Boogie Down Productions “Edutainment”: A 30th Anniversary Retrospective

15 min readAug 7, 2020

Rap’s self proclaimed “Teacher” was at a career crossroads after the release of “Self Destruction” and his successful album “Ghetto Music: The Blueprint Of Hip Hop”. Where could he possibly go from here? How about the world of academia?

In February 1989, Jive/RCA released the Stop The Violence Movement’s “Self Destruction” 12". The D-Nice produced posse track became a breakout success, eventually going Gold and raising $250,000 for the National Urban League. KRS One followed that up by releasing Boogie Down Productions’ 3rd LP in as many years, “Ghetto Music: The Blueprint Of Hip Hop”.

The album’s lead single was the D-Nice produced “Jack Of Spades” off the “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” OST but BDP’s profile greatly benefited from the runaway success of the Stop The Violence Movement’s “Self Destruction” which was at one point the quickest selling 12" single in the history of RCA Records, could’ve possibly gone Platinum if only Black radio decided to support it fully.

KRS One followed it up by dropping the single “Why Is That?”/“Who Protects Us From You?” in late May 1989. This song was groundbreaking for many reasons, one being that KRS One broke down IN SONG the genealogy of countless Biblical figures and explained that they were Black/African but the current flawed educational system misleads to populace into thinking they were all White which is the foundation of several things including White supremacist ideologies that still affect us today.

“Why Is That?” took the medium of Rap music and used it as a tool to educate the youth and the masses over a hard ass beat. The flipside spoke to police brutality and harrassment of inner city residents in a simple and easy to comprehend manner. “Why Is That?” took off and became one of the many classic Rap songs that came to define Summer 1989 alongside Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power”, peaking at #5 on Hot Rap Songs and cracking the Top 50 on the Hot Black Singles chart between August 12th and 19th, 1989 while getting little to no support from Black radio.

“Ghetto Music: The Blueprint Of Hip Hop” was released on July 4th, 1989 and immediately became one of the biggest albums of a Summer that included Heavy D. & The Boyz’ “Big Tyme”, Kool Moe Dee’s Knowledge Is King”, LL Cool J’s “Walking With A Panther”, Soul II Soul’s “Keep On Movin’”, Prince’s “Batman OST” & Special Ed’s “Youngest In Charge”.


Host of Dart Against Humanity/Boston Legends. CCO @ Producers I Know/journalist @ Okayplayer/DJBooth/Complex/NPR/Mass Appeal/IV Boston/HipHopWired/KillerBoomBox