Courtesy of Brooklyn Bodega. Krs-One is included in this year’s Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.

After a few moments of “name that hipster” (“is Kanye a hipster? No? What about Lupe?”), Kris basically explained the lack of relevance of hip-hop subgenre titles. “Do they respect the basic principles of hip-hop? If they have their own fresh methods of dress and expression and give back to our community, then you can call them whatever you want.” KRS, the king of giving back and a figurehead in the Stop The Violence Campaign, continues saying, “Cornell West is more of a funk cat like Bambata, but is all hip-hop. The importance is: are we having fun? That’s what makes you official.” Pausing for a second to consider the implications of the real hip-hop qualifier he added, “Are they progressing the culture, or exploiting it? If it’s the latter, well, I’m not really concerned with it. Maybe it gets eaten up by the youth, or you can step to the stage at the festival and let the real fans of hip-hop deal with you.”

Speaking to the consideration of the youths, these young, pop consuming tykes of our culture, and the eventual heirs to this lil’ thing called urban-turned-world culture, KRS has laid down a few ground rules for the first-timers. “Just come with an open mind, or better yet, come with how you perceive your favorite rapper would sound, and then allow ‘Knowledge Reigns Supreme’ to take over, so you can catch pure unadulterated hip-hop.” KRS then added, “others may be coming to the festival to sell a record, or to rep Brooklyn, I’m coming to show you what an emcee is about.”