KRS-ONE Cheered 9/11?

I usually agree with much of what Kris says but every once in a while he goes just a little too far. This is via the EUR:

Prince isn’t the only artist ruffling feathers over 9/11-related issues. While serving as a panelist at The New Yorker Festival earlier this month, KRS-One blew the discussion out of the water when he said that he and other African Americans “cheered when 9/11 happened…I say that proudly.”

Thursday’s Rush & Molloy column in the “New York Daily News” reports the “You Must Learn” MC justified his opinion by saying that prior to the attack, World Trade Center security guards routinely stopped black people from entering “because of the way we talk and dress. So when the planes hit the building, we were like, ‘Mmmm — justice.’ [9/11] doesn’t affect us. 9/11 happened to them, not us. The rich . . . those who are oppressing us. RCA or BMG, Universal, the radio stations.”

KRS-One also spoke out against recent voter registration efforts by members of the hip-hop community.

“Voting in a corrupt society adds more corruption,” he said. “America has to commit suicide if the world is to be a better place.”

Fellow panelist and former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who experienced first-hand the suicide of his bandmate Kurt Cobain, yelled at KRS: “That is wrong, man. Suicide is not the answer.”
In response to the Daily News story, KRS has released a statement to explain his comments.

“Like everyone,” I was shocked to read that I and other African-Americans actually ‘cheered when 9-11 happened,’ and that I have ‘declared my solidarity
with Al Qaeda.’

“I would never just say something as crazy as ‘we cheered when 9-11 happened’!” he continued. “I was making an objective point about how many hip-hoppas as well as the oppressed peoples of the world felt that day.”

The Blastmaster said that when he was asked why hip-hop has not “engaged the current situation more [meaning 9-11], my response was ‘because it does not affect us, or at least we don’t perceive that it affects us. September 11 happened to them.’ I went on to say that ‘I am speaking for the culture now; I am not speaking my personal opinion.’ ”

KRS stated that after he stated that the hip-hop community’s response to the attacks was “Mmmm … justice,” he had hoped to say, “Now of course, a lot of our friends and family were lost there as well,” but was interrupted.

In the lengthy statement, KRS went on to explain that his words were taken out of context and that some of what he said may have been misunderstood because “I am a poet and I speak poetically.”

With regard to his statement about America committing suicide in order for the world to become a better place, KRS explained: “If you want to go beyond voting, American interests must put a gun to its head and commit suicide, because as long as we are only interested in American interests, we go out and invade the rest of the world.”

Though he was saddened by 9-11, the rapper said, he and many members of his community who were “racially profiled and harassed by the World Trade Center’s security” felt a “sense of justice, a sense of change, a wake-up call watching the Twin Towers fall.”

“For the record,” KRS-One concludes, “I am an American philosopher. I speak and seek truth. And he offers an apology “… if the slander that the Daily News has printed regarding my political views has offended anyone in any way. However, we do have a voice and a point of view, and if you are not prepared to hear what hip-hop has to say about its view of world events, then don’t ask!”


  1. I didn’t cheer, but I damn sure have a deeper understanding than most of the geopolitical, political, racial, religious, and economic circumstances that built up to that tragic day. I don’t think that most of us (including the government) have even begun to scratch the surface as to how 911 happened. It’s like the big, white elephant in the room that no one really wants to acknowledge, talk about and get rid of. I understand what KRS was getting at, although I would not have framed it that way…

  2. Damn KRS that’s too far. I can accept it as a third person thing, but it sounds like an endorsement. Racial profiling doesn’t justify taking satisfaction in people being burned to death or jumping out of a 100 floor window. How about a sense of proportion.

    And that voting thing is crazy too. Is KRS getting RNC $$$ on the side? Because he’s certainly handling their business – supressing voter turnout.

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