Hip Hop Legend KRS-One Feeds The Homeless This Holiday


(New York, NY) Twenty years ago, hip hop artist/activist KRS-One wrote an inspiring op-ed in The New York Times “A Survival Curriculum for Inner City Kids,” in which he addressed the city’s failings to take care of its most needy; in the article, he also mentioned how he’d spent many of his formative years in the 1970s in homeless shelters around the city and was essentially an auto-didact, who educated himself in public libraries.

Fittingly, 20 years later, KRS-One will be aligning with one of his former shelters, The Bowery Mission, this Thanksgiving to serve meals to thousands of the City’s homeless. And as a further testament to his self-education, KRS-One has just released his second book, “Gospel of Hip Hop: First Instrument,” an 800-plus-page spiritual manual for citizens of Hip Hop Kulture.

The Bowery Mission and KRS-One will serve meals to over 3,000 people at the Mission at 227 Bowery (between Prince and Rivington Streets) from 8 AM – 7PM on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, 2009.

KRS-One stated:

“I am participating in The Bowery Mission’s Thanksgiving food drive and event because I myself was once homeless, walking these very streets, and spending time with these wonderful people at The Bowery Mission. I depended on them to survive. I am showing up for Thanksgiving this year to not only lend a hand, but hope that I am may inspire others in the Hip Hop community to consider their role towards helping the homeless, and join me by helping those in your community that need help during this holiday season.

I chose the Bowery Mission because it epitomizes the spirit of true human resources, love, care and compassion. I have stayed at many shelters were you are called “the client” and the administration made you feel like a prisoner in a system. At the Bowery Mission you feel at home. Homelessness is a pandemic, and most people do not realize the severity of the situation. You may be homeless one day yourself. I urge the Hip Hop nation to live up to the true nature of our culture and give.”

“Gospel of Hip Hop: First Instrument” is set in the format of a self-help book. It combines classic philosophy with faith and practical knowledge for a fascinating, in-depth exploration of Hip Hop as a life path. Known as “the Teacha,” KRS-One developed his unique outlook as a homeless teen in Bronx, NY engaging his philosophy of self-creation to become one of the most respected emcees in Hip Hop history. As Hip Hop’s true steward, KRS-One painstakingly details the development of the culture and the ways in which we, as “Hiphoppas,” can and should preserve its future.

KRS-One’s life experiences have very much informed his path as an artist and activist. Once he rose to fame with Boogie Down Productions and the classic hip-hop album “By All Means Necessary” he went on to start the Stop The Violence Movement, at a time when violence in hip hop was rampant; he also joined in countless socially conscious causes. Of course, closest to his heart was the issue of homelessness. Around 1990, he led a march for the homeless with Cher and the formerly homeless activist Mitch Snyder in Washington D.C. in which thousands participated, and many were arrested for civil disobedience.

The Bowery Mission reaches New York’s hungry and homeless 365 days a year, 7 days a week, as they have since 1879. They provide each meal, each night of shelter, each shower, each piece of clothing, and each free doctor’s appointment as an invitation to participate in their residential recovery programs, where lives are transformed from poverty to joy, from hopelessness to hope and from dependency to lasting productivity.

To learn more about The Bowery Mission, people are invited to text to DOTORG (368674) and then enter the word BOWERY. Also, visit their website at www.bowery.org/thanksgiving to see how your time and donations can make a difference.