KRS-One – Kristyles: #586 of best 1,000 albums ever!

RZA & KRS-One - Kristyles

So why is KRS-One’s Kristyles on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

This is the only KRS-One album on this here best 1,000 albums project*, and it’s a relatively obscure one at that. It’s RZA’s production that captures and then holds my attention, but crucially for me it forms the ideal backdrop and tapestry to frame KRS-One’s unique hip hop skills.

* A little more on the background of this opinion in the “pop culture stuff” section below.

It’s tracks like “Supposed to Be” that show off this dynamic best. RZA’s lush and cinematic production helps to both capture and embellish KRS-One’s at times sing-song-y and at other times big-sounding old school flow perfectly.

And on “Ya Feel Dat,” RZA conjures a vintage late ‘80s/early ‘90s sound that, like artists such as Beck are able to pull off with astonishing frequency, plays as both homage and is at the same time flat out better than many of the most popular songs of the actual era. And KRS-One’s shout-and-response energy is off the charts great in the best kind of way.

Songs like “The Only One” bring a great soulful hip hop vibe, and KRS-One reins in his over-the-top energy a bit to suit the mood well while still making for an exciting track.

See also: RZA – RZA as Bobby Digital: #664 of best 1,000 albums ever

Pop culture stuff that has something to do with Kristyles

With a large chunk of KRS-One’s output, I lean toward respecting his hip hop elder/icon status versus truly digging it, if you can dig. That’s why it’s kind of gratifying for me in a weird way in how Kristyles gelled for me so well – and that came by way of how KRS-One gelled so well with RZA.

Anyway, if I haven’t mentioned it before, R.E.M. is one of my favorite bands of all time (and maybe the favorite if I was really pressed, depending on the day). There’s only a tiny number of songs that R.E.M. ever produced during its long and productive career that I don’t really care for.

And of that tiny number, wouldn’t you know it, my least favorite R.E.M. song of all time happens to be the one time that they collaborated with hip hop elder/icon KRS-One. Yes, I’m referring to “Radio Song,” off of Out of Time.

Which, as even further aside, was one of the first three compact discs (CDs) that I ever purchased. The other two were Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti and The Best of The Doors.

Some stats & info about KRS-One – Kristyles

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rap, East Coast Rap
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – not rated!  
  • When was Kristyles released? 2003
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #586 out of 1,000

KRS-One’s Kristyles on YouTube

A lyrical snippet from KRS-One’s Kristyles that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

It’s supposed to be about fun and gettin’ the pain out, but it’s all about clout and popping them chains out.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.