in my memory. Some of the most important ones as least. Lines that never leave..that run through my mind to this day…

“If Blacks and whites didn’t argue the most- They could clearly see the governments screwing them both”

“I’m not a racist-I’m not a bigot-Yet they allow it to go on and won’t admit it”

“A dope emcee is a dope emcee”

“Kings lose crowns-but teachers stay intelligent”

and when I get a lil extra money and can eat nice…
“Now there’s steak with the beans and rice”

and he challenged what I had learned or as a white kid, maybe, assumed…

“Moses had to be of the black race-cause he spent 40 years at Pharaohs place-He passed as the Pharaohs grandson-so he had to look just like him”… Again…Wait..What?

You have to understand the age I was and what was happening in the golden era with the abundance of knowledge and self awareness and I was tapped into all of it. Absorbing it like a thirsty sponge. When you are young-early teens…Music for most people is where they find themselves…the soundtrack to the life or something that connects with the spirit..
The artists often become idols and you take what these people say on and off the mic, pretty fuckin seriously…And these Emcees words held weight with me and helped mold me into the man that I am today…

I can’t tell you how I wore out “Man and his music”… so so dope…
I remember ‘Call me D-nice’ before it blew it up with the remix..
“I am like a tree and every lyric is a limb”

I still have homeboys who sometimes call me ‘Scott La Rock’…
No disrespect to the true Scott La Rock…
KRS was a role model for me…not only through the knowledge aspect but also he constantly challenged you to be a better emcee…even making songs like “Breath Control”…teaching you how to have stamina when you spit bars. I promise you the new dudes would struggle greatly to spit nonstop for 2 or 3 minutes…this is no 8 bar-hook-8 bar hook shit…this is straight grown man lyricism…He put that in me.

So lets get back to ‘Edutainment’…
15 years old…Gangsta rap had already gotten into the bloodstream. Starting with a stolen cassette from K-Mart called “Eazy Duz It”…
But the foundation had already been laid…So no matter what genre I was in to…I always had the “Concious” in the mix.
I’m talking being young gang members…of course the N.W.A and Cypress Hill and Geto Boys, Ice-T, all that..that was shaping us to…But I always had that damn ‘Edutainment’ tape with me also. Or P.E. ..All of us had a copy in the car or we brought it with us.

I got my mother to sit and listen to “Loves Gonna get cha”…
She began to appreciate it and also respect KRS.
I still remember her and I watching that performance on Arsenio.
That tape was the first time I had ever seen an Ankh before…
I was thinking the other day that maybe subconsciously that is also one of the reasons why I rock a military hat.

To me…in all honesty, KRS is the physical manifestation of Hip-Hop.
Graf artist…Freestyle…Writtens…Producer…Teacher…Ambassador of the culture.

“I listened to these emcees back when I was a kid-but I bust more shots than they ever did”..
A lyricist who advanced the art of penning true lyrics and also the realm of braggadocio.

And the voice…The voice IS Hip Hop. The NY accent…the confidence within it. When this man speaks…Hip-Hop leaves his being. And I fully respect that.
Honestly, I have had several dreams I was rockin the stage with him. Been many years ago, but I still remember them. And if it’s in God’s plan, that will happen…and it will be a sick collab. And he is a huge reason I would even have the balls to confidently say that.

Anyways…that’s my KRS history. Most of it.
One of the earliest and most powerful influences on my “Career”.
Thank you for reading…and as you can tell…I also talk as long as the Blastmaster when its something I have a passion for.
Take care and God Bless…
and remember…

“Real Bad Boys move in silence”…

PEACE!
Mr.Johnson
http://www.scottjohnsononline.com

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