10 reasons why KRS One didn’t diss anyone in the Juice Crew but MC Shan

 Rap Supremacy KRS and Shan

Let’s go back to 85’ and 86’ when the “Bridge Wars” popped off, it is one of Hip Hops most famous beefs. MC Shan and KRS One went record for record for a minute and of course one dude won and kept it moving while the other dude lost the battle and his career as well. Well something I’m seeing a lot of most  of the Kool G Rap interviews I come across is people wanting to know why G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Biz and any other members of The Juice Crew weren’t thrown in that mix? KRS did throw Shante name in the mix but no one else… I remember back when KRS was going at with Nelly and SOHH went on this mission to call KRS a bully, they brought that fact up too that he didn’t go at Big Daddy or G Rap. Their reason was because he (KRS) knew they would get in that ass.  That is a debate in itself and one that could truly have any answer be the right one. But truth is there are many reasons why those names didn’t get put in the mix and here there are.

  1. The beef started from a misinterpretation in a song


You know the line in a “The Bridge”,

“You love to hear the story again an again/of how it all got started way back when. The monument is right in your face/ sit and listen for a while to the name of the place…. The Bridge.. Queens Bridge”

KRS One said he took issue with song And thus began the penning of “South Bronx”.

         2. Big Daddy  Kane and Kool G Rap who???

 The records were coming out between 85’ and 86’ and by all accounts record release wise Kane and G Rap were popping by 87’. Unless you were completely in the know of The Juice Crew  world during that time those dudes weren’t even on too many people’s radar at all. Even Biz was getting his Doug E.Fresh on for Shante as her beatboxer back when the The Bridge Wars were popping off. Maybe for the sake of argument if they were in the spotlight also their names would have been mentioned too… Plus to be fair they both made little comments about KRS that until they mentioned it no one really noticed and they both wrote for Shante as she addressed BDP from what I heard, so they did their part.

         3.   MC Shan was the man then

Shan was the face of The Juice Crew so when “The South Bronx” dropped it really didn’t go at The Juice Crew just the claim of where Hip Hop started and took issue with the Queen Bridge being the birth , again a misunderstanding. Now he did go at Shan on the record too but Shan recorded “The Bridge”. So once it really got popping the man star of the crew was the biggest target.

        4.   KRS had a grudge against the main stars of The Juice Crew  anyway.

I remember seeing the first Beef and KRS said that somehow that it had come back to them (KRS and Scott La Rock) that Mr. Magic thought their demo was wack. Now KRS said it himself he thought Shan was wack. The Fact Marley was riding with Mr. Magic so The Juice Crew were by all rights gonna get more radio love was a bit bias and the truth is Shan was kinda wack if you ask me. So as he was blowing up thanks to his connect and the The Bridge which was a B side record,  KRS feeling he and BDP was dismissed as being garbage was more fuel to the fire anyway.

           5.   Big Daddy Kane was cool with KRS

I’ve listened all the G Rap interviews on the beef and never really heard G Rap say he was cool with KRS, he thought he was dope and liked the music back then but didn’t say they were friends. Kane on the other hand did, it’s even in a song.

“Juice Crew’s the family, Slick Rick’s a friend of me/ and Doug E Fresh, Stet, KRS and Public enemy”

                             – Wrath Of Kane

I even saw on some youtube video where Kane said KRS came through and helped him move. So maybe it was a mutual thing not to go at one another from the Kane and KRS angle?

          6.   It was The Bronx vs, Queens

Besides G Rap, Craig G., Shante and Grand Daddy I U (who didn’t drop a single until 89’) the other members were from Brooklyn. Kane and Masta Ace Brooklyn and Biz was from Harlem. So yeah G Rap had a right to be offered and could have easily went the Blaq Poet route and made it a Queens Pride thing but KRS again never really went at anyone else in Queens. Not LL or RUN DMC just Shan, Marley, Shante and Mr Magic.

         7.   No one else in BDP jumped in so it was one on one

I’m sure if someone else would have thrown out a song going at the Juice Crew it would have been only right to hear Big Daddy Kane and G Rap and the more lyrically inclined dudes get in on the action. That didn’t happen, hell to be real besides D Nice and Ms. Melodie I never really heard anyone else spit but KRS. Since it was man to man and KRS seem to be only aiming for Shan why worry about it.

         8.   Maybe KRS knew he was out gunned….

I’m looking for a reason now obviously to why he didn’t aim at other members. As I said there were many head in The Juice Crew. I know KRS is a master of battle raps but to go up against that many people with only again two other rappers would have been suicide so maybe not spreading the beef to other dudes was a wise move on his part.

          9.    Mc Shan should have been able to hold his own

Besides “The Bridge” which in all honesty wasn’t a diss record but the reason the war started MC Shan part in the battle are lost. The beat to “Kill That Noise” is more famous than the actual song itself. Shan was the face of The Juice Crew and to be fair and a bit off topic once he fell off there really was no “the man” main face of The Juice Crew. Kane was more successful than everyone else but Biz, G Rap Masta Ace, Grand Daddy I.U. and Tragedy all had a large following. The debate between who is better Kane or G Rap will forever be held. Shan just was out matched and may have been cocky to not want to continue on with the beef and felt moving on was the best move. Besides his move with Snow, you remember the white reggae dude with the “Informer” song, I know me neither, Shan really was off the radar after The Bridge Wars.

         10.   It was over as fast as it started


People don’t remember but it seemed both parties knew it was over long before the rest of the Hip Hop world outside of New York did. It was 91’ and I saw the “Self Destruction” video and it hit me, Marley Marl is beside Doug E Fresh during his part of the song. Now ‘The Brigde Is Over was a couple of years old but still was fresh in people’s minds so to know a song in 88’ had Marley Marl and KRS together somehow was big to me. Then came all the old pics of Shan nad KRS that you can find online these days when they were younger. It seemed they both saw the money in it and went with that.and did something I heard Kool Mo Dee had a chance to do but didn’t for whatever reason and that was do shows using the beef as a tool to sell tickets and records.

It was and again IS one of Hip Hop best battles and it wasn’t personal like the how the Mo Dee vs. LL thing was. Even though Shan came away the loser he still will be remembered in history and some people will go check his albums out and like the dude, I have friends who still think he was hot back then. Things would have been much different all around if other people were in it, it’s still good to wonder and speculate what would have happened if G Rap and Kane had got involved.

8 thoughts on “10 reasons why KRS One didn’t diss anyone in the Juice Crew but MC Shan

  1. I would add a couple things on that. One, if you have the 5th issue of the Source, BDP cover, KRS says, and I quote “I teach style”….”Poetry was a brand new style, which all these rappers are coming out sounding like nowadays…K-A-N-E and so on”. Taking a jab at Kane, which would likely be in reference to the “Get your damn hands of the mic that I’m choking” offbeat/onbeat line form the Kane Sophomore album, which is ’89, same year as the article. I know that is technically after the height of the Bridge Wars, but I reference it because on “Still #1 Numero Re-Recording” I always felt like he was taking a cheapshot at Kane, while blatantly dissing Shan when he says, “Using that played out off beat style…you big sounded like KANE, boy I freestyle, freestyle…” I always took that to say that Shan was bitting from Kane who had already bitten from him and now it was played out. When I write this interview in the Source a year later I took that as confirmation.

    I guess more importantly I’d say rather than I would critique KRS for not dissing anyone else in the Juice Crew. I would ask Kane why never directly dissed KRS? I felt like Kane played the safe distance by writing rhymes for Shante to diss him but then saying hey I’m friends with KRS on record. Maybe that was something that worked out in their friendship but obviously I wasn’t there. But, it bothered me that Kane was saying stuff like, “If a rapper tries to diss, I’ll crush the mutha f**ka”, but KRS took jabs and he didn’t. There’s another article around this time in Right on or something of that nature where Slick Rick says “Kane is cool, but if he tries for my crown I’ll crush him!” or something very close to that. It wasn’t just Kane, he mentioned a few MCs, but my point is Kane talked about battle rapping, but never really battle anyone on wax to show it (in your quote above he also shouts out slick rick, so when I heard that line I was aggravated at Kane). I give KRS props for going at heads thru out his career. And, like you mentioned, at the time the Bridge Wars started off Kane and G rap were just getting started, but Shan was rising to the top. DIssing Shan at the point was far bolder than dissing Kane or G Rap. Sure, I think we would agree that those two were lyrically better than Shan at the time, particularly G Rap, but to the masses it was Shan who was the big target. Even Kenny Parker talks in a recent interview saying he advised KRS NOT to diss Shan because Shan was too large at the time.

    Also, I don’t think it’s fair to discount Shante. When it came to live battling she was a contender. Very few MCs period were battling and rhyming strictly off the top. Her and KRS are both pioneers of that. Shante could hold her own in a face to face battle. Not saying she could beat KRS or come close, but I think she’s still relevant. KRS was bold enough taking on Shan and Shante at the same time and also dissing Marley and Mr. Magic all at once. And, he was dissing the Juice Crew, just that itself was a shot at anyone who wanted, but no one else from the Juice Crew responded. He took the first shots, all of them. So, I give KRS the props. AND, this is coming from a guy who was and still is the biggest Juice Crew fan you can be.

    Oh, and I always thought KRS’s line on “Poetry” was a jab at Kool G Rap, with “I am a professional, this is NOT a demo…” just the way he says it, sort of sarcastic and smug, it doesn’t sound like it’s just a random line and just about all G Rap had out then was “It’s A Demo”.

    guess that’s more than a couple things…ha. Peace.

    • No doubt, never looked at it that way. I’m finding KRS threw jabs at many MCs in his prime. Too bad they didn’t pick up on it, Hip Hop beef would have been crazy. G Rap and or Kane vs KRS would made every other MC sit down and take notes on how spit bars for real. Thanks for gems Kevin

      • No doubt! I love to find stories like this, so thanks for starting the conversation! I forgot to add that KRS also took jabs at Run-DMC. If you listen to his first couple albums he made a few comments, like “don’t wear adidas cause name ain’t Run”, but more so all his comments about “kings” and “crowns”, (such as “kings lose crowns and teachers stay relevant”-from Criminal Minded or “anyone with a crown upon dem head I just knock it off”, etc… Might not be exact quotes, doing from memory). Of course Run DMC were the “kings of rock”. But, most importantly when he dropped the “My Philosophy” music video, BDP did a show called “Philosophy Night’ and in that show KRS did some blatant jabs at Run-DMC. It sounds like D-nice keeps trying to make smart comments about RunDMC and KRS playful cuts him off each time, while laughing, and then he goes into “Still #1”, it was right after he performed “Dope Beat”, where of course he has the “don’t wear adidas” line so not sure if that was actually a planned part of the show based on the timing.

  2. Krs-one dissed the whole juice crew!!!! they chose not to diss him back. He targeted g-rap in “poetry” g rap it’s a demo! Krs-one said “this is not a demo in fact call it a lecture a visual picture! He also once again targeted all who represented the juice crew “this is an introduction to poetry a small dedication to those that might know of me they might know of you(shan) or maybe your gang but one thing for sure NEITHER ONE OF YALL CAN HANG!!! see yo I’m like n arrow and scott is the cross bo say something now (pause I thought so!!! Those dudes didn’t want to see kris especially live on stage free style craig g may of did a lil something but kris would of rocked him!!! Kane and g rap is nice but Krs-one is better all around i’m a true fan of KRS-ONE I seen his work all these years he nice!!! now mc poet was down with the juice crew and tried to diss krs and go lenched with “im still # one numero uno version. So juice crew coward down not wanting to face the teacher live and direct seeing what he did to their boy shan!!!!

    • Same here, Run DMC should have said something too. I heard Marley took it more serious than Shan did. Plus if Mr.Magic,R.I.P., treated G.Rap like he treated Kane G Rap my have just stepped back from it all.

  3. I think you guys are reading too much into KRS’ lyrics. Criminal Minded was a raw album, one of the first hardcore albums(complete with guns on the cover) that influenced everyone that came after it, including Dre, NWA etc.

    KRS was talking smack, but that doesn’t mean it was all directed at Shan, Shante or the Juice Crew. And remember, BDP had given Magic & Marley their DEMO(as was pointed out in the article) so talking about a demo doesn’t necessarily mean taking a jab at Kool G. Hell, EPMD had their track “Please Listen to My Demo” although I think that came out after Criminal Minded?

    Anyway I love’em all cause I grew up listening to them all. But I gotta say this: MC Shan’s voice and style was dope as hell and he doesn’t get the props he deserves. He was one of the first B- boys on the mic and coupled with Dj Marley Marl they pioneered shit and left an everlasting impression, regardless of their subsequent success or failure. I mean I was buying all their shit at the Inglewood Swapmeet for fucks sake. It was a great time for hip-hop. Bought the Uptown Is Kickin’ It tape shortly thereafter.

    Then I bought a 12 inch Ep from Eazy-E that had Boyz-n-the Hood, L.A. is the Place and Fat Girl. The game suddenly changed…

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