25 Powerful Reasons to Improve Your Knowledge by KRS-ONE

25 Powerful Reasons to Improve Your Knowledge by KRS-ONE

KRS-One warned us that the conversation he wanted to have, was intended to be an 8 hour discussion. However, he jokingly promised that he would condense it to 5 hours. As the audience laughed, you could hear people yell out “take your time”, as he prepared to drop knowledge and information on the entire crowd.

We were ready. Hungry to be intellectually fed and moved in some way. Spirits and souls heated up on this cold January evening, as legendary hip hop artist KRS-One, also known as “Teacha” graced the stage of Virginia State University for a free public lecture event.

25 Powerful Reasons to Improve Your Knowledge by KRS-ONE

He says that this evening we were talking about Black History and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. However, his discussion surpassed his initial forecast, into many subjects even more worth absorbing. He states that his lectures are usually identified as controversial, but he never understood why. He says that he just delivers the truth. Most of what he said he was going to talk about isn’t in the library. It’s real knowledge. I immediately realized how engaged the audience had become, all with their minds open like buckets to be filled.

25 Powerful Reasons to Improve Your Knowledge by KRS-ONE

He begins…


“Knowledge is awareness, not books, not words, but awareness. Information and education is not awareness. Education is training, American education is training for the job market. “

“Education is good, if you are on the way to employment. But you will never be rich with a job. You will never be wealthy employed. Only the entrepreneur, self-educated, self-reliant, are the people who move forward through all obstacles in life.”

“Information is just things you know”

“Information – none of this is knowledge or education”

“Most people rely on information rather than knowledge, whatever they are told, they believe. The last thing people are told, is where they are directing their entire life to. Like the last song on the radio or the news on television. You absorb the information. Information moves societies, no knowledge. People are barely educated, untrained.”

“On top of information, education, and knowledge, is intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to know, it is not knowing. Do you have the ability to know? This is what makes you knowledgeable. You can become aware. Once you’re aware, you’re free.”

KRS-One gives the example that an electrician sees a different type of room, with his electrical knowledge, than a painter or plumber, who has a different perspective and aspect of knowledge. An average person with no electrical knowledge, would not understand the room like the electrician. That person wouldn’t possess the same knowledge, vocabulary (words), that reality is basically invisible to that individual. Unless, you have the knowledge to understand, you won’t see it. All of this is awareness.

The things you are aware of is determined by your level of vocabulary. The less words you know, the less you can see in your environment. The more words you know, the more you can see in your environment. You can say “I know this is a __________!” The people who don’t understand the word, they aren’t even looking for these realities.

“We say Black people have it hard. Black people need to expand their vocabulary.”
“We aren’t trapped by any government, we are trapped by our own ignorance.” The minute we get passed that, there is no other threat in this world.”

“African-Americans sit at the top of African existence in the world today.”

25 Powerful Reasons to Improve Your Knowledge by KRS-ONE giving a lecture at VSU

“We don’t have words like these in our vocabulary daily….


the principle or advocacy of the political union of all the indigenous inhabitants of Africa.


the use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to control or influence other countries, especially former dependencies


a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force.


the state of being a slave, the practice or system of owning slaves, a condition compared to that of a slave in respect of exhausting labor or restricted freedom.

25 Powerful Reasons to Improve Your Knowledge by KRS-ONE - audience

“Human beings cannot see reality without words. Knowledge is about awareness. Right now you are aware, you need a broader vocabulary. “

“Women speak 20, 000 words and Men speak 13, 000 words in an average conversation. Women use more words than men. Which means, women see more than men.” Hello??!!

Black History

“Black is a word. History is a word. If black is not in your vocabulary every day, then you are not going to really see black struggle. You’ll hear about it and may be angry when you hear about it, but you will always be objective to it.”

He uses Twelve Years a Slave, as an example. “The scene with Lupita being beat, which she received the highest achievement for the role she played, getting whipped against the tree as a slave. She acted so realistically, a black women getting whipped against the tree. But black people watched it as entertainment. Because black woman is not in our vocabulary every day, it was entertainment. We didn’t get angry with that.” He admits to leaving the theater. He says “The degradation and destruction of our people, this is entertainment. Our mothers being whipped and winning awards for it, and we clap right along. This is because we have been desensitized to our own self. Because the education (training) is to approach reality objectively, no subjectively. The objective approach is the favorable approach. It’s the least biased approach. To not become a part of what you are looking at, that is a colonizing approach. This is meant to remove you from you. You don’t feel yourself anymore, what you feel is the education.”

“What I am giving you is subjective learning. Don’t just look with your education (training). Have the ability to know outside of your training. Now you are going to get knowledge. There are no black, red, yellow, or white people. This is fictitious nonsense created by your education. There is a human existence on this earth, and it begins with the darkest of complexion people. Black history is not the history of African-Americans, be clear. Black history does not begin in Virginia, which is not black history. It can be called African-American History.”

“The story of James town, African-American history is a hoax, a fraud, a lie. Africans have been in the Americas since 50, 000 – 60, 000 years ago. Black people sailed and navigated the entire earth before white people existed. The gene that created albino Africans “white people” or Europeans, begins 50, 000 years ago. The genetic evidence of the first self-aware human beings begins 150, 000 years before that. As a “black person” we are 200, 000 years old. Your white counterparts are 50, 000 years old. Australians are 70, 000 years, Greece and Rome came 1000 B.C., who are really a bunch of Africans. Rome is dark skin Italians.

“That’s why we use the word tribe. It means three. You are not even a tribe. We were never tribes. We were civilizations, nations, living side by side with one another in peace. We created the greatest civilizations on earth that did not have names like jail, prison. There were no words in our society for police. There were no words or awareness of a prison. There were no words for a crime. It was the natural inclination to cooperate with one another and not compete with one another. This is ancient civilization. The colonist comes in, and flips it. The colonist first comes with technology. The original black civilizations, people were naked. No clothes were worn. Today, we complain about people showing their body, when that was the original civilization. Is it colonialism and we keep our clothes on, or we get like our ancestors and take those clothes off. If you aren’t fighting naked, you are really fighting with the colonist.”

“The idea isn’t to read about your ancestors, it’s to become them.” – KRS-One Click To Tweet

“Once you become your ancestors, now the enemy has a problem. What’s the problem? They don’t tell us about their defeats and their losses. They only tell you how they conquered and warred through. So through education, we are trained to believe in the power of white supremacy. Trained to believe in the white Jesus or we are going to hell. We want the truth, despite wanting to see God. Black people are willing to tolerate that. All black scholars knows who Jesus was. But we are still comfortable with other people taking our culture and using it for themselves.”

25 Powerful Reasons to Improve Your Knowledge by KRS-ONE giving a lecture at VSU

“We tolerate this because we are objective to ourselves. Our education has taught us to remove ourselves from everything we know. So everything we know, we just know it, we never become it. The best thing we as Africans can do, is go to the local museum, where all our stolen goods are. Look at the images and artifacts for yourself. Look at as if it was made for you yesterday. Don’t rely on reading. We all read, no doubt. But all the books are written by colonist. Everything we know is from white people. It’s nothing we know, that they didn’t first write down and give to us. Some of us are only interested in Egypt, because our white scholars are interested in Egypt.”

“Our ancestors didn’t write. Everything about our ancestors was about oral tradition. Oral traditions, is what we had! Do you know what’s so real about the oral tradition? You had to be a person of your word. Imagine a civilization where everything that came out your mouth, must be the truth. The truth or you would fall in that society, you are not respected in that society. You are called a liar, a deceiver. You are exiled out of the community or killed on the spot. Colonist come in that society and flipped the culture. Black people sold us out. No nation on earth can defeat us, except us. We are our own worst enemy and we are own best friend. How many of us even think we are black? Nat Turner & Malcolm X taken out by another black man. There are people screaming for our freedom every day, and then there is the strip club. We say that we are overrepresented in the prison system, but we have our own people doing crimes against our own people.”

The issue of police brutality was prevalent throughout Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have A Dream” speech in 1963.

He quotes Bob Marley’s Redemption Song from 1975, where Marley talks about time and that it is real and about how the enemies plans to blow up the world, isn’t apart our order of nature. In the song he sings, “How long will they kill our profits, while we stand aside and look…” A question that ask how long are we going to watch our young people shot, unsupported, and not backed up. “Here is 2016, we are saying the same thing. We should be ashamed of ourselves.”

“You don’t speak the name of our ancestors and not BE THEM.” - KRS-One Click To Tweet

LIVE Periscope Video – by I’esha GaptoothDiva

25 Powerful Reasons to Improve Your Knowledge by KRS-ONE

We were all amazed as the crowd packed the front of the auditorium for questions and answers, and to snap pictures with the insightful hip hop icon. This was a scene of pandemonium, but there was nothing but positive and supportive chaos. Young people, probably not even babies when KRS-One was blasting on the radio with “I’m Still #1” in ’88 or “Sound of The Police” in ’93, were all cheering at the reality of his words. Because no matter what era you came from that evening, no matter the year you were born, the truth resonated with us all. To call this lecture controversial, is simply admitting that this surpassed your understanding of what knowledge and information is in your life. He opened up new minds to the possibilities, and invigorated those that were more mature. Everyone walked away with a sense of self, an opportunity to look at the world more subjectively, and the task to seek knowledge over information. The real mission, was in being more like our ancestors, and less like the colonist that have been spoon-feeding us information from the beginning. I’m excited to see how we make it happen, as a civilization.

25 Powerful Reasons to Improve Your Knowledge by KRS-ONE - VSU Faculty and students

This event was brought to Virginia State University through Soul Logistics Radio, the Department of Student Activities & the Department Mass Communications, The Source 91.3 WVST, Dr. Zoe Spencer & The Virginia State faculty.

25 Powerful Reasons to Improve Your Knowledge by KRS-ONE - Soul Logistics

I'esha Hornes

Author, Lifestyle Blogger, Model, & Vintage/Thrift Stylist. Motivating unique individuals to love their flaws and still rock an awesome life. Through Fashion, Culture, Entertainment, and Personal Experience, I love to inspire others & make people laugh. Mother of two awesome superheroes, wife to Mr. Incredible, & a mentor to those looking to learn to love themselves. I am the Baddest Creative Motivation!

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