Boogie Down Productions was a hip hop group originally comprised of KRS-One, D-Nice, and DJ Scott La Rock. DJ Scott La Rock was murdered on August 27, 1987, months after the release of BDP's debut album Criminal Minded.
The name of the group, Boogie Down, derives from a nickname for The Bronx, one of the five boroughs of New York City. The group pioneered the fusion of dancehall reggae and hip hop music and their debut LP Criminal Minded contained frank descriptions of life in the South Bronx of the late 80s thus setting the stage for what would eventually become gangsta rap.
While the origins of hip-hop are believed to be from The Bronx
, rival hip-hop
group Juice Crew
's lyrics was misunderstood to contain a claim in the song The Bridge
that hip-hop was directly a result of artists originating from Queensbridge
. Boogie Down and KRS retorted angrily with songs like The Bridge is Over
and South Bronx,
which started one of the first notable Hip-Hop wars as MC Shan
, Marley Marl
and Roxanne Shanté
all released songs featuring verses personally attacking KRS and Scott La Rock. The Bridge Wars, however, were only short-lived and after the death of Scott La Rock prior to the group's second album, KRS began to concentrate on consciously focused music.
While Criminal Minded contained vivid descriptions of South Bronx street life, BDP changed after Scott's death. KRS-One adopted "The Teacha" moniker and made a deliberate attempt at creating politically and socially conscious Hip-Hop. BDP were hugely influential in provoking political and social consciousness in Hip-Hop however they were sometimes overshadowed by the political Hip-Hop group Public Enemy.
Background & Sound
Up until and throughout the 1970’s, within the black community there was a stigma attached to being from Jamaica. There were many lower-class Jamaican immigrants coming into the United States at the time, and it was not considered cool to be from Jamaica. In fact, even once reggae successfully spread to America, it was first adopted by young white listeners, while many black Americans initially resisted the music. DJ Kool Herc
, the legendary DJ who is often contributed with being the originator of Hip Hop, consciously tried to mask his Jamaican accent before coming to the United States, to the extent that once Herc was in the United States, many of his Jamaican friends did not know he shared a similar nationality. KRS-One however, can be credited as being one of the first majorly successful Hip Hop artists to embrace his Jamaican-ness. This can be seen through Boogie Down Productions use of dub samples in their beats, as well as KRS-One’s indistinguishably Jamaican accent in songs such as “Remix for P Is Free.”
The Jamaican influence present in Criminal Minded is well illustrated by the use of the "Mad Mad" or "Diseases" riddim started in 1981 with reggae star Yellowman's song, "Zunguzung." BDP uses this riff in their song "Remix for P is Free," and it was later resampled by artists like Black Star and dead prez, thus helping to recycle a Jamaican sound. As an album regarded by many as the start of the gangsta rap movement, "Criminal Minded" played an important role in reaffirming the social acceptance of having Jamaican roots. BDP referenced reggae in a way that helped to solidify Jamaica's place in modern hip-hop culture.
The membership of BDP changed continuously throughout its existence, the only constant being KRS-One. BDP members and collaborators included Mad Lion
, Channel Live, Run
, Keith Murray
, McBoo, Ms. Melodie
, Scottie Morris, Tony Rahsan, Willie D., RoboCop, Harmony, DJ Red Alert
, Jay Kramer, D-Square, Rebekah Foster, and Sidney Mills. BDP as a group essentially ended because KRS-One began recording and performing under his own name rather than the group name.
In the liner notes on BDP's 1992 album Sex and Violence, KRS-One writes: "BDP in 1992 is KRS-One, Willie D and Kenny Parker! BDP is not D-Nice, Jamal-ski, Harmony, Ms. Melodie and Scottie Morris. They are not down with BDP so stop frontin'." Steve 'Flash' Juon of RapReviews.com claims that this initiated the ultimate breakup of BDP.
- Released: March 3, 1987
- Billboard 200 chart position: -
- R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #73
- Singles: "South Bronx"/"The P Is Free", "Super Hoe"/"Scott LaRock (Megamix)", "Poetry"/"Elementary", "The Bridge Is Over"/"A Word from Our Sponsor"
|By All Means Necessary|
- Released: May 10, 1988
- Billboard 200 chart position: #75
- R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #18
- Singles: "I'm Still #1"/"Essays on BDP-ism"/"Jimmy", "Jack of Spades"/"Necessary"/"I'm Still #1", "My Philosophy"/"Stop the Violence", "Stop the Violence"/"Jimmy"
|Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop|
- Released: June 28, 1989
- Billboard 200 chart position: #36
- R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #7
- Singles: "Jack of Spades", "You Must Learn"/"Jah Rulez"/"World Peace", "Why Is That?"/"Who Protects us From You?"
- Released: July 17, 1990
- Billboard 200 chart position: #32
- R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #9
- Singles: "Love's Gonna Get'cha (Material Love)"/"The Kenny Parker Show", "Ya Know the Rules"
|Live Hardcore Worldwide|
- Released: March 12, 1991
- Billboard 200 chart position: #115
- R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #25
|Sex and Violence|
- Released: February 25, 1992
- Billboard 200 chart position: #42
- R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #20
- Singles: "Duck Down"/"We in There", "13 & Good"/"Build & Destroy"