- Released: July 25, 1997
- Originally Released: 1997
- Label: B-Boy Records
Vibe - 12/99, p.157
Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century
Vibe - 6/02, p.108Ranked #3
in Vibe's "Top 10 rap albums" - "...Hip hop has never gotten much better than [this]..."
- 2.South Bronx
- 3.9mm Goes Bang
- 4.Word from Our Sponsor
- 6.Dope Beat
- 7.Remix for P Is Free
- 8.The Bridge Is Over
- 10.Criminal Minded
Boogie Down Productions includes: KRS-One (rap vocals); DJ Scott La Rock (programming, scratches).
Boogie Down Productions: KRS-One, Scott La Rock.
CRIMINAL MINDED was the first of a string of albums (including RHYME PAYS, PAID IN FULL) which in 1987 established the blueprint for what would become hardcore or gangsta rap. A first in other respects as well, it shares PAID IN FULL's claim to the first James Brown samples; the sound generally set the tone for the next decade of hip-hop production.
The harder style that CRIMINAL MINDED introduced was a backlash to the Marley Marl/Juice Crew monopoly on mid-'80s hip-hop ("South Bronx" and "The Bridge is Over" express these sentiments in no uncertain terms). Ironically though, legend has it that KRS ONE and Scott La Rock realized the album with a drum reel lifted from Marley's studio (play "The Bridge Is Over" back to back with Marley productions like "Eric B. For President" or "The Bridge"). Even so, the staccato, reggae-inflected beats programmed with that reel (another first; "9 MM" and "The 'P' Is Free" were the first rap tracks to openly celebrate hip-hop's Jamaican roots) and the unprecedented sophistication of the battle-rhymes that KRS spread on top are pure BDP, with few equals in the history of rap music.