By All Means Necessary
By All Means Necessary is the second album from American hip hop group Boogie Down Productions, released on May 31, 1988 on Jive Records. After the 1987 murder of DJ-producer Scott La Rock, MC KRS-One moved away from the violent themes that dominated his debut, Criminal Minded, and began writing socially conscious songs using the moniker the Teacher.
Accompanied by minimalist production and hard-hitting drum beats, KRS-One covers social issues that include government and police corruption, safe sex, government involvement in the drug trade, and violence in the hip hop community.
As of September 25, 1989, the album was certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America. Both the album cover, depicting KRS-One, and the album title make reference to Malcolm X. The album's cover art is a reference to the iconic photo of Malcolm X peering through his window while holding a M1 carbine rifle. The album title is a modification of Malcolm X's famous phrase "By Any Means Necessary."
ReceptionThe album is widely seen as one of, if not the first, politically conscious efforts in hip-hop. AllMusic described the album as a landmark of political hip hop and Rolling Stone praised its social commentary. Anthony DeCurtis of Rolling Stone wrote, "Over irresistible beats provided by his BDP cohorts, KRS delivers the word on the drug trade, AIDS and violence—three forces that threaten to destroy minority communities."
In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.
In 2008, the single "My Philosophy" was ranked number 49 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.