“I didn’t feel like I had a lot to prove on Return of the Boom Bap, but some people were saying my career was kind of over. Sex And Violence had sold only 200,000 copies and everybody was saying KRS-One is finished! Even Jive Records was talking about dropping me from the label, and I was happy with that. It was my cocky, happy attitude that made them keep me on Jive. I said to Barry Weiss, the president of the label, ‘Yo, I’m not a regular recording artist. I’m something way different. It doesn’t matter where I am, I am hip-hop.’ Usually I was getting over $200,000 to record my albums, but since Sex And Violence only sold 200,000 copies they told me they weren’t going to pay me my usual fee. I then told them I was leaving the label, and of course they didn’t like that.
Jive knew I could get another deal, and for a lot more money. I just felt like I was worth more to Jive than just record sales. My presence on Jive drew other artists that would not have normally came to this label. A Tribe Called Quest signed to them because of me. R. Kelly signed to them because of me. These artists would tell me, ‘Yo, we came to Jive and thought it was cool because you were there.’ That argument punched Barry in his face. I told him to give me another $75,000 to do the album I really wanted to make. And that album was Return of the Boom Bap.
So I take the $75,000 and found out about this underground group called Gang Starr. They had just put this record out called ‘Just To Get A Rep’. And I loved this record! I’m like, ‘Damn, if I can get with the guy who produced this I can start a whole new trend in hip-hop.’ And lo and behold that guy was DJ Premier. His music was hip-hop to its core. So I ran up on Premier and he was floored. He wanted me to sign his albums and all this shit [laughs]. He was like, ‘Yo, I don’t know what to say…KRS…man…I’ll do it for free!’ We finally got in D&D Studios and I ain’t got to say anything else. Premier showed his ass.
Preemo let me hear the beat for ‘Outta Hear’ and that was it! When Return of the Boom Bap came out that shit was like Criminal Minded all over again. The streets were loving that record. DJ Premier rose to the top of all producers. That album’s sound became something that defined much of the ‘90s. I’m starting to pick up new members of BDP. There was Heather B and Fat Joe was hanging around us more now because he had this record coming out called ‘Flow Joe’. Pras and Wyclef were with us and they had this group called The Refugees…and this was before Lauryn Hill joined. And I can’t forget about Supernatural, who had just come in from Indiana. It was a real crew! This was a new time for me and for hip-hop.”