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*** 1/2 BOOGIE DOWN PRODUCTIONS "Edutainment" Jive/BMG : Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to five (a classic). :

RECORD RACK

August 26, 1990|JONATHAN GOLD

When you hear a rap song on the radio that disses Socrates for biting from Egyptian philosophers, you can be pretty sure that it's time for a new album from KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions, the conscience of rap.

KRS-One is the Dylan of the South Bronx, a rapper with a hard-core reputation who was the first to take on drugs, homelessness, black-on-black violence. His Stop the Violence movement galvanized the rap community into political action. Last year's "Ghetto Music" went platinum, even though its hit single was a somewhat obscure genealogy of biblical figures; another hit off the album was called "My Philosophy." He's pretty much single-handedly given intelligence street credibility.

On "Edutainment," KRS-One takes on misguided teachers, the government, crooked cops and meat. Hamburgers, to hear him talk, are a drug as addictive as crack, and worse for you. There's a devastating narrative about the short, brutal life of a drug dealer. And the beats, which seem to get rawer with each of his major-label albums, are minimal and tough, also supremely danceable. This is bound to become one of the most controversial rap albums of the year.

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