Lawrence Krisna Parker (born August 20, 1965), known as KRS-One, is an American hip hop MC of Nigerian and Jamaican descent. Over his career he has been known by several pseudonyms, including Kris Parker, The Blastmaster and The Teacha. KRS-One is a significant figure in the hip hop community and is often referenced in works by other hip hop artists and critics as being the "essence" of an MC and among the greatest rappers to hold the mic. KRS-One, short for "Kris Number One", was originally Parker's graffiti tag. While Parker lived on the streets in his teenage years, he frequently accompanied the Hare Krishnas. Hence, "Kris"na. He began using it as his stage moniker and later devised a backronym for the name: Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone.
KRS-One began his recording career as one half of the hip hop crew Boogie Down Productions, along with DJ and social worker Scott La Rock, real name Scott Sterling. The pair first met in 1985 at Convent House, a group home in the Bronx where KRS-One was staying. The group went on to release their debut album Criminal Minded in 1987. The album is often credited with setting the template for all subsequent Hardcore and Gangsta Rap. Scott La Rock was killed in a shooting later the same year.
KRS-One was known for his furiously political and socially conscious raps, which is the source of his nickname, "The Teacher."