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30 Years Later, the Battle Continues: The Psychology Behind the Bridge Wars

February 20, 2017

I had considered doing a followup to the Roxanne War (, on “The Bridge War” which basically superseded it, with all the relevant videos, but didn’t bother as I never liked the outcome of that one (though I did contribute heavily to the Wikipedia article). Also, for one, rap at the end of the Roxanne war entered the transition where in those few years inbetween it had become much more vulgar and violent, which I was against. Plus, there are’t nearly as many entries in the Bridge war, so all the relevant videos can easily be found, but here is the list of them:

Basic Players:

(“12:41” aka Scott La Rock and crew including KRS, “Success Is The Word”, record dissed by Mr. Magic leading to retaliation)

MC Shan“The Bridge”

Boogie Down Productions“South Bronx”

MC Shan“Kill That Noise”

Boogie Down Productions“The Bridge Is Over”

Rockwell Noel & The Poet:

“Beat You Down”
(When I first heard this one, his voice being much higher back then, I actually thought it was Shan‘s answer to “The Bridge Is Over”, and that “poet” was just a description and not his name; and I was like YEAH! Now THAT’s more like it!”)

“Taking U Out”
(Even stronger followup, though I thought was way too hard on Ms. Melody, who did not seem to be involved in the war. It’s really baffling that KRS never responded to that part of it. They were together until ’92, so it wasn’t that they had broken up or anything like that. It seems he was too busy extolling his own self anyway).

MC Butchy B“Beat Down KRS”, mocks the whole reggae theme of “The Bridge is Over”

Boogie Down Productions“Still No. 1 (Numero Uno mix)”. A remake of his popular “Still No. 1” that starts off adding who he’s not down with (Poet and the other “Juice Crew” members), in addition to who he is down with, and then does a whole new rap against Poet.

Related records: the radio DJ’s and one-shots (mostly ca.1988):

Roxanne Shanté“Have A Nice Day” (ends on a quick shot at the BDP crew; ’87-8)

MC Shan“Juice Crew Law” (some believe also contains shots at KRS)

Cool C“Juice Crew Diss” (mocks “Juice Crew Law”)

MC Mitchski“Brooklyn Blew Up The Bridge” (made fun of Shan’s on-stage appearances)

Craig G“Duck Alert” (About rival KISS-FM’s DJ Red Alert)

Butchy B“Go Magic” (Mentions “Juice Crew Diss”, and then attacks the “lipstick” of the KISS-FM logo).

Deuces Wild—[Chuck Chillout KISS ID] (Samples “South Bronx”, “…Chuck Chillout on the mix…“, and includes lines, “you turn the volume up, 107.what?…” [i.e. WBLS=107.5], and, apparently aimed at Magic: “You ain’t smackin’ no lipstick, you can just kiss this; you’re just an old man, finished in this business“, and ends with the ad libs “Let’s dis Magic”—”Madame Tragic!” and “Marley Moo Moo!”

Aftermath reference raps:

Kool Rock Steady— “You Ain’t Nobody” (Disses KRS-1 for dissing “hip-house” music. Contrasts himself with Shan and Poet; “whatever I say on the wax, I can show it”).

Boogie Down Productions“Black Man In Effect” (Discusses the concept of “juice” and reiterates “I’m not down with a juice-crew”)

Poet + Hot Day“Without Warning” (contains samples of “Numero Uno” and briefly answers one of them, but otherwise is general ‘ego’ rap)

Screwball (later Poet crew):
You Love To Hear The Stories” (a followup to the original “The Bridge”, featuring MC Shan. Poet protests “Nobody said it started there. But some playa hater tried to end a party there. Niggas didn’t care they burned it, put it in the air. I took it personal, readied up for warfare. But time passed by, s___ died out, But niggas got paid off my hood no doubt“)

“Bio” (anonymous reference with the citing of Doug. E. Fresh’s “You Ain’t Nothin” from “The Bridge is Over”)

NasDestroy & Rebuild” (Plays off of the whole “The Bridge is Over” premise, with the line repeated in the chorus, but then answered in they are rebuilding it, and “gotta have unity”. Actually blamed fellow QB rappers such as Cormega and Prodigy, for “killing” it, rather than the Bridge War. This rift would apparently be healed that same year [next])

QB’s Finest (showcase of Queensbridge hip hop artists) —”Da Bridge 2001” (Another followup to the original. Shan quips: “The Bridge was never over, we left our mark. The jam is dedicated to you and your boys, I brought my Queensbridge thugs to kill that noise”).

KRS One With Marley Marl, Hip Hop Lives album:
Rising“: (KRS recounts the whole story from his perspective)
The Victory“: featuring [by then, “Blaq”] Poet; (quashes their part of the beef)

History of rap leading up to the War, and how I chose sides

It seemed 9 [almost 10] years ago (wow, that long already) that battle was officially resolved by KRS teaming up with archenemy Marley Marl on an album, which included his strongest opponent, Poet in a duet rap.
However, I was always disturbed by what I would now call the “archetypal” implications of the original aftermath, of the obviously “strong” bass-voiced rapper “taking out” the weaker looking higher pitched voice rapper, which was the official narrative. And the latter is now beginning to react to this as well.

How I got to this position in this war: As I chronicle in my essay on the gradual downfall of rap I did not see Run-DMC in a favorable light, because of the fierce in-your-face aggressiveness and braggadocio of the “ego” style they introduced with “Sucker MC’s”, which quickly took over rap, and began transforming it, basically into the negative “gangsta” style in just a few years, where it had started out more positive, as party, talent and then “message” oriented.

Run, with rap pioneer Kurtis Blow (who also went from a message style to pure ego, dubbing himself the “King of rap”), and the others surrounding Run’s brother Russell Simmons (aka “Rush”) then formed a “mainstream” inner circle of rap, all dominated by ego-bragging, and culminating with their 1985 film Krush Groove.
(And “Krush/Crush” seemed to be a name that figured prominently in a thematic way. Run-DMC’s “Sucker MC’s” series of tracks were subtitled “Krush Groove I”, “Krush Groove II”, etc. even before the movie came out. These were named after an “Orange Krush” singing group produced by Simmons and headed by “Larry Laa [Smith]” whom the Run rap series drew beats from, and were mentioned in the first one. The early influence of these rappers were the “Cold Crush Brothers”.
So these figures seemed to mark in part, what I’m calling the rap “mainstream”. It seems the center of it all was “Rush” [Simmons] himself, whom those names were likely based on).

Major Rap Division begins

A sort of “counter”-movement began with Roxanne Shanté, who of course started off dissing UTFO, but then would later take shots at Run and Kurtis Blow. Her DJ, Marley Marl would later introduce MC Shan and others, who would go after LL Cool J and even Run-DMC. (Shanté protegé Steady B’s “Take Your Radio” Shan now claims to have ghost-written).
As stated in the Roxanne article, I first began to become sympathetic to Shanté when I thought Sparky D’s (and later, UTFO’s own final) response to the Roxanne War was “unfair”. (I really got into the whole “story”, treating it as an audio “soap opera”!)

I of course knew Marley was associated with Shanté, as she praises him in her raps, just as all other MC’s did for their DJ’s back then (and this was the MC’s original function!) I didn’t know he was associated with Mr. Magic (not initially, that is. There was a clue in Shanté mentioning Magic “saving the day” in “The Queen of Rox”, but I didn’t know what exactly she was talking about).
They both discovered her together, in fact. (I later find out this latter point from the internet, telling how long I was in the dark on that!)
Back then, I just knew Marley always seemed to be involved with a lot of these dissident rappers coming out, several associated with the small Pop Art record label Shanté debuted on, who were independent from the mainstream.

So I came to associate Magic with the “mainstream” rappers because of his DJ album he put out c.1985, which had Run, Kurtis Blow, LL, Fat Boys, etc. (Not sure if it was part of the Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack series, as what I’m seeing now looks different. The one I think I remember is the one where he wore the white magician suit, and Vol. 1 looks different, though has a similar lineup).
This makes it funny how Magic could promote these rappers, but then also raise up these two others, to dis them.

If it seems strange that I didn’t know that Magic and Marley were such a big team, it’s because I never listened to their station, WBLS. I, as it is, was already on the “other side” of the radio battle going on at the time, with rival “KISS-FM” (98.7; WRKS), which I listened to (switching over from the old WKTU three years earlier, because they played Stevie’s “Do I Do” to death! I liked them so much, when I was in VA, I found an apparent sister station, “Kiss 96”, WQKS out of Williamsburg, but could only get the distant station from the opposite side of the dorm from my room).

Also, Shan would never appear in the “Rap Attack” series, and Shanté would not appear until vol.3, with “Have A Nice Day”. (Her entry in the Bridge War, several years later. I don’t even think Marley was mentioned on them either). Inasmuch as Shan and Shanté mentioned Marley on the records more than Magic, it was easy to miss the connection between them.
This series, I can now see, was a showcase of whoever was popular (and thus playing a lot), and not who he was necessarily “down” with.

I also knew nothing about the dispute between Magic and UTFO which led to Shanté’s introduction in the first place (something about some show they were supposed to do or something). So I saw UTFO as on the “mainstream” side. For one, they were associated with Whodini, who seemed pretty mainstream, and were even managed by Rush! Also, again, that “The Real Roxanne” was actually produced by their producers, Full Force, (to counter Shanté), and she would mention that “Larry Laa” person (of “Sucker MC’s” fame) in a favorable light, as if they were all “down”. Then Sparky D came to defend them from Shanté, and she was associated with a “Spyder D” who was on Profile, which was Run-DMC’s long time label.

(The Rap Attack albums were also on Profile, perhaps partly explaining the selections on them.
So record labels also figured in my assumptions of who was “down” with who. I much more recently find out that she had a spat with Pebblee Poo, who was also on Profile and made a name dissing the Boogie Boys “Fly Girl”, and both she and Spyder were also on the aforementioned Mr. Magic album. Edit: watching her story on a video, she said she was close to Rush, and even wondered why she wasn’t invited to be in Krush Groove. Hearing the battle rap with Shanté again, she does have that same style and egotistical attitude as Run and all the other mainstreamers of the time. So I wasn’t imagining her being on “their side” after all!)

You also had Doug E Fresh, who seemed to be mainstream (and was in earlier “mainstream” film, Beat Street), who would be dissed by Salt & Pepa’s debut, on Pop Art, and then Shanté would spoof “LaDiDaDi”, as mentioned in the Roxanne article.
The mainstream “Fat Boys” seemed be be countered by this new group called “The Skinny Boys” (and I think there was also a “Fat Girls” as well).

The even earlier pioneers, such as Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambataa, Spoonie Gee, etc. as mentioned in Kurtis Blow’s “AJ Scratch”, were of course respected by the mainstream, and thus could be seen as on the same side of the spectrum.
(Rush was said to be the person you had to go through to get “in” back then, but those who came before Rush were of course already in.
A YouTuber named Karceno4life, who seemed to be some sort of old time hip hop insider, recounts a “legend” that a rapper named “Swan Love” was who Run’s “Sucker MC’s” was actually aimed at, and I can’t find that info anywhere else. This was someone who was going to start a group called “the Force” with Run, but Rush and others thought his rhymes were “wack”, and so when Run-DMC finally came together, they thought this guy was bitter at them for not getting a deal; so Run took his style and mocked him by calling himself “Run Love” in the rap. That would actually make this the first “diss record” of hip hop and not “Roxanne’s Revenge”!)

So I, in my typical Ti “categorizing”—Ne “imagining” sort of way imagined rap divided into two camps, the “Krush Groovers” and the “Pop Artists”. (Perhaps I listened to too much politics, which I was becoming well aware of in that age of Reagan and the Moral Majority, with its clearly defined “Right and “Left”. So Kurtis Blow and allies were like the “right” wing ⦅”conservative”, gatekeepers of “the old guard”⦆, and Shanté and friends were the “left” wing ⦅”liberal”, progressive⦆).

I figured if Magic was down with the Krush Groovers, then I imagined the Pop Artists being featured on a similar DJ album by rival Chuck Chillout or Red Alert. IIRC, one actually did surface sometime afterward, and I clearly remember coming home from college one summer, winter or spring, and hearing Shanté actually doing a promotional for KISS! (Which further added to my ongoing homesickness when I went back. Trying to remember whether she mentioned Red or Chuck in that promo. This, well before the Bridge War, which became solidly centered around the two stations and their DJ’s. Sparky would later do a promo for Red, i.e. “Red! Where’s the beef? DJ Red Alert, gone berserk!“, around the era of the Bridge War).
Where the crew that would actually form around Magic was said to be the first “rap collective” (like the ones that began developing in the 90’s, most notably, Wu-Tang), in reality, all the Rush-associated acts (featured in Krush Groove) were in practice such a “collective” as well, but just did not name themselves as such.

So the whole point of all of this is, I came to like Shan, Shanté and the others they associated with because of their “countercultural” stance against the rap mainstream, whose egos had become way too bloated by 1986.
(You also then had Kool Moe Dee, having gone solo after coming out of the old Treacherous Three, going after LL, who had really hit big by then).

From “old” to “new”: Rap further divides

This ‘binary’ appearance of rap all changed with the Bridge War. First, what I called “Krush Groovers”, as the previous “mainstream”, was now starting to be called “the Old School” (a term I previously heard applied to older generations, particularly grandparents and before. Like Dad saying someone from his parents’ generation “…is from the old school. They believed children should be ‘seen and not heard'”, for instance). The exception was LL, who was on the later end of that wave, and was called “mid”-school.

And now, a whole new crop of rappers coming out were called “the New School”. However, this time-like division began to break away from the old apparent divisions of rap. (Like Moe Dee was technically “old school”, even anonymously dissed as such in LL’s “Jack the Ripper”, in response to him having blasted LL as a “new jack” in “How Ya Like Me Now”, but in his solo career at least, was clearly estranged from what had by then become the mainstream “core” of the “old school” [i.e Rush,] which LL was apart of; and was in some ways more like some of the new school rappers).

So KRS-One on one hand was also going against the mainstream, even putting down the whole notion of “kings” that defined the ego-style of the “Krush Groovers” or old schoolers, along with the rampant commercialism. But then he actually defended LL from Shan! He took a swipe at Run DMC and “Adidas”, but otherwise seemed to respect them. The rest of the “new school” emerging then—Eric B & Rakim, etc. also seemed to be counter-mainstream, but still respecting it. (They, to my surprise, were actually associated with Marley, but were not in the crew with Shan and the others, and were among those KRS would say he was “down” with). Public Enemy was even produced by Russell Simmons. While LL himself would eventually go on to hook up with Marley!

So this lends credence to the claim that KRS and Scott La Rock at one point wanted to be in what by then came to be known as the “Juice Crew”, centered around Shanté, Marley, Magic and Shan. (Basically, arising from the core of the old “Pop Artists”; now centered around Magic, aka “Sir Juice”, and having left Pop Art and moving to a new label, Cold Chillin’).
I would have loved that. I think they would have been so good together on the same side, for they were all against the mainstream (save Magic). I would have loved to have all that intellectual lyrical genius on the “side” I favored, in contrast to the ego-tripping, “suped up” sellouts! I even imagine what it would have been like if they had been “down”, and perhaps “South Bronx” could have still been released, but not dissing the Bridge. It would just be like a compliment to it, like Cutmaster DC throwing Brooklyn into the mix in a followup referencing the Bridge war, and another group adding a rap about “Uptown”.* (Only a few lines of “South Bronx” are actually directed specifically at The Bridge, and no names are even mentioned in that one).
*(Cannot find this anywhere, and I might be thinking of Uptown Crew “Uptown’s Kickin’ It”, which was a Marley Marl produced group of rappers including an emerging Heavy D & the Boys. However, the “Uptown” chant used in this one is simply “Uptown! Uptown!” in the style of Cutmaster’s “Brooklyn! Brooklyn!” So this is likely what Cutmaster was referring to in his followup. But I thought for sure I remembered it instead copying the “South Bronx” chant, as “Uptown…Up-uptown!” Perhaps a remix or something? Or maybe I misheard/misremembered it somehow, or maybe hearing someone else chanting that and not on a record?)

I imagine, if this happened, then KRS might have directed all that energy, perhaps in unison with Shan, Moe Dee and the others, toward Run, LL and the rest of the so-called “kings”. THAT would have been a BOMB rap war! (KRS always did seem poised to potentially go after LL, like when asked, or more recently, actually say something and then apologize. LL may have been less likely to survive BOTH KRS and Moe Dee on his hide!)
I imagine a counterfactual version of “The Bridge Is Over” even, which could have actually been similar, and even go as far as to still maintain the Bronx vs Queens premise, but directed at the OTHER end of Queens (“Hollis is Over”? “…Can’t sound like LL, or Run DMC…”? and then twist one of their lines to claim they said hip hop stated in Hollis).

That then would have been much more suited, as Shan and the Bridge were not the ones “posing as ‘kings'” and claiming to be the center of hip hop, which was KRS’ whole premise in his message beyond the battle. (And not even the “juice” moniker necessarily implies that, outside of their connection to Magic, who as it happens, was the real perpetrator in the whole affair, as we shall see next). Shan is not the one who said he was the “baddest rapper in the history of rap itself” like LL did (which is one of the things that drew Moe Dee’s ire).
Karceno has another video on a small beef between Shan and Run-DMC, where he points out that eastern Queens (Hollis, etc.) was basically more bourgeois and actually looked down on the poorer southern Queens and the Bridge (on the extreme western end of Queens, next to Manhattan). He points out that many of the Juice Crew members weren’t even from Queens (some were from Brooklyn, etc.)
By all accounts, Queensbridge (representing the “inner city” just as much as the Bronx), should have been on the same side as the South Bronx against eastern Queens!

It should be mentioned, that at the time, I knew nothing about the real reason KRS launched his war against the Juice Crew, which was Magic dissing an earlier record. Scott LaRock (with KRS already by his side) had begun with a pair of good “message” raps, “Success Is the Word”, and “Advance”. By that time, these types of raps were very rare and basically out of fashion, and neither of them did well at all. It was when “Success” was slammed by Magic, that they eventually formed Boogie Down Productions, aligned themselves with Kiss and Red Alert, and began the attack on Queensbridge. (And Marley claims to not have even known about this at first, see
But to me, only hearing the records coming out on the radio, it just looked like a tough guy randomly picking on a weaker guy just to be “bad”. This is why I was totally put off by KRS, and never appreciated his messages and ingenuity back then. (If I knew the whole story, then I would have been more sympathetic, since the arrogance of the rap “mainstream” represented by Magic is precisely what I had been annoyed by; but still wish he hadn’t taken it out on Shan and the crew —and with all the others who would follow him in that. They weren’t the ones who were too puffed up and needed to be taken down a notch or two. He could have just focused on Magic. Even one of these diss followers, Mitch Ski pointed out that it was all falling on Shan: “you’re down with Magic and the whole Juice Crew, but the one they’re dissing homeboy is you”. This blog covers this point as well).

Marley says in an interview that KRS singled out “Magic, Marley, Shan, Shanté”, because that’s who Magic said “is hip hop” when calling Scott’s demo “wack”. So KRS, in defiance then retorted or thought “MC Shan is wack!” (Now imagine if Magic had pointed to the more popular “LL, Run DMC, etc.” Then we may have seen something more like the alignment I had wished! ⦅aside from Magic⦆. And though I haven’t seen it directly said anywhere, since Run, LL and the others were way bigger than Shan and even Shante, the Juice Crew was perhaps easier to go after. ⦅He then basically went for the “weakest link”, but if that’s so, then it also means he was not as all-powerful as he put himself out there to be⦆.
And it almost seems, Magic threw them under the bus by putting them out there like that, rather than the obviously bigger stars. Sensing a sort of betrayal of some sorts even back then, I actually used to think that the “Bridge Is Over” line “Magic’s mouth is used for sucking” was “Magic counted you for sucking”, following “Instead of helping you out, he gets the same thing I gave you”, which I thought was “…he gives [you] the same thing…”; meaning took advantage of them! ⦅And that’s certainly how Shan feels now! So hearing it that way, the rap didn’t even sound like much of a dis on Magic at all! [Being that was the only mention of him]. This further made me think “what the hell is wrong with this guy? Why would he rap something like this?”⦆
Also, BTW, KRS says in an in interview that the term “the monument sitting right in your face” is specifically what he reacted to as implying hip hop started in the Bridge).

So rap was sort of now splintered into at least three main factions; the “Rush & friends” former “old school” mainstreamers, KRS and those other “new schoolers” he mentions as being “down” with him (Just Ice, Jungle Brothers, Rakim, etc.) and the Juice Crew collective. Even on the Kiss side of things, there was apparently rivalry between those closer to Chuck (such as the Dismasters), and those closer to Red (Jungle Brothers, etc).
Public Enemy was sort of inbetween, being associated with the “Old School” Rush, but clearly apart of the emerging “New School”. Arising legend Big Daddy Kane was Juice Crew, but also in the same category as Rakim and the other respected new-schoolers.

The small Philly-based rap circle that remained centered around Pop Art would turn against Shan and Shanté in the war. Steady B would hook up with Cool C (himself actually on another label) and co-write his raps, including “Juice Crew Diss” (mocking Shan and slut-shaming Shanté), and then even do collaborations with KRS! (Though having likely nothing to do with the battle. Pop Art for while became an imprint of the Jive-RCA label KRS was on).

In fact, in a video interview of Kane, he reveals that he and [other Shanté protegé] Biz Markie, were actually down with KRS, partly explaining likely why he did not get involved with the Shan battle, aside from ghost-writing Shanté’s entry, with one closing line of “Have A Nice Day” taking (at that) a relatively weak shot at Kris/Scott (especially considering what the rap it was answering had said about her!) I had heard rumors of some level of kinship somewhere between the two sides, as well. It was so hard to believe or imagine! Even more clear, the later rap “Wrath Of Kane” would say “Juice Crew’s the family, Slick Rick’s a friend of me; and Doug E Fresh, Stet, KRS and Public enemy”! (So again, they should have all been completely down with each other!)
Though Kane is also cited in a video as saying KRS was “the battle he wanted”. He would have been a much better match for KRS, being in that same class of more respected, popular, clever and tougher sounding rappers.

Biz and Kane and a couple others had become sort of a separate faction within the Juice Crew. Which may have also figured in their abandonment in the battle and eventual breakup, as Shan and Shanté were the “inner circle” with Magic and Marley, and Shan was said to speak down to Kane at times, so he and Biz were like the distant members. Biz even went as far as to do Red Alert promos for KISS right in the middle of this whole period!
(He also actually did a rap with Sparky Dee of all people, and about the last thing you ever heard from her.
In passing, the soon-to-emerge West Coast, and later Wu-Tang collective and others would further splinter rap, and the notion of large factions would be irrelevant).

The record battle escalates, and then fizzles out

In both of the battles that ensued; KRS vs Shan, and the similar-to-KRS Moe Dee vs the similar-to-Shan LL, you had these tougher deep voiced rappers going against skinny higher pitched guys (who often tried to seemingly compensate by showing off their bare chests, as both Moe Dee and Mitch Ski would snap on). Only, the outcomes were very different.

Shan responded to “South Bronx” with “Kill That Noise”, but after KRS followed up with “The Bridge is Over” (which triumphalistically ended with the ad-lib “That’s it; no more battling; been taken out! Slaying in ’87, you suckas!”), Shan seemed to let it drop. Poet then took the reins (and occasionally others, such as Butchy B, who did mainly Mr Magic promos, but then added “Beat Down KRS”), but then it died down, and the final answer seemed to be KRS’s “Numero Uno rap”, which was a special version of “Still Number One” aimed at Poet.
There was so much that could have been said in a response, especially the way KRS was simultaneously claiming to be such a “unifier” and even peacemaker of rap (from the first “Still #1”: “I try to tell them, we’re all in this together“; [I’m like “HUH?!”], “Stop the Violence”, etc.) yet causing such beef, and adding violence to the lyrics (and even the whole image on the album covers).

And the rap pushed the self-glorifying egotism to the hilt, far beyond anything even Run and the other old-schoolers had done; now claiming to be even greater than the “kings” themselves (“I throw them down to the floor, they stare up at me in awe…”. Remember, he, in the original version of this track, and “My Philosophy” broke down for us how “ruling” [in hip hop] was futile; but here, even by the title of the track, he is claiming to rule over the “rulers”!
Other lines included “Do not interrupt when I’m teaching; do not speak when grownups are speaking“, “I’m criminal minded, you’re soft minded; just like a dog, here’s a lyric go find it“, “WE ARE, without a doubt, THE STAR”, “What possessed you boy, to go freestyle? What are you stupid? You must be senile! Poor child, I’ll pull that card and smile…”. and “I haven’t heard a decent thing from you yet; creativity is something hard to get” [Edit: more in comment below]).
Don’t know how anybody could ever swallow all of that and not answer! He is ingenious, but it just seemed to be increasingly going to his head, and he really needed to be taken down a notch or two, —or three, or a hundred or a thousand!

But, (listening in vain on the Friday and Saturday night DJ shows, including even switching to Magic/Marley at times) nothing ever surfaced. Shan made a couple more albums that didn’t seem to include any responses to it (at least not direct ones), but then dropped out, and Poet seemed to just disappear as quickly as he appeared.

As we enter the 90’s, the whole setup dissolves, as Magic and Marley have left BLS, and are eventually replaced by DJ Premier, where I first heard his name on the rap shows. Being mainly a producer, it’s hard to find info on his run on the radio show; like it’s not mentioned on Wikipedia, though several broadcasts or albums produced from the shows are on YouTube. He would become very big, and get involved with a lot of acts, including both KRS and Poet, ultimately producing the “Victory” track featuring both. So he sort of brought back together a large chunk of hip hop, where the main division now became East vs West coast.
Inbetween, Chuck Chillout reportedly went to WBLS for a couple of years, but I didn’t remember that. Red Alert stayed at Kiss until ’94, then they were bought out and became R&B only, and Red and the rap all moved to new sister station HOT97.

Of note; I find that there was shortly after the Bridge War, a strong diss track against KRS by another “KRS”, Kool Rock Steady: “You Ain’t Nobody”. This was the guy who pioneered “hip house” (that mix of hip hop and house music best embodied by “It Takes Two” and his own “Turn Up The Bass”), and was Bronx rap pioneer Afrika Bambataa’s cousin, though himself from Chicago. He took offense at KRS-1 apparently dissing hip-house, and completely dressed down his claim to “rule the party” and claim to have such “knowledge”; speaking “like you did ten years of college”. (You wonder why KRS1 would be against hip house, when Bambataa’s “Planet Rock” and subsequent hits are what sparked off “house music” to begin with, and so were the first blends of rap with that electronic sound).
I never knew anything about this until now. I wish I had heard it back then, as he mentions the Bridge war, contrasting himself “I’m not MC Shan, or King Poet…”. I would have felt much more satisfied with that as the “final word” of that battle era. (Not able to find whether KRS-1 answered it or not. One might think his mention of “It seems you want to be KRS-2”; but that’s from “Poetry”, and way before this). I wonder why Magic and the others never played this! Or, maybe they did, and it was when I was in the Air Force. I didn’t know where the rap-playing stations were in TX, CO and CA, and so had fallen out of the rap circuit during ’89).

The other main battle going on simultaneously, and its opposite outcome

Even though Moe Dee was clearly slamming LL, far harder than what KRS ever said to Shan; LL managed to “win” that one, by in essence “tiring him out”, where Moe Dee was the one whose career faltered, and he just dropped it after a while. The same with Ice T, and Hammer, who had also joined in making snaps at LL, which he would respond to in a later*[see track list, below] record (after they had already quit the record business. Basically, as we see these days, “winning a battle” is now defined by “making the last diss record”; i.e. “having the last word”, just as much as it is for winning an actual battle on stage. And that was how I saw it.
It’s basically a more upgraded and poetic version of the old “ranking out” game we used to do in the street ⦅where “your mama” often got called out. An early rap had even been done cautioning about this, back in the halcyon days of the “message” style⦆. So to “win”, they just needed to not give up, but then since the goal is now selling the records, that might make it more difficult to hang in there and devote so much time to a back-and-forth battle like that and have a company publish it).

LL, while looking and sounding a lot like Shan in the beginning, at one point deepened his voice and developed a lot of muscles, and became basically a sex symbol, especially with some of the sexual-but-in-a-more-‘romantic’-way raps he started doing. So this is what I believe saved him (in addition to being so connected to Rush anyway, whose enterprise expanded into a big multimedia empire). So he of course continued to “blow up” as a famous rapper and then screen star, and now is basically an “all-around” Hollywood celebrity. (Where Ice T and others also became bigger on screen, but not making raps as much anymore).

So in this instance, the “lighter”, higher pitched guy actually won for a change, but he was also apart of the highly commercialized “mainstream” (which I, again, never cared for, and was precisely part of Moe Dee’s whole issue with him in the first place).
So while not physical or especially lyrical “strength”, it was still “power” that prevailed; only in this case, commercial power. Which is really the greatest power in this country anyway, beyond the street environment hip hop is centered on.

Here is the list for their battle:
MD How Ya Like Me Now (1987 “dissing LL Cool J for some behind-the-scenes offenses”)
LL Jack The Ripper (1989; “Jingling Baby” also said to contain indirect shots at Moe Dee)
MD Let’s Go (1989)
LL To Da Break of Dawn (1990; indirect but clear shots, and also Hammer and Ice T).
LL Mama Said Knock You Out (1990-1 “BLAAAOW, how ya like me now?“)
MD Death Blow (1991, answers/mocks both previous raps; “‘Star Trek shades’?; Man cut the joke!“)
LL I Shot Ya [Remix] (1995; “Crushed Moe Dee, Ice T and Hammer’s girls“…).

Article breaking down the whole feud:
(And the poster and most commenters say Moe Dee won, lyrically. “Even if Moe Dee replied only with Let’s Go, he still would’ve won”)

The bad “narrative” forming down to the present

So the natural narrative that arose was that KRS “took out Shan”, and even “took Queensbridge off the map” as others bragged for him. The remaining “Juice Crew” rappers, who were having better success— Biz, Kane, Kool G Rap, etc., just seemed to go their own separate ways. Shanté would increasingly launch an all out crusade against all other female rappers and then suddenly drop out (as they all responded, and she was dead silent in all these new simultaneous “wars” she started, and never came back. I was frustrated on how hard she was on them, who never did anything to her, compared to how relatively soft she had been with KRS and Sparky, who actually had started with her. This actually became the occasion for KRS to take another shot at her, as he even opened Lyte’s response, which also looped a sample of his harsh dis of her in “The Bridge Is Over”).

A new generation of rappers would eventually revive the “QB” name, most notably Nas. But by that time, I was so disgusted by the way rap had gone (of which the KRS hard core style “victory” was the par-for-the-course travesty), I no longer followed anyone (other than the Christian rappers appearing at Big Splash, particularly the Bronx-bred “Storytellas”, and would otherwise only know of the most popular secular raps you heard everywhere. I at times did watch Video Music Box or Yo! MTV Raps to keep up to date in the rap scene for awhile, in addition to hearing my brother’s stuff that he played or recited parts of, but gradually lost interest).

This was the age where the aggression and violence rapped about were starting to spread to real life, and the whole image embraced the worst stereotypes of blacks and criminality, which were at the same time, festering virtually unanswered across the tracks in the white conservative sphere, which is figuring heavily in their now being able to rise up to elect a rather bizarre choice for president, with clear racist connections, and now their voice becoming more loud and radically blatant in what’s being called the “alt-right”, as a major rash of police, steadily taking out blacks in the streets occurs, and blacks criticized for complaining about it, because “look at all your thuggery and murders in the cities”!
(I just now find another good “allstar” positive message rap, from ’91, “Heal Yourself” from the H.E.A.L. Human Education Against Lies ‎– Civilization Vs. Technology album, featuring KRS, Run DMC, Kane, Salt & Pepa, etc. I of course knew about “Stop The Violence”/Self-Destruction”, and West Coast’s “All in the Same Gang”, but these messages fell on deaf ears, while the whole “gangsta” theme it was speaking against, and were supported by many of the same acts, was what was taking over).

As late as almost 10 years ago (until the Marley/Poet collaboration), reflecting how KRS “won” over Queensbridge (after discovering and contributing to the Wiki article, and then KRS claiming to be “Hip Hop incarnate” and talking about creating a hip hop nation), and how it figured archetypally with all the life issues I was ruminating over in my own midlife battles (where the “strong” always “win” in this world), I was imagining, wishing I could go back in time and write the much needed response to “Numero Uno” and send it to Poet or someone. I would have taken an intellectual approach to match KRS’ (us being the same [Keirsey] “Intelligence Variant”; NTP “Engineer”, see below), which I believe was the real key to matching wits with him. (I would have gone [practically] line-by-line, responding to all those big swelling words and claims!)
Shan fought with a more defensive stance (though titled “Kill That Noise”), while Poet took the opposite extreme, of almost pure aggression (especially in the second record). It was intellect KRS had the final word with in “Numero Uno”, which the rap rubbed in their faces; with the aggressive tone only adding the further “street cred”.

Poet would say in an interview somewhere, he initially gave up, because KRS was becoming too big. There actually was another record after the second KRS diss, c.’89, which should have been the response to “Numero Uno”; that was called “Massacre”, and is typically battle themed, but is very general (as common at that time), and does not mention any names or rap line references.
I find this out not too long before the Marley-produced reconciliation, through internet resources where I would follow Poet’s career and see that he afterward joined other groups off and on, and would occasionally take little retrospective (though anonymous) shots at KRS (bearing that same latent old resentment as Shan, who guest starred in one of these raps), up into the 2000’s. “The Bridge was never over, we left our mark”, one of these went. But that’s not how it looked! What it looked like (as KRS is retelling it now) is that an all new “QB” was effectively created by Nas! It’s actually not so much about “Queensbridge”, which is a place; a housing project that will probably always be there. It was really about the “Juice Crew”, which was “over” after all that, and Nas and the new QB rappers are not considered apart of.

When reading of these little-known responses, it was like the whole thing was so foul. KRS “won”; his victory narrative firmly established, and by now pretty big, he could brag about it in a “matter-of-fact” way, and the presumed “taken-out” losers seemed to give up in ’88, and can now only make these passive-aggressive little “ancient history” references up to over a decade later when everyone else and all of rap had long moved on and no one else was even thinking about that battle anymore.

Just now, in getting the above list of entries from the Wiki article, in converting this from a comment (on the Roxanne article) to its own post, I find that an earlier one of these raps, called “Without Warning” (performed as “PHD”) was a more direct response, sampling two bits of “Numero Uno”, but was otherwise similar to “Massacre” in being very general (i.e. addressing “rappers/MC’s” rather than naming one in particular. He does respond to one of the samples at the end, with “You called me soft? What are you, bassin’?” and “Did I serve those punks? [yes]”. It was also ’91, which was three years after Numero Uno already. ⦅The rap is so clean in language though, compared to what was by then popular, and even his other stuff on the same album; with only one “N” word, and so seems older than that⦆).
I would never hear of this or any of the others.

This ended when KRS put out the album with Marley which included a track with Blaq Poet. In the main track, “Rising”, he even spoke well of Shan, in explaining in the rap why a diss record was the only way he could get into the industry back then.
You didn’t hear much from Shan, who seemed to have retired completely from the industry. When you did hear from him in interviews, you could detect this long-standing old resentment. (In total contrast, Blaq Poet would two years later do an interview saying, regarding working with KRS, “What we did back in the day was real hip-hop. We didn’t really battle face-to-face but we got s___ out. Go back to making your songs because you’re going to waste the whole rest of your career talking about this nigga? Nah. Get it over with. Let the fans decide who won the battle. It’s not like you’re going to stop selling records. There’s too much pride and people are getting punked.”

Temperament/Type: the likely “personality” side of the clash

Becoming familiar with personality theory during this time, and typing everyone I could think of, Shan stood out as as a “Melancholy” temperament, which is very common in the black community. A pure Melancholy is likely an ISTJ type (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging), whose main world view is called “introverted Sensing”, which filters reality through past fact and experience.
So the type can hold on to a lot of resentment and never forget or let it go; hence being named “melancholy” in the first place. Yet, being introverted, it can be rather passive. So rather than venting quickly, they will hold it in, maybe even appear to pass it off and move on (which they will often pitch as a philosophy in life, especially when giving advice to others), but nevertheless let it build up and explode, after many years of non-resolution.

KRS on the other hand seems to be an ENTP (extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving) or the Sanguine-Choleric. This is a combination of the two “extroverted” temperaments, which (as most “classic temperament” profile systems testify) then seems to amplify the aggressiveness of both. (The other blend of the two, the similar ESTP, is the Choleric-Sanguine, which is also pretty aggressive).
KRS is obviously very “intuitive” or “conceptual” (being a Five Percenter and/or the Egyptian “Khamet” [i.e. Metu Neter], which are very “heady” intellectual religious concepts, with his name standing for “Knowledge Reigns Supreme”, which likely has a whole deep theme behind it, as do other Five Percenter and Khamet names and concepts), and seems to show Ti and Ne (introverted Thinking with extraverted iNtuition) “genius”. (BTW, Shan was also reportedly once a Five Percenter, but left. Never heard of anyone leaving the religion. This to me, is another evidence of an S preference, as S’s might not remain as intellectually committed to something like that).

I believe this “N” focus also leads to a problem, in concepts like “Criminal Minded”, and with the guns on the cover and all, which he always said was not promoting violence, but really is metaphorical [i.e. iNtuitive perspective] for street smarts (he has said specifically, the album cover means “think violently, but act righteously”), and rap battle skill. This seems to end up getting taken literally [especially a tendency for those with a more Sensory focus] by many people.
And the processing of these implications will be largely subconscious, and thus can start being acted out without even thinking of it. (KRS himself acted it out in the well known PM Dawn attack, in retaliation for a verbal offense that wasn’t even on record). That’s why I believe these concepts did still promote violence, even if they say they didn’t intend to.

Like the whole “take you out” expression, or “slaying MC’s”, KRS’s “bodybags” (“My Philosophy”), etc. which all literally mean murder, but of course are really metaphors for defeating rivals on the mic. However, during this time, the imagery was becoming more graphic, including guns, and even this far back, while the Bridge War never became physically violent, it could have, with Poet reportedly threatening to go after BDP armed (and he would say in one of the later raps that thankfully it never came to that), and then Just Ice would threaten the same when Poet dissed him.
So of course, a lot of the aggressive words are also defensive, against disses or even real life offenses, and thus would fall under self-protection (survival), which is a more “practical” [S] cause. Intuitive or not, who’s going to ignore actual threats from someone else?
This will add to the whole image being promoted and then, outright glorified (or at least “romanticized”). So then, beefs between industry factions would famously begin leading to death in the 90’s.

What it looks like, is that the rappers saw no contradiction in the different messages they were sending because they seemed to assume or expect people would take the whole “criminal/violence” imagery figuratively, but then take the calls for stopping the actual violence literally. But they didn’t realize that in many people’s psyches, it doesn’t get sorted out that way, and what actually ends up happening is that the violent imagery is what takes hold and gets acted out [i.e. literally], while the calls to peace are then brushed off or ignored, as (at best) an impractical hypothetical ideal that can’t actually be lived up to. Again, who can survive if we’re not prepared to fight and kill or be killed ourselves? We hope people will listen to “reason”, but if they don’t, then what else can we do but be tougher than they are?

Where other recording geniuses, such as Stevie or Steely, seem to be more Ti with Se (extraverted Sensing), which is useful for the melody and harmony of [true] “music”, rap has mainly the rhythm (with sampled or electronic background music beneath it), and is otherwise really spoken poetry (set to the rhythm), and thus doesn’t need as much of the Sensory mastery required for writing and playing full music. (A lot of artists advocating traditional music structure often complained about rap, and also other electronic styles, and how anyone could just throw it all together without even knowing how to play an instrument).
So the mastery lies in the words, rhymes and concepts.

ENTP is actually considered “role-informative”, which is softer than “directive communication”. This, from the more light and airy Sanguine being in the “social” area, represented by the E and the “open” P. (Classic temperaments intro, see: But in the leadership area, it’s the harder Choleric, which is the NT, which is about “mastery”, and is very competitive, and doesn’t back down. He does seem very “directive”, (acknowledging I could be wrong), but the next similar type, ESTP (which is common in the black community, especially in the “party” scene), I doubt, because I think he’s a clear NT.

(The “directiveness” analogue for the leadership area is “structure focus”, which definitely fits, and can lead to similar communication and behavior. And the Sanguine in the leadership area would not be as persistent in a battle.
Poet might very likely be an ESTP, the way he came out swinging fiercely, including at Just Ice and several other MC’s in another concurrent rap back then ⦅”eighty sa’en, I was crazy sa’en…” he recounts in “Bio”⦆; but quickly dropped it. Shanté might be that type also, behaving pretty much the same way.
Then there’s the ENTJ ⦅pure Choleric⦆, which is the next type I would go for [for KRS] if this is wrong, but he doesn’t really seem like a J, and his Thinking seems introverted (stimulated by internal analysis), not extraverted (guided by an external, totally “objective” standard), which the J would be indicating. ⦅He also “parents” with it, in the whole “Teacher” theme, with “Parent” being the archetypal complex carrying the auxiliary function, by which we reach out to support or “teach” others⦆. The “directive” Choleric in the social area would be more “dry” or aloof-seeming in interviews and lectures.
On the other hand, in a recent FB type discussion, someone suggested LL was ESTP, but he actually seems more like KRS in overall personality, including having to have the last word, so I think ENTP. His background most likely not as rough as KRS, that’s why he doesn’t seem quite as “hard”, and he didn’t become as “philosophical”, so he would represent the more familiar “lighter” side of Ne dominance. Moe Dee might be INTP, like me. Similar to KRS with the lyrical ingenuity, but introverted, and thus not as aggressive).

But while Sanguine is “friendly”, it is also still aggressive, with a “hot temper” like the Choleric. They just don’t hold on to it as long. I could tell you about an ENTP typology friend, who loudly defended my wife and I from a restaurant owner or whatever, who wasn’t being totally nice (and she now seems ready to battle, over the escalating race-and-politics issues, in her new home state). The Sanguine often rapidly “swings” between emotional states. But the addition of the Choleric will give it more of an “anchor” on the aggressive side.

So KRS when he’s talking (not rapping) carries the “friendly” air of an “informative” type, and even his teaching style is very pleasant, where other types are very “dry”. So he looks like he’ll easily accept you and be cool with you, as long as you’re not attacking or dissing him. The social Sanguine (“Inclusion” area, or “Interaction Style” in type) is readily accepting of anyone. If you get into a beef, then he responds rapidly and brutally and won’t back down. This is the Choleric, in the area of “Control” (or “leadership” or “action”, which is ultimately what Keirsey’s temperament groups are about), with the Sanguine’s social ‘extroversion’ (expressiveness) only fueling the fiery reaction. Yet at the same time, if time passes, and the other side is willing to quash the beef, then the accepting Sanguine will readily restore friendship and bear no resentment. And this is what we saw with the Marley and Poet collaboration.

30th year: The beef resumes!

So forward to this [past] year (as of 2016), Shan began doing new interviews, and basically reignited the old beef, and you can just hear all the old resentment coming out. Not following rap regularly, I would occasionally hear about this this past Spring, likely from Facebook posts, but didn’t follow up on it, and the months passed. You can see this progress here (this last one, just posted today; i.e. original “Roxanne” article comment time), with Shan even freestyling a 3+ minute rap in an over the phone interview (which really should have been done back in ’87), and then KRS in his usual fashion, quickly responding with a “hardcore” track.

Shan naturally resents the claim that KRS “took him out”, and having to live with the ‘stigma’ of “losing” the battle. (The final trigger was an instance where KRS was battling someone else who mentioned Shan, and then claimed in a triumphalistic way “I took Shan out already“!)
He would claim he wanted to record a response to “The Bridge Is Over”, but Marley Marl stopped him. (Likewise, he has a video saying Simmons similarly stopped LL from responding to Shan’s dis of him, “Beat Biter” Edit: I also would hear KRS specifically paid off Marley to stop Shan from responding!)

So all of this coming out now is 30 years late (which KRS makes certain to mention in his response track). It looks odd to hold that for so long, and only now come out with it (it looks “passive-aggressive”, which is basically, in street lingo, all the more “weak”, so he better come back strong and stick with it), but this is how an introverted, but “directive” Si type will respond. Extraverted non-SJ’s will more quickly get into and out of a fight and think less about it. Also, ENTP is what’s called an “Aligning” type (Ti/Fe), where ISTJ is “Ordering” (Te/Fi). So tertiary Fi (introverted Feeling) is likely playing a part in Shan’s approach, and is not syncing with KRS’s tertiary Fe (extraverted Feeling), which favors external harmony and was evident in the willingness to resolve the issue in a conciliatory way (plus, on the function’s less positive side, all his “[down] with us/against us” lines, like in the old battles).
I also wonder if Shan could be possibly INFP, which is a Phlegmatic or Supine, which are also pretty passive, and also even more likely to allow others to control them. The type is very close, cognitively, to the ISTJ, using the same functional perspectives in a slightly different order. I think I often don’t recognize fellow Supines in the black community because they, from what I’ve seen, learn to hide their passive temperament behind the street toughness they adopt from others (where I had the Choleric in the mix that resisted peer pressure to change my behavior). So they will generally look like all the Melancholies on the surface.
If so, Si would be tertiary (like it is for me), and still hold on to resentments like this, perhaps even more than the mature Si of SJ types.

If for some reason that much time had passed on a beef with me, and I still had resentment, but the other person was that friendly in resolving it, I might not have been able to just let it go like that, but would still appreciate the olive branch, and find some way to express my frustration over the negative consequences, and not come out swinging like Shan did.
KRS really spoke well of Shan, on record (in “Rising”, even going as far as to call “the Bridge” a “dope rhyme”; now he’s of course taking it all back), and in interviews (saying he wouldn’t have had a career if Shan had ignored him, but he didn’t, because “he knew what hip hop is”). I would never be able to come out like this with someone who turned to speak well of me like that. I’m not sure what I would do. Perhaps do the interview freestyle, but not attacking like that, but nevertheless calling out the assertion made. Really, I would prevent such a scenario in the first place by never having quit the battle to begin with, even if it meant leaving Marley right then. Nothing good could ever come out of swallowing something like that.
I would only come out like that once it is established that the beef is still on or at least unresolved.

If KRS is an ENTP, then Si is inferior, which is also fairly unconscious, but being several months older than I am (and thus also in midlife), should figure more in consciousness now, as you can see evidenced in his rap “Rising” covering the recollections of how the beef started (which includes great detail, though not perfectly remembered. This to me is another evidence of him being an “Inquiring Awareness” or Si/Ne compatible type, and with the Ti/Fe also, an “Enhancing” Intentional Style). So he will have a nostalgic recount of history, which we do see a lot from him elsewhere (like most notably in 1993’s “Outta Here”, which greatly resembled “Rising”; and he will bring up past facts, like against Shan now), but it is still part of an “inferior” complex, and avoidant or at least intimidated by too many negative past facts and details. For me, as a similar type: the introverted counterpart, Si moves up to tertiary, and is similarly nostalgic, and vulnerable-feeling. Though it is also closer to consciousness; close enough to really flare up at past negative occurrences.

Shan’s dilemma, and key mistakes

But as these are but divisions of reality, neither perspective is more “right” than the other, and the past is something that can come up (from the “shadows”) and wreak havoc, and so should be dealt with.
Given the overall “narrative” that has become entrenched, the man does have a lot of reason to be resentful! He got the really bum deal out of the whole thing. So upon studying the whole battle (especially when contributing to Wikipedia and learning all the details behind the scenes), I began lamenting the irony of KRS being angered by Magic, and yet he and Marley walk out of it with their careers unscathed (even getting bigger, in fact), while Shan takes the fall for their actions. Former Juice Crew rapper Craig G even later turned against him and effectively rubbed this in his face in a rap. Now hearing that Marley specifically kept him from fighting back more, makes it all the more messed up.
And Shan also points out the business aspect of it, where Marley (actually his cousin) was very shrewd, and as with as many other producer-performer associations, apparently did not give him all he was due. He also says Cold Chillin’ label CEO Fly Ty especially, was screwing them as well.
(So he also focuses on the money aspect of it, answering the natural charge that he’s probably only doing this now because he “needed money”. So he’s claiming to have been doing well over the years, with the proceeds off of the hit single Snow collaboration “Informer” and others).

If Marley was really the problem, you wonder why, as KRS says, he didn’t pick up the battle all of that time inbetween (after he parted ways with him). But what he seemed to always express during that whole period, was that he ‘didn’t have to’ respond; for “I gave him a career already” (As KRS acknowledged in “Victory”) [edit: quote in comment below]; “it made us more famous”, etc. Even on “Kill That Noise”, his answer to being accused of saying hip hop started in Queens was simply “they’re only trying to jump on the bandwagon” (which Cool C would only take and throw back at him). However, when you look at retrospective comments on the battle, like in social media or YouTube posts, “He gave him his career” is not what you usually see. “The Bridge is Over” is often lauded as the greatest diss track ever, and KRS’s albums from back then as the among the best in hiphop. J-Lo famously sampled “South Bronx” in “Jenny From the Block”, and Wikipedia reports “The Bridge is Over” as “one of the most sampled hip hop songs in hip hop history” (listing nine tracks that sample it!)
How will all this look on the one being dissed? Not “He’s better, because he gave him his career”. These references made me think, were J-Lo and the others thinking “Oh, this rap I’m using wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for Shan”, or were they thinking “KRS put out something so ingenious, I want to use it!”? You don’t [usually] see any such credit given to Shan; it’s only on very rare occasions, but then always answered by someone else with the final word, “the Bridge is over!”

While not quite as braggadocious as LL and the other “kings” on the mic, he did have an arrogant streak, as in the way he treated Kane, and apparently Craig G as well, and stuck his nose up at joining in “The Symphony” rap. (But then he says he opted out because he knew Marley wouldn’t give them the money for it. He used to say they were just making a “tape”, like for fun or something, but then would make them into records, and not pay the performers).
So he basically isolated himself, and also underestimated the outside threat before him, until it was way, way, way too late.

If that weren’t enough, I’m reading that (likely based on this “I gave him his career” notion), they would do shows together, and KRS would perform “The Bridge Is Over”, and Shan would basically play along with it! In fact, Juice Crew member Masta Ace has a video (YT v=YkMYu_wGEZA) pointing this out, and saying “You get on stage, with a guy who’s dissing you…the song is dissing you, and you’re doing ad-libs. Once that happened, it’s over! It’s squashed! There’s nothing else that needs to happen, just high five; keep it moving”, and thus begging them to stop this now. (I say, these “ad-libs” would have been the perfect time to spring a surprise rebuttal on him; like his line from “Da Bridge 2001”, and then, could throw in “I gave you your career”!) There was also the similar well-known Sprite commercial, showing them in a boxing ring, with the groove of “The Bridge Is Over” playing, and they both ad-lib something to the effect of KRS winning (something about being knocked out by Kris). Even back then, I didn’t like that whole image being presented!
(BAD MOVE! What this was doing was creating a “routine” act where you’re the “patsy“; basically sort of like Abbott & Costello. No one thinks of Costello’s role as “giving Abbott a career”. I would never do something like that! You don’t do something like that all that time, and then do a turnaround and revolt against it later.
This is one of the things that makes him sound Supine or Phlegmatic, where I, again have the Choleric in the mix, that would never go for something like that. Though one thing in favor of being a Melancholy [S type] is not seeing the “implications” of where this would go!)

It also parallels what has happened in politics, where for decades, the conservatives have loudly claimed “truth”, (including a lot of negative rhetoric about blacks, whom liberals were supposedly pampering). Liberals apparently felt they “didn’t have to respond”, for the “culture war” seemed to be going in their favor, and they actually went along with the conservative stereotypes by trying to use government to enforce their ideals, but having no logical argument for much of it. Forward to recent years, and the unanswered rhetoric festers into a solid ‘unrefuted’ narrative conservatives use to validate their views, and then the liberals suddenly wake up to find all of this ignorance erupting everywhere, from the presidential election, to denial of science and various conspiracy theories. Now, the liberals have become more vociferous, in reaction. 

In this light, I should note, right after KRS and Marley’s reconciliation, I myself would then enter a very similar battle online, with a so-called “type expert” who didn’t like me sharing my ideas on a listserve. We would go back and forth off and on at different times, then there was a whole blowout that caught me off guard, and I felt totally humiliated and needed to regroup and move on. This “move on” part would later be used against me. But when I saw how the typological concepts were being twisted (to justify the other person’s own rash behavior based on alleged “shadow” archetype intertype dynamics), and then finally verified my real type (which had to be questioned in order to support the whole premise), the person claimed to feel “attacked”, and suddenly came back fighting, anchored by an [ever since] accusation of me going back on a “truce” we had and reigniting the beef. Not only was it not a real truce, but the person had been making snarky or gloating remarks about the whole affair over the course of months in the interim.
In further clashes (relayed through others), I would (among other things) be chided for “holding on” to that stuff for so long. This was a type for whom Si is “shadow”, so past stuff isn’t as relevant, and should just be forgotten. However, the whole point of the theory is that this stuff, when unresolved, does still remain in the “shadow” from where it does arise and cause problems.

I mention all this, because I can identify with Shan’s position, and made a similar mistake in not taking an opportunity for a better more straightforward resolution earlier on; but the difference is that I didn’t actually play along with it, but was rather dealing with someone who takes a totally different tactic than KRS, in turning the tables and in the end casting you as the aggressor and getting their “last word” by taking the defensive position and shutting you out, but nevertheless still getting their attacks through via others.

So still, it would carry a stigma, as he recognizes now (must have hit him at some point between those 90’s performances and the 00’s track references), and KRS mentioning “taking Shan out” one last time seemed to be the last straw. In fairness to Shan, this is really what “re-ignited” the beef. Yes, he may have “quashed” it on his end by playing along, but if the beef is really quashed, then the winner shouldn’t go gloating about it, for then it’s not really “quashed” on his end; it’s simply “won”, which implies it’s still “a thing”; it’s still implicit; hence being able to be brought up anytime, to be bragged about. (Especially if he ever performs “The Bridge Is Over”, and as an all time hit, how could he not? So it’s technically “past”, but unless the loser has died, it’s still lying dormant, and has the potential to be revived. It’s not a stable situation, it’s a “false-resolution” [scientifically, a “false-vacuum”], as I called my own experience, which is easily unraveled by poking the wound with careless acts or statements). Some say Shan will only add another defeat to the one 30 years ago, and if he would leave it alone, then he would be remembered more for the positive side of his career. But not when KRS keeps bringing up “taking him out”!
So in reality, both of them messed it up!

Where to go from here?

I would like to see them resolve this on stage (and you can throw in the LL-MoeDee battle that never occurred; that LL had apparently shied away from back in the day), and hope Shan can do it, not being as active as KRS all these years, and appearing [visually] frail (which KRS and everyone is attributing to the crack I believe he has admitted to recovering from). Though he has actually started to release a few new singles, (adopting the modern 90’s to the present Eminem etc. influenced rap style, which is of course hardcore and vulgar), and he does seem to still have the voice. He does say he has pages of rhymes written for him, that he “won’t know where all of this is coming from”. Wow; 30 years of held-in resentment, welling up like that!
KRS released a second single dissing him, apparently part of an album project coming out, and he’s basically waiting for a response. Shan’s responses now are mostly by interview. It sounds like when asked, Shan is pointing to the moneymaking aspect of the situation. It’s pointed out that this might actually sell. Some commenters are saying this is just what hip hop needs today, since they’re all in agreement that the modern Southern based style has rendered hip hop “dead”. So I hope that doesn’t become a cop-out.

While he’s making much of the fact that they never had a live battle, and thus Shan couldn’t have been “taken out”; it’s still true, that the battle could have contributed to his downfall, or at least on the surface, it looks like it. So that technically would be “taken out”. He draws the analogy to him dissing LL, so he obviously didn’t “take him [LL] out”. But if it had created the “stigma” he even testifies to, then it could be said he [Shan] was taken out. (By the time of his second album, you had “I Pioneered This”, which was already protesting an apparent belief that he “fell off”! That’s how it was starting to look even back then! He would then have only one other album after that). But instead, LL never went out; he got bigger and bigger in fact, and that’s what makes the comparison impossibly false. (With Cool C, who he also mentions, he was already being barraged by KRS, so for that reason, no one would ever attribute taking him out to this one-record act that briefly joined in. However, the similar Mitch Ski, who did a similar diss record around the same time, would actually claim in that record that he, representing “Brooklyn”, took out the Bridge, while South Bronx only “helped us out”. That’s what Shan could have mentioned.
BTW, Cool C, hooked up with Steady B in rhyme and in real life crime, has for years been on death row for a murder, which kept getting stayed, while Steady faces a lesser life in prison as an accomplice; see

The response (both spoken and the rap) Shan has done so far seem good (even liked by some commenters). KRS’s disses are ingenious and intimidating, but there are holes in them you can go after, which Shan did in the interviews. Like mocking his “four, three, two, one”, and some sort of scatting he was doing (“deedle, deedle, deedle” or something like that), which are basically “filler”, which may make for an ingeniously nice sounding product as in many of his raps, but (as in that case), it can get silly (Shan called him a “Care Bears rapper” on that), where again, a more intellectual content would be stronger. Crediting Nas for resurrecting QB, by claiming “Shan” is just “Nas spelled backwards”, while again, a strong insult, is also really silly if you think about it.

Shan also pointed out “You ain’t even from the Bronx”, which was a great slam, but again, is 30 years too late, as the whole Bronx vs Queens aspect of the battle is long past relevance. Perhaps that would have been in his immediate response to “The Bridge Is Over”, where it would have been a perfect comeback, instantly blowing up the whole premise he built his career on! (Or at the very least, should have been in the 90’s ad-libs). We would possibly look back on that battle very differently today. (Though perhaps it wasn’t as widely known back then that KRS wasn’t originally from the Bronx. They all seemed to grant it to him, and he did live in the Bronx at the time. I remember hearing later, that he had been in Brooklyn before, and this where he was actually born, and I immediately thought this made the whole “South Bronx” premise ironic, but it wasn’t until later, with him telling more of his life story, including where he had been homeless and basically all over the place, that it was more clear).

Being an introverted Thinking (TP) type like me, logical consistency is what our rational drive is, and we like to pick out inconsistencies in others’ logic (and even our own). You see him doing this all the time, when discussing race and politics (like Malcolm X, who he is rather similar to, and I also believe was ENTP). But we of course are not perfectly logical, and so will miss inconsistencies in our own logic, especially once the ego becomes fixated upon a particular view of something. Hence his weak spot will be inconsistencies, like claiming to be a peacemaker while promoting beef and violence (which my Ti easily recognized. It’s judged “false” or “incorrect” according to my own analysis of the situation).
There’s also several videos of old guys from the Bronx questioning some of his recounts of the history of hip hop up there, especially regarding the Zulu Nation. (Which would figure all the more being he wasn’t originally from there. Again, Si is inferior if he’s driving off of dominant Ne, which can get caught up in inferred ideas and outright flights of fancy if not grounded enough with the judgment function (to determine if they’re “right”). And those guys interviewed might be the typical ISTJ’s whose whole main perspective is Si, so they would remember everything clearly. I also always could never figure the claim of Brooklyn having no hip hop because of the “Dreads” [Rastafarians]; and what this even had to do with the distant Queensbridge area).

Evidence of this is “shadowy” (rash, sudden) reactions when these inconsistencies are pointed out. The PM Dawn rapper reportedly had claimed KRS was not “practicing what he preached”, supposedly leading to the physical attack on him. He was trapped and the intellect had reached its end; he felt his integrity was at stake or questioned, so he reacted (Daemonic extraverted Sensing, taking the tangible opportunity to bum rush the show) and then came up with a very non-intellectual blanket justification; that he was “light attacking darkness” or something like that.
(No explanation of what defined light and darkness in that case and what determined him being on the “light” side. He was the one caught in a lie! A “daemonic” eruption like that can undermine your aims. This deeply “shadow” complex not only reacts against perceived attacks on one’s integrity, but is also “pathologically narcissistic” as well.

I just now see in an edit for this, that this actually led to Das Efx and Ice Cube jumping in, to likewise call him a hypocrite, and he released “We In There” basically calling out their whole “gangsta” image ⦅e.g. they just “bit” Criminal Minded⦆, saying they aren’t actually down to shoot nobody, ⦅i.e. like they’re always rapping about⦆, and are not actually “running from the police”, but would instead make good prey for prison rapists. Never heard this, and never knew he actually went after the gangsta premise, including a major West Coast rapper, whom, [even he] apparently never responded.

You always used to think of the contrast between the tough street “hood” who is either not very intelligent, or if he is intelligent, it is mis-directed and never put to good use; and the diametric opposite intellectual “nerd”, who couldn’t last a day in the streets and thus stays inside in the books, and this guy is like the total “coniunctio” of the two; the best of both wrapped up in one!)

In a more organized “battle”, such as a show, or even response tracks, where it’s already clear you’re battling the other person, and you’re already saying all sorts of hard disses against him, hopefully he wouldn’t get physical like that, but he could still be trapped in his own words. (And if he does have to resort to getting physical, he’s basically lost!)
For now, the internet is conveying the battle, and that’s allowing both sides to get their shots in. Fueling the fire was Karceno4life, who has been rigorously chiding Shan for reentering the battle (which will “just make the defeat worse”, and talking about “you didn’t learn the first time; he has to ‘school’ you all over again”), and leading to an actual social media battle between the two of them. (Twitter—>Instagram video—>YouTube).

When hip hop started, battles were on the mic. When they became big enough to start making records, in the 80’s, then battles were on “wax”.
So now, the internet is the new medium, and we really don’t have to wait for a new record to be pressed anymore for them to answer each other. (Like commenters on these videos argue either way, and so the fans, once totally voiceless can be like the foot soldiers launching the two sides’ attacks against each other for them. So some have pointed out, for instance how Shan is the one who tells the truth, while KRS, or the YouTuber himself distorts things.
Of course, social media doesn’t require the same skill as the mic; whether live or even in the record studio. But it’s something, now). At least Shan got to finally break his silence, and “Kill That Noise” is no longer his final statement in the battle. Perhaps some sort of resolution can come through that.

So if they do have their showdown, in whatever form, then perhaps afterward, they too can finally team up, as other fans seem to be wishing.

  1. Here, I’ll post some of the trimmings I just did of the Wikipedia article
    So you can see more of the lyrics involved. Too many lyrics had been posted, (I had started off posting certain clips, to serve as the “source”, then others added more and more as time went on, including nearly all of Poet’s “Beat You Down”), and the Wiki really isn’t for all that. There was also a lot of speculation, with absolutely no evidence (this is called “original research”. Worst examples in red. Again, I did some of this, in my early uninformed days on the wiki —”twenny-o-sa’en, I was crazy sa’en“—, but others came and added a lot more. While the article was tagged with “multiple issues”, I’m surprised no one else came and deleted all this, if not the whole article itself, as kept happening with “LL-KOOL Moe Dee”).

    In a more recent interview on THE FOUNDATION (Jayquan), Shan defended and explained the misunderstood line:

    JQ: Did you ever say in any song, interview or anywhere that Hip Hop started in Queens ?
    Shan: I only said HOW it started in QUEENSBRIDGE, not (all) over the world. The new Source magazine says I still stand on the fact that Hip Hop started in Queens – writers get it twisted. The song the Bridge starts off saying M.C. Shan & Marley Marl in the house tonight – they wanna tell you a story about where THEY come from.[3]

    [Note: This is still in the text, but this and a few others are reprinted here to show the contexts]

    But KRS continued to play upon the “response to the claim that hip hop started in Queens” premise with his next response, “The Bridge Is Over”, featuring lyrics such as:

    What’s the matter with your MC, Marley Marl?
    :”Don’t you know that he’s out of touch?
    :”What’s the matter with your DJ, MC Shan?
    :”On the wheels of steel Marley sucks
    :”You better change what’s coming out your speaker
    :”You’re better off talking ’bout your wack [[Puma SE|Puma sneaker]]
    :”Cause Bronx created hip-hop, Queens will only get dropped
    :”You’re Still tellin’ lies to me

    Shante, mentioned in a very vulgar reference in “the Bridge Is Over”, released a rap titled ”'”Have A Nice Day””’, [[ghostwriter|ghostwritten]] by Juice Crew colleague [[Big Daddy Kane]] (who was not otherwise personally involved in the battle), in which she took a shot at Boogie Down Productions with the line:

    :”KRS One, you should go on vacation,
    :”with a name sounding like a wack radio station.
    :”and MC Scott La Rock, you should be ashamed,
    :”when T La Rock said ‘it’s yours’, he didn’t mean his name

    As she also demanded that BDP stood for ”Broken Down Punks”.

    Shan continues recounting in the FOUNDATION interview:
    “Mr. Magic dissed BDP and said some stuff about their record on the radio, and he [KRS] made me the target. I wasn’t gonna keep ridin’ that Kris/Shan thing…people kept sayin “why aren’t you answering back”? I’m like why?…I gave him a career already.” []

    After “Kill That Noise”, Shan himself became more passive in the battle, as the above statement indicated. But meanwhile, Two other Queensbridge residents, ””’Rockwell Noel””’ & [[Screwball (group)|Poet]], joined in the battle, resulting from the inferior responses from MC Shan and the Juice Crew offering the strongest attack against BDP. Their first single was entitled ”'”Beat You Down””’, in which he reiterates that no one actually said that hip hop started in the Bridge, but then points out that the area was nevertheless very prominent in the early days of rap, and even had superior sound equipment, causing it to surpass the Bronx as the leader of hip hop.

    :”BDP is trying to dis, we know that they’re on it
    :”Every time we make a record, they get disappointed
    :”Nobody said hip hop started out in the Bridge;
    :”but now you’ve dissed all of Queens, so we know how you live
    :”You try to get paid talkin bout my town;
    :”when I battle you punk, I’mo beat – you – DOWN

    :”How could you say the Bridge is over? We’ve just begun;
    :”you soft sucker MC, KRS-1
    :”Can you believe it, party people? He raps like a rasta!
    :”Boogie Down Productions are full of imposters;
    :”They say things, that are not true
    :”Now the Poet and Noel will break it down to you;
    :”Bronx started hip hop, but couldn’t maintain it;
    :”now they’re gettin jealous ’cause Queens has made it:
    :”THAT’s why those suckers are trying to dis;
    :” ’cause we’re getting paid, and they’re getting pissed!

    :”Now back in the days when Hip Hop began”
    :”Queens was rocking with the hardest jams”
    :”Over there in the Bronx you jammed with house speakers”
    :”We was rocking bass bottoms, and JBL tweeters”
    :”Bound up and down, Richard Long bound”
    :”Was Infinity Machine and Nu Sounds”
    :”You say that the Bronx is rocking the place”
    :”When you just got put on to sub bass”
    :”Man, the old school, they used to duel”
    :”And of course Nu Sounds was the ones who ruled”
    :”The Infinity Machine taking out power”
    :”Ever since the days you been all on ours”
    :”Yes we had the jams that was worth a lot”
    :”I know you remember when the Bertha rocked”
    :”With the bass so low, it shook the ground”
    :”Man, even back then we was beating you down”

    The line “Rap like a rasta” was aimed at the way “The Bridge Is Over” was recorded, with a [[reggae]] flavor, in a [[Jamaica]]n accent. The track had been one of the first blendings of rap with reggae.
    [This was really a trivial point I added, and now folded part of into the description of the rap. Really, this last sentence, about it being the one of the first blending, which I left there, should at least have some backup reference. And again, that whole block of lines, which others added, was WAY too much!]

    ==Ending and aftermath==
    In 1987, attempting to calm down an unrelated domestic dispute involving BDP colleague [[D-Nice]], BDP’s DJ [[Scott La Rock]] was shot dead. Even after La Rock’s death, the feud still continued.

    [Originally, someone had added a claim that the feud died down specifically because of Scott’s death, but thankfully, someone else somewhere along the way edited it out.

    MC Shan’s song ”'”Juice Crew Law””’ contained several anonymous shots at KRS.

    They don’t even include the alleged examples anymore. In the lyrics printed online now, you see
    “You can be blind but my rhymes still focus
    A sucker tried to violate law and I broke his
    Albums and tapes and his compact discs
    And his boys stood around and said (yo, he dissed you, Kris)”

    It sounds to me more like “kid” than “Kris”, though “Kris” would rhyme better with “discs”. Though the way this is written, “dissed” might be what rhymes with “discs”; sometimes other words are added in the line after the rhyming word).

    Then, there’s “Teach you how to rhyme, say Kris, dummy”.
    That’s clearly “grits, dummy”, taking the line from Roots, where the slavemaster tries to teach Kunta Kinte what grits are (and he ends up thinking “dummy” is apart of the name of the food and says it back to him like that. This reference always made it a memorable line to me).

    These (and the rap in general) could have been worked into fitting responses to some lines of “Numero Uno” we shall see below. In any case, this is not clear enough evidence. We shall see more examples of this, coming up.

    What’s worse, is the entry on the album itself, Born To Be Wild ( ) which at this time, includes equally bad editorship:

    MC Shan’s second album Born to Be Wild became another one of his master works. With the production work of Marley Marl, MC Shan directly attacked Boogie Down Productions with “Juice Crew Law” and ended the silence around the feud. MC Shan’s 1990 release Play It Again, Shan became his third and last album and did not contain any disses or responses to KRS-One.
    (This last point is flatly contradicted by a line in this article, claiming there is a diss in that album; see below).
    I’ll perhaps go and clean that one up sometime.

    Another rapper named Butchy B stepped in for Queensbridge, with ”'”Go Magic””’, which was a [[promotion (marketing)|promotional]] for Mr. Magic’s [[WBLS]] radio show that begins

    :”I heard about you suckers with your Juice Crew Dis,
    :”you went and made a record that the people go and miss”

    and adds

    :”all you suckers with the lipstick need to get a dress;
    :”Looking like a faggot, jocking Mr. Magic,
    :”acting like a parasite, leach or maggot…

    The lipstick reference was aimed at the rival station [[WEPN-FM|WRKS-FM]] (“Kiss-FM”), which used a pair of lips as its [[logo]]. He followed up with ”'”Beat Down KRS””’, in which he among other things, mocks the “didadidadiday” chant of “The Bridge is Over”.
    KRS took minutes to respond. He answered in 1987 on his featured appearance on ”'”Moshitup” ”’ with Just-Ice, from the album ”'”Kool & Deadly” ”’. There, he states

    :”They run they run they run they run they run their lyrics through
    :”But when they finish rhymin you have not heard nuttin new
    :”So this one dedicated to the one that run their rhyme-a
    :”Time after time after time after time
    :”I know what you will say before you jump up on the stage
    :”But make sure you don’t say “[[Morse code|Di-di-di-dah]]-di-di-di-day”
    :”Or I’ll have to look for you and beat you all up
    :”So when you see me in the street just keep your mouth shut

    Note: this was another one of those additions by someone else (I wrote the part about Butchy B’s rap, and then they added this to it later), and I left it in there for a long time, because maybe they knew something I didn’t, and more evidence would surface later; but never did.
    Butchy B’s lines (which I thought I remembered being added, but were not there now) included:
    “You tried the reggae but the people said ‘Please stop!’
    Your music’s sounding like banana boat Hip Hop …
    The people want to boogie but your rhyme is in the way
    You try to rock a party but di-da-di da-di day“.

    But this is a total assumption based on KRS reiterating the “dididadiday” scat. What it sounds like to me, is that it refers to anyone copying KRS (repeating his words as if their own), not someone [in particular] mocking the line in a diss. If Butchy had made up that line, as a paraphrase or mockery of something else, then that would be evidence. As it was, he did change it a bit (to “but di-da-di da-di day”; I think it might actually have been “with thē da-di da-di day”), but it was the original syllables “Di-di-di-dah-di-di-di-day” that were used in this rap, and KRS’ whole theme was everyone copying him. With all the stuff Butchy B said (including “Try to get with me, and you’ll be hanging out with Scott”, making light of the man’s death; this was basically as strong as Poet’s stuff), why would they use just that sound to represent him in a response?

    I always remembered that rap, and the way parts of it were done basically sounded like the vocals were in the background and rapped very fast in a reggae style, and so it was very hard to hear the words.
    I for some reason did get the sense that it might contain shots in the war against the Juice Crew. (Sort of like Deuces Wild’s ad lib shots at Magic and Marley at the end of a Chuck Chillout promotional that played heavily at the time). I once thought I might have heard Shanté’s name in there, at least, but again, you really couldn’t make anything out. Now, with the words readily printed, I might have been hearing the part about the “…stage”.
    Again, I still had this “binary” thinking, that whoever you’re down with must share in your beef against whoever you’re enemies with.

    I had more recently seen an article or interview awhile back, where people did have questions of whether Just Ice had any beef with the Juice Crew, and he said he only had beef with Poet (for obvious reasons. Poet had dissed him and several others, in another record called “All Hell Breakin’ Loose”. One of the lines was “Just Ice: I make him melt“. But Poet wasn’t really in the Juice Crew; just from Queensbridge and stepping up to defend the crew. I, and others, may have assumed that this, plus his friendship with KRS, would set him against the whole Juice Crew). Then, Shan said Just Ice came to him looking for Poet, to physically show down apparently, and he thought he was in Shan’s crew; but they had no beef between themselves.

    So this is an example of very poor Wikipedia editing (in addition to “KRS took minutes to respond” being very non-encyclopedic; it’s vernacular hyperbole). It’s something that may possibly be true, but with the info we have now, it’s neither here nor there. You would need to find a good, clear reference of KRS or Just Ice saying that was aimed at Butchy B. Or if nothing else, Butchy B or some other insider close to him saying he felt it was aimed at him. (And if I could find again the reference I just used as to Just Ice denying he had beef with anyone but Poet, that would be a good source against this claim!
    Also, looking this up, I see this new video by KRS and Just Ice, “Do You”, and is labeled “(Afrika Bambaata and MC Shan Diss)”, which says, among other things, “nobody really cares about your life but you“, which right away would sound like it might fit as a response to Shan’s complaining about the whole affair; but the overall context seems to be, as the actual chorus says “Only you, can do best for you… etc.”, so it sounds more like a “take care of yourself, for no one else will” message. Not only that, but why would they be dissing Afrika Bambataa too, when another big controversy this past year or so has been KRS being defensive of him in his molestation charges, which is actually another big thing Shan, a recently disclosing molestation victim himself, has been harshly criticizing him for? I’ll have to listen to it more when I get a chance. But for now, it sounds as speculatory as some of this Wiki editing.

    In 1988 DJ Rockwell Noel and the Poet followed up with ”’Taking U Out”’, which was even stronger than “Beat You Down”, and harshly attacked both KRS’s then-wife, Ms. Melodie, and rival radio station WRKS’s [[DJ Red Alert]], who was on BDP’s side of the battle. KRS responded with ”'”Still Number 1, the Numero Uno Mix””’, where he calls Poet “soft” and uncreative, and accuses him of “sounding like Kane”.

    :”Ka-Re-eSe Uno es fresco (Spanish for: KRS One is fresh.)
    :”Poet is soft ya know
    :”Do not speak when grown people are speaking
    :”Don’t interrupt the class when I’m teaching
    :”Turn your text-books now to BDP
    :”And see
    :””'”Criminal Minded””’ and ”'”By All Means Necessary””’
    :”I’m sort of like a bounty hunter,
    :”I search for the best and crush the mother________.

    He concludes the song with the lyrics:

    :”Your first mistake was to answer back
    :”to the undefeated master of beating suckers silly
    :”No, I’m not from Philly
    :”My name isn’t Magic, Poet, or Billy
    :”It’s KRS, especially if it doesn’t take you too long
    :”to find out where I shift
    :”And shifted back
    :”To simply say you’re wack
    :”Weak, soft and really never posed a threat
    :”In fact, I haven’t heard a decent lyric from you yet
    :”I’ll bet creativity is something hard to get
    :”As someone does your music and lyrics you slept
    :”So step
    :”Because obviously you haven’t heard about my rep
    :”I am undefeated, allow me to go more in depth
    :”Boy you know – I’m still number one (“one” echos)

    [Again, this many lines is not needed nor appropriate. But you can clearly see KRS’s ingenuity and humongous “ego”, and also something he’s using against Shan now, charges that others write their lyrics for them. (Yet on the other hand, I’ve seen claims that Melody, and I think D-Nice, wrote his stuff; at least earlier on!)
    Should also mention, the first person he mentions in the intro (not printed) as being not down with him is “B-Fine”, who was from Full Force, not the Juice Crew! This is a total mystery that no one seems to have even asked about, and I have no idea what he had to do with any of this, but if anything, they of course produced UTFO, who themselves collaborated with KRS at one point, in a rap called “Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt”. So again, you wonder why B-Fine would be dissed here].
    Rockwell Noel & the Poet never seemed to respond to this. Some have suggested that their 1989 single ”'”Massacre””’ may have been a ‘between the lines’ response [], with Poet making anonymous references like “sucker MC’s try to test me…”.

    I added that claim (in addition to sending the lyrics of that, plus “Beat You Down”, “Take You Out”, “Success Is the Word” and “Advance” to OHHLA [The Hip Hop Archive], figuring these historical raps should be known about), but now realize it’s not a good source, and really no evidence (the guy in that article supports his conjecture with read between the lines, people!”; hardly an acceptable source!) and so took it out.
    A much better entry is “Without Warning”, which I only found out when doing this last Wiki edit, and saw where someone stuck it at the end of the “Beat You Down, Take You Out” line in the track listing, and in bold yet (which itself was wrong. Artists are bold, tracks are italic, like I recreated it above). So what I wrote there turned out to not even be true in the end!

    And here’s some more bad ones (from others):
    In 1988, BDP and KRS-One fuels their feud with the juice crew again with “My Philosophy”.

    :”you walk down the street and get jumped
    :”You got to have style, and learn to be original
    :”and everybody’s gonna wanna diss you
    :”like me, we stood up for the South Bronx
    :”and every sucka mc had a response
    :”You think we care? I know that they are on the tip
    :”my posse from the Bronx is thick
    :”and we’re real live, we walk correctly
    :”a lot of suckas would like to forget me
    :”but they can’t, cause like a champ
    :”I have got a record of knocking out the frauds in a second
    :”on the mic, I believe that you should get loose
    :”I haven’t come to tell you I have juice

    On Shan’s album ”[[Play it Again, Shan]]”, the track “Time For Us To Defend Ourselves” contains a response to “My Philosophy”.

    :”Knowledge ain’t nothin but a book on your shelf
    :”With justice in mind think deep to yourself

    Again; zero verifiability; only an assumption based, in the latter case, on the use of a common word (just like in “Moshitup”). Again, you would need to be able to cite Shan saying that was aimed at KRS.
    In the former, “every sucker MC had a response” would of course include Shan’s “Kill That Noise”, but I would think might also include “Uptown” (can’t even find this one; not even the performer), which directly ripped off the “South Bronx” chant (“Uptown; Up-uptown…”). Following this was Cutmaster DC’s “Brooklyn Rocks The Best”, which was a followup to their hit “Brooklyn’s In the House”, and played off of the Bridge War with it’s intro “You heard that new ‘Uptown’ Jam? You hear about that Queens and Bronx jam? Those jams are fine, but you’re forgetting one thing: Brooklyn rocks the best!“. It’s very general, not specific. So you can’t really claim the rap is an entry in the war, though it does reference it.

    In 1990, Boogie Down Productions released the concept album ”[[Edutainment (album)|Edutainment]]”. It has been praised by critics for its insightfulness and hailed as BDP’s most experimental album. KRS-One took on such topics as politics, racism, self-identity, slavery, black on black violence, police brutality & corruption and even the meat industry. But, even though KRS-One covered a range of subjects, he couldn’t resist a Juice Crew dis.
    On the second track ”'”Blackman In Effect””’ he states:

    :”This is the language of the people ready to hear the truth
    :”I’ve got no juice, ’cause I’m not getting juiced
    :”To have juice means you kiss and lick a lot of booty
    :”To have respect means you simply know or knew me
    :”Heard what I had to say and felt as though you’d say that too
    :”I’m not down with a juice-crew
    :”But anyway I say today the message I create is great
    :”I don’t preach hate, I simply get the record straight

    I listed this one above, as it obviously figures a bit in the war, but this block of lyrics really has no place in the Wiki. Particularly bad is the clear “advertisement” language, about how much the album is “praised”, and the topics it covers (which often gets the article tagged “this article reads like an advertisement”, and it’s what’s called “weasel” words, as it says “critics” praise it without any citations). This is all really a tangent as it is, especially since this is not even really a direct dis. But you see here his “NeTi” intellectual breakdown of what concepts mean (N), and why he deems them incorrect (Ti).
    In particular, Screwball’s “The Bio” and “You Love To Hear The Stories” (a followup to the original “The Bridge”, and which featured MC Shan) recounted the story of him entering the battle, and being basically ignored, and that it thankfully never escalated into physical violence; and the latter pointed to the [[Nas]] album ”[[Illmatic]]” (1994) as proof that “the Bridge is still live”. Key lines from both:

    :”Back when I first laced the wax with rhymes
    :”It was eighty sa’en, I was a crazy sa’en
    :”Niggas tried to diss the Bridge I came bustin’
    :”Even quoted Doug E Fresh sayin we was nothin’
    :”You don’t believe that, you know I called his bluffin’
    :”Made ’em go buy a click and put ’em on patrol
    :”You know P-O-E-T stayed in war mode
    :”My gats stayed unlocked ready to unload
    :”Loungin’ waitin for the drama to unfold
    :”But luckily we never had to go there

    :”Y’all niggas love to hear the stories again and again
    :”Of how it all got started way back then
    :”See it was Marly, MC Shan, the Juice Crew
    :”Queensbridge, hip-hop land, those niggas blew (up)
    :”Nobody said it started there
    :”But some playa hater tried to end a party there
    :”Niggas didn’t care they burned it, put it in the air

    Again, all of these lines are not needed.

    Might as well, in a similar fashion, throw in Poet’s actual response to “Numero Uno” (Nobody had added this —yet. I typed up the lyrics for OHHLA, which had other tracks from the album, but not this title track):

    [Sample: KRS-One “Numero Uno”]
    “Public Enemy is down with us
    but M.C. Poet ain’t down with us!”

    [Drama sample]:
    “I’m not dead; tell yo boss I’m still ALIVE
    and I’m mad as a ??? ”

    [Then does general “ego” rap. Toward the end of the third/final verse]:

    Poet’s everywhere, in the night air
    Like cougar, I’ma do a – demo
    You called me soft, boy, I’ll blowup your limo
    And anybody else that got a little two cents
    I’m the rage, and you’re the nuisance
    I wax the nation of rap’s population
    [KRS: “Poet, you’re soft”] What are you, bassin’?
    You’ve been nominated, to be eliminated
    To be cremated, to be terminated
    Who’s the best? You don’t gotta guess
    Hot Day, did I serve those punks?
    [scratching: “yes, yes, yes, yes…”]

    Left in the article, from “Rising” is a clip of KRS’ recount of history, even praising Shan:

    Answer records were big then;
    after Shante did it, everyone was trying to spit them
    So we spit on…
    To tell you the truth, it was the only way a MC could get on
    We answered MC Shan’s “Queensbridge”;
    A dope jam about where he was from and where he lived;
    But in the Bronx there was these kids
    KRS, Scott La Rock tryin’ to live…

    Here’s the “Encyclopedia of Hip Hop” entry, which either drew largely from Wikipedia, or perhaps this is where people began taking some of the lyrics from.
    It even includes sound clips, and some more lyrics that weren’t on Wikipedia.

  2. See from title track on the sideline on Youtube, new KRS album yesterday:

    A whole album of strong “message” raps, with some ego of course, but not even any “gangsta” themes. Mostly political, and also with themes of unity, black power and the deceased (including “Hip Hop Speaks from Heaven”, which shouts out all the hip hop figured who have passed on, including even “Mr. Magic from the Juice Crew”).
    It seems he left off last year’s feud with Shan, which I had thought was being added to the project of this album. But as the album so reflects the outrageous political climate of the time, culminating with the election of Trump (“the US president; he’s endorsed by the Klan…! “You Ain’t Got The Time”, also samples what sounds like an old Farrakhan speech, making it fit the rhythm perfectly) and the push for the need for unity, I get the sense that these messages were too important to waste time with that.
    This is what hip hop should have been like all along!

    I also today, from seeing this article posted in a FB group
    really liked the first one “EVERYTHING Needs To Be ‘Fixed’”, as a basis for what the dominant Ne perspective is like. I had just been thinking of this, including in conjunction with my assertion that KRS is ENTP. This would make sense, as his main drive has been to fix what he sees as wrong in hip hop and the world, and he makes observations (perceives) a bit more than suggesting specific action. Ne also leads to the lyrical ingenuity, in creating “makeshift” rhymes; one of my favorites “…learn to earn respect. ‘Cause that’s what KR collects“. (Splitting his initials with a syllable of another word filling in for the “S”. Even before I ever heard this, I had imagined if I had been a rapper, having a line like “…’cause that’s who Eric T be…”; i.e. the old street slur that un-conjugates “is/am” back to “be”, filling in for “B”).

    This makes it easier to compare with dominant introverted Thinking, in which your (my) main drive is to determine subjective impersonal “truth”.
    So then Ne says “everything needs to be fixed”. [It’s really judgment (T/F) that makes the ‘rational’ asessment represented by “needs to”; Ne just perceives the occasion of possibilities]. With TiNe, everything only needs to be fixed if not already “true“ (correct). Then, I want to just leave it as is. NeTi will start out seeking things to change, then these things will tend to be more impersonal (T) than [directly] personal (F). So this will go along with him being more aggressive, and the N with the impersonal T is what creates the Choleric behavior.
    “While almost everyone else in the room may be discussing problems the ENTP will be listening. Then, they will deliver the simple solution everyone was working around. Now, the ENTP is often only concerned, and sometimes overwhelmed with the sense of needing to fix, well everything.”

    Also, found a two part video “krs one talks bout mc shan battle”: 1) QcAQrwV3bNk 2) JAIIg3slAz0 in which he reveals some surprising things, such as praising Shan (this is from 2011) as having respect for “following the rules of hip hop” (even though “it cost him his career”), and that LL “fronted” on him when challenged “and lost all respect in hip hop—for that moment at least”; and also him planning to do records against Kane, Biz and the rest of the Juice Crew, but Scott stopped him.

  3. Four years later, and this thing seems to have fizzled out right after press time. In the video below, KRS is calling Shan “my dog” and not even mentioning the revived battle.
    Now, the newest “battle” medium is something called “Verzus”, which started during the COVID lockdown, and is where artitst’s singles are pitted against each other.

    So here, is one way LL could beat KRS, being the more popular of the two:

    He even admitted that his style was more “light and airy” compared to KRS, and so “that could get lost in the messaging”

    Here’s an article making a couple of points from above:

    Juice Crew came out bad and that’s why they was dissing motherfuckers, not giving a fuck about the industry. We had to come out in a different way.
    We couldn’t come out on that Def Jam way—they wasn’t letting nobody in. We had to go to Philly to get on…Philly really put the Juice Crew on not New York. New York blocked us out. When Russell and them was here they wasn’t trying to hear shit. For them it was “we running this shit, we the gatekeepers.” It wasn’t no Russell associated labels, none of that working with us. But I’m trying to make records. I gotta go to my house and make a goddamn record…make something better than them somewhere else. And they was sitting there wondering “what the fuck is he doing in his house?” That’s when I started doing LL’s album and they were like “Nah we don’t fuck with Marley Marl!” LL was like shit….aight. [laughs].

    So Rush really did have hip hop on lockdown, and this is why many of Marley Marl’s acts had to go to Pop Art.
    You would think him being radio partner to leading NYC DJ Mr. Magic would get them on. So while he could support the Juice Crew on air, the issue was getting record deals, and they had to make names for themselves dissing the popular Rush acts. But it shows that I was basically right; rap c.1985 was divided in two, between Rush & co. (and already established MC’s) and everyone else; including Marley’s associates. When Magic then dissed KRS and Scott, that fractured the non-Rush side further.

    In this one (which the first one above was in part answering), KRS comes right out and says he was trying to be in the Juice Crew:

    He says it was not only “Advance”, but also “Elementary”, and “the lyrics of ‘My Philosophy’ but on another beat” that he played for them and were dissed. He acknowedges Shan wasn’t “the King”, but Shanté was the “Queen”. Reiterates how Kane was his friend, and hence them not battling, even though Kane kind of wanted to, and also, because of how the Juice Crew was treating him, he wouldn’t want to “stick his neck out” there for them. (They both lived in East Flatbush at the time, a stone throw from where I grew up and then lived in the area again during the time of the war).
    KRS continues to portray himself as undefeatable; as stepping to him, they should “DETOUR”, or “there will be reconstruction of your entire career”, and so any challengers should “do their homework” (meaning watching his old performances). He also holds up the sleeve for the “Criminal Minded” CD as the proof he could have taken on the whole Juice Crew, as his crew were the first “real time street dudes”. (“Do you think you would have been blast master krs one if the whole entire… master ace, craig g, Kool G Rap; all of them was trying to light you up? Do you think you would have got this far?” “YES!!! in fact i might have went further…”).

    In other big news, Biz is apparently really not doing well these days, and there’s already been a rumor that he has died, which Kane has been sternly denying, even even challenging KRS, LL and others on spreading these rumors. (same Fat Joe “Prophet Muscle” channel as the other videos).
    Edit; toward the end of the month he did finally pass 😦

  4. Amazing read. So I glad I stumbled on this. For clarification, KRS dissed P-Fine, a WNYU rap radio show host, not B-Fine of Full Force. There’s an interview with Shan and Marley in which they preview and then play “Kill That Noise.” Perhaps the dis stemmed from that.

    • OK; thanks! Never heard of him!

      (Don’t think I even knew about WNYU. I know at that point when I began listening to other stations to see if I could catch any raps I was missing, there was this third station with a Sat. night rap show, that wasn’t a regular station; could have been a college station, or what comes to mind is perhaps WNYC or something like that; but I don’t think it was WNYU. Or maybe it could have been. At 89.1, it would have been easy to stumble across. So I take it, that show might be more likely to play anti-KRS stuff, and would have been what I was looking for, that is if I caught it at the right time!)

  5. Could this be the “Revenge of the Bridge/Juice Crew”?

    Much touted Verzus battle between Kane and KRS! Of course, just like in frequent “Which rappers would win a battle” or “…are the GOAT” (Greatest Of All Time) posts on FB, where KRS, Kane, Rakim, LL and a few others are the most frequently brought up, and the fans of each talk about how one would “destroy” the other, you have in the FB and YT comments both sides saying one or the other won. KRS did close out the show and used the opportunity to shout out a triumphalistic “It’s now official! I’m Still #1″; but many fans still begged to disagree!
    Verzus is about hits, and it’s true that KRS had more abums and hits than Kane. Kane at one point suggested freestyle, and it was KRS that said “this is Verzus; we don’t do that ___ here!” (hard to believe him of all people ever saying something like that!) and he then pointed out Kane was running out of hits, but then someone else responded that KRS was “scared”!! Wow!

    One thing Kane fans said I agree with is that he sounded much better. He sounded more natural, while KRS was doing that screaming at the top of your lungs thing (which I believe ruins the sound of the “intelligent” presentation of many of the raps), and then even handing lines to the fans (which might be the essence of the traditional “interactiveness” of the “move the crowd” theme; still, you can hardly hear the crowd fill in the words). Many people pointed out how KRS ended up out of breath!

    KRS of course performed his anti-Juice Crew “South Bronx” and “The Bridge is Over”. To the latter, Kane (me wondering what he’s actually going to do!) says “we can’t let that pass”, and brings out Shanté, who does the first line of her Kane-written “Have A Nice Day”, but doesn’t even get to the part responding to KRS. They then instead bring out a few more of the Juice Crew members for “The Symphony”.

    Kane really is good, and is an excellent match for KRS after all. As I’ve said, if he had gone against him back then, the Bridge wars would have had a totally different outcome! Back in the day, I knew his popular stuff that played on the radio and thought he was pretty good, along with the other early “new-schoolers”, but wasn’t buying albums or anything, and as stated above, fell out of the rap circuit after awhile, so I kind of took him for granted and didn’t know quite the depth of his range of stuff. He was apart of the embattled Juice Crew and remained silent through the whole thing, while others like Rakim and the others KRS always touted, didn’t have that stigma. My main concern back then, was that someone; anyone from the crew rise up and try to win the battle.

    (Interesting that Greg Nice was in the show at one point, and my wife once worked with the girl he was with when he had his heyday in the early 90’s (this was late 90’s to c.2000, after they were no longer together. We joke that when he talked about the “red bone booty” he liked to wax; this is who he was actually referring to! Even before we knew her, his “Dizzy Gillespie plays the sax; me myself, I like to max…”, was a familiar and catchy line I was always repeating! Small world; isn’t it. Two degrees of separation; and thus three degrees from KRS, Kane, and the rest of the rappers!) We eventually lost touch, and I would occasionally look for her online, and it was a few years ago I finally found her IG, and then FB, and reconnected with her. Just yesterday, she posted some new selfies with him, celebrating their 30 years knowing each other! So now, he had just been on this major hip hop event!)

    In any case, as many comments will say, it was “hip hop” who won this night!

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