Last Sunday we were privileged to welcome one of the world’s Hip Hop icons into the Events Centre here at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. When I mentioned that we had honoured veterans of War earlier that morning he said, well now you have another veteran in the building. I began my introduction with a whakatauki ‘Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro nona te ngahere, ko te manu e kai ana i te matauranga, nona te ao’ ‘The bird that eats the miro berries his realm is the forest, the bird who seeks knowledge has access to the world’ I thought this was appropriate in light of the philosophies that KRS ONE aka ‘the teacha’ shared with a captivated crowd of over 500 dedicated hiphoppa’s.
KRS ONE an acronym for Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone evidences his passion to spread awareness about the fundamentals of Hiphop, appropriately (in light of our Identi-Tee exhibition) using his t-shirt as a black board to describe Hiphop as a consciousness, Hip Hop the culture, and hip-hop the music and product that spreads the word.
‘Every culture produces its own “keeper”. Every culture produces its own principles, its own history, its own advocates, and its own prophet pointing the way to a higher quality of life. For the urban-street culture known in the world today as “Hip Hop”, KRS-One is all of the above. Appearing on the rap scene in 1986 as Boogie Down Productions releasing his first hit single “South Bronx” with the late DJ Scott La Rock, KRS “the one” made it clear that he was “the teacha”.’
It’s been a pretty epic week since last Thursday when we welcomed our first group of youth participants into the building for Urbanlife, which also opened the doors to this opportunity to host KRS-ONE, thank you to Aotearoa’s own godfather of Hiphop DLT (Darryl Thomson) for making the call, and to the promoters and all the museum staff who took a proactive approach towards reaching out to a younger generation and new diverse audiences. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me as an MC, and the culmination of years of active involvement in Hiphop culture, the responses that I have had from people out in the wider community have been only positive, grateful and congratulatory that we jumped on the chance and were bold enough to provide a comfortable space for this event to occur.
“Just To see KRS-One speak was a privilege! A lesson in life, in history and in Hip Hop — in all senses of the term. The standing ovation well deserved. The venue couldn’t have been better. Big thanks Auckland Museum for your last-minute magic!”
KRS ONE himself praised the Museum for being bold enough to acknowledge the relevance of Hiphop and the knowledge he had to share from moments and major players in social and political American history to honouring women and the single mothers who have supported and enabled their sons and daughters to step forth and build the phenomenon that is Hiphop as we know it today.
‘If I can say a heartfelt thanks to this museum, if you talk about the preservation of Hiphop this is the first museum in the world to host an event like this. Let this be a message to all other museums that can’t find time for Hiphop in its institution, don’t wanna do the scholarly work to understand Hiphop. There’s a lot museums around we know, and I’m talking about really the museums in the United States is what I’m saying, because it’s a shame, I would never be invited to a museum of this stature in the United States, imagine… I would never be invited they have no time for me, they have no respect for what we do, this is America where Hiphop started, and this is how we are treated… then I come to heaven… Aotearoa……’ KRS ONE
For those of you who want more teachings check out www.TempleofHipHop.org and don’t forget May is NZ Music month so get out and show some love at upcoming gigs and buy some NZ Hiphop! KRS ONE also asked that I mention Hiphop appreciation week so here it is …May 14th-21st
Massive shout outs to DLT, Teremoana, King Kapisi, Che Fu, Slave, Hype and the Hedlok crew, DJ’s Sirvere and Manuel Bundy …. Nga Remu, JLove, matua Haare and the museum whanau… and Ekaterina Chernova for capturing these beautiful images on the day!
Naku noa na Miss bMe