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"By All Means Necessary" came in 1988 and was the second Boogie Down productions album. It saw massive changes since the classic debut "Criminal Minded" as the MC to the group was forced to do things alone due to the death of DJ Scott La Rock and so KRS-One brought this one out with a new direction as after a early East coast Gangsta Rap offering that was his first record, this one would see him removing all of this in order to rid the Hip Hop generation of violence (which would have prevented Scott la Rock from being shot dead) by bringing this political offering.
1. *My Philosophy"
The record kicks off with a track that sees him coming with a clearly-adapted approach to his music as he comes through with rhymes which have him using the position that he gave himself with his debut, to teach others (which sound like lectures as he continues to perform to this day), in order to direct it elsewhere with some much more conscious material that escapes mindless beef rhymes (which he brought lots of the first time around).
2. "Ya Slippin'"
Sapling Deep purple's "Smoke On The Water", this one uses the power of the Rock guitaring to guide KRS's flows as he takes them and uses them to give the listeners an understanding of where they are going wrong in their lives and how his direction can get them to where they need to be by using themes of previous material and flipping it all on its head in order to suit the actual aim behind the music.
3. "Stop The Violence"
Clearly influenced directly from the death of Scott La Rock, this one gets KRS-One constructing a tune that has him directly going out to max with an effort to rid Hip Hop of violence. I felt that the production wasn't really the best and it sees that he plays the role of producer to the music all the way through as the lyricist and performer and does a track that is done to spread political messages, but on bats which sound quite backwards (when you consider who else dropped on '88).
4. "Illegal Business"
You get thick production behind this one and it seems to guide the artist reasonably well. Here you see that he uses more of his Jamaican influence (carries through from the last album) to come out with some toasting-styled rhymes through this one. Here he does (what at the time would have been) eye-opening lyrics as he talks on the drug trade and, more significantly, police corruption, but you once again get things held back by the standard of the beats.
5. "Nervous" (Lude)
6. "I'm Still #1"
After a pointlessly long interlude you see that KRS gets back on track with his music and comes out with a tune that takes a while to get underway (with a long introduction) and you find that from here he comes out with some standard rhymes for the time where he talks on how strong his skills are when compared to all his contemporaries and even as he thinks to the future to when he will be considered 'Old School' as he currently is.
7. "Part Time Suckers"
Off the back of some rather trippy breaks you find that he finally gets the grove once he gets down to the standard Dancehall melodies to back up his rhymes. Personally I felt that all the things he come up with here were corny and his odd delivery of the flows do little to improve things either as he stumbles his way trough everything with off-beat rhymes that really don't compare to others who were around back then.
Used later Puff Daddy's comeback track as 'P. Diddy' with the track entitled "Diddy", this one has him coming out with a surprisingly energetic tune that has him MCing about safe sex, once again it comes as a rather corny display from him as he plays all the roles to guide the young and does a tune on some pretty fresh breaks to prevent it sounding like what it actually is whilst he takes from themes from the last album.
The Dancehall style (with Yellowman's Zungguzungguguzungguzeng" begins to become tiresome by this point as you see that he brings the hype through this style of delivery before he gets down to the rhymes here and takes on the role of the teacher and seems to do very little other than continue to rhyme about how he is better than any other MCs and is willing to teach others how to better themselves on what is essentially the last real track.
10. "Necessary" (Lude)
I have to say that I felt that this record was hugely overrated and I felt that it was really a massive step down from the debut. I think that much of my disliking for KRS-One's material is down to the fact that he hasn't changed since this album an even at this stage it sounds like its gone too far with the pointless messages. So many others did it so much better, and when you can't even find the right beats to support it, it just doesn't have much going for it at all.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 My Philosophy
2 Ya Slippin'
3 Stop The Violence
4 Illegal Business
6 I'm Still No 1
7 Part Time Success