KRS-One Disses The Grammys Hip-Hop 50 Tribute: “You Get No Respect Here”

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The Grammys massive salute to Hip-Hop 50 has received mixed reactions, with many noting the absence of rap icons during the televised performance. KRS-One, who did not participate in the show, recently explained the reasoning behind his decision to decline an invitation to take the stage.

“I was asked about two months ago; they asked me to do it and I turned them down,” the renowned lyricist said in an interview that’s since been removed. “With all due respect, LL COOL J himself called me, spoke to my wife and pretty much begged for me to be on the show but we turned him down. And reason being is because I know people don’t understand this — and I say this respectfully. KRS-One is a Hip-Hop extremist. I’m not violent, a violent extremist. I’m insane with this culture. I know I must have lost my mind in this.”

KRS-1 Performing Onstage
Krs One performs during the YO! MTV Raps 30th Anniversary Live Event at Barclays Center on June 1, 2018 in New York City.

The Boogie Down Productions co-founder also pointed to the perceived exploitation of Hip-Hop culture as another factor that made him averse to accepting his fellow rap legend’s offer. “I don’t fight it, I don’t apologize for it. I recognize that my experience in this thing called Hip-Hop is different from mostly everybody else’s experience with Hip-Hop… I restrict myself in a certain way, because I know who I am in this culture. You’re in the temple of Hip Hop, this is our home. This place, this institution can never side with, come under, understand the exploitation of our culture. Never will you ever see me standing in the environment where our culture is being exploited.”

The Bronx, N.Y. native then blasted the Grammys, highlighting their hesitance to fully embrace and celebrate Hip-Hop culture and rap artists throughout the years. “So when I got the call, I immediately said nah. First of all, it’s the Grammys? You get no respect here. None. Now we respect your existence, we know you exist. And we know that you’re the Grammys and we understand that and we respect that. But you ignored Hip Hop for 49 years. At the 50th year, you wanna call us? You couldn’t even call on 47 and gear it up to 50. You wait to the 50th year to call Hip-Hop’s authentic teacha? Nah, you don’t get that privilege.”

KRS-1 Performing Onstage
KRS-One performs during the 43rd Annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival – Club Quarantine Live: D-Nice with Special Guests at Prospect Park Bandshell on September 16, 2021 in New York City.

KRS-One is one of multiple rap legends who have taken issue with the various Hip-Hop 50 celebrations over the past year. MC Hammer, who also declined to appear for the Grammys salute to Hip-Hop, is among the more notable artists whose lack of visibility has been highlighted, with Mistah F.A.B. speaking out on his fellow Oakland native’s behalf.

“I’m watching this 50th year anniversary, right, and I’m like, ‘How do y’all not have MC Hammer on a bill?” F.A.B. asked in August. “How do you not have rap’s first megastar on a bill somewhere, coming out doing at least ‘2 Legit 2 Quit’ or something. You don’t got MC Hammer included in that?’”

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