Controversial Hip-Hop legend KRS-One has come forward to clarify some comments he made about the September 11, 2001 attacks during a discussion panel at the New Yorker conference on October 2, 2004.
After the conference, New York Daily News gossip column team Rush & Molloy published a column alleging that the rapper had "declared his solidarity with Al-Qaeda" and that he, along with other African Americans, "cheered when 9/11 happened.
KRS-One released a statement via AllHipHop to refute the accusations that he was pro-Al Qaeda and to clarify some statements that had been taken out of context.
"I would never just say something as crazy as 'we cheered when 911 happened!' I was just making an objective point about how many Hiphoppas as well as the oppressed peoples of the world felt the day," The Boogie Down Productions leader wrote. "I am a philosopher and a critical thinker. I speak truth and I urge people to think critically about themselves and their environment. Yes, my words are strong. Yes, my views are controversial. But to call me a terrorist is simply wrong."
On September 12, 2011, YouTube banned the video for the KRS-One and Greenie track "Real Terrorism" for being too graphic.
"The song tells the truth about the United States, its massacres, and the terrorists acts our government has committed around the world," Greenie said.
That same day, the video was uploaded to Youtube by a girl who felt the content was "beyond deep" and must be recognized. It has not been taken down.
On Friday, January 25, KRS-One said he was asked during the discussion panel about why "Hiphoppas were not more interested in the war on terror." He was then he if there was a way to get the Hip-Hop community more involved. In response, the rapper, said he was going to put his personal views aside and answer for his people. That being said, KRS-One thinking he had made himself clear that his words were not a reflection of his personal beliefs said, "We cheered when 911 happened." He was angered at the way the New York Daily News took his words out of context and acted as if the black community was happy that thousands of people had died. The rapper clarified that what he meant by the comment was that it's very hard living in New York City if you're not wealthy. KRS-One himself was once homeless, and actually lived in the World Trade Center as did many other New Yorkers. At the time, the rapper represented the people who had gotten kicked out of or were ripped off by the World Trade Center, who had no education or healthcare. Nobody was cheering for the death of people, but rather for the change that the fall of the towers could represent for America. To be homeless and penniless and see the wealthiest and most powerful fall felt good, but the only people who truly 'cheered' he deaths of all those people "were the people who did the work," the rapper said. He also said the whole thing "seems like an inside job."