In any art form, specific creators need to become custodians of the medium. While not every creator is up to the task, certain practitioners must graduate to the role of a scholar if quality control and an unbiased view of the artform's history are to exist in the future. In Hip hop, there aren't many veteran emcees who have chosen to adopt the role of acting as the culture's vanguard while concurrently retaining their status as a performer- barring KRS-One.
As an emcee, KRS-One is in a class of the most celebrated in Hip hop history. With a lengthy career stretching from the present back to the earliest days of rap's emergence into the mainstream in the 1980s, KRS-One is among one of Hip hop's most prolific creators. Even though he primarily teaches through his music, KRS-One also has a host of illuminating books, lectures, and podcast appearances that have helped preserve the flickering wick of Hip hop's essence against the battering gales of change. In the video linked above, I selected an excerpt from my favorite KRS-One one-on-one to celebrate his 57th birthday.