By All Means Necessary

By All Means Necessary

By All Means Necessary
Studio album by Boogie Down Productions
Released April 12, 1988
Recorded 1987–1988
Genre Hip hop
Length 47:28
Label Jive/RCA Records
Producer KRS-One
Boogie Down Productions chronology
Criminal Minded
By All Means Necessary
Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop

By All Means Necessary is the second album from American hip hop group Boogie Down Productions, released in 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.


  • Album information 1
  • Reception 2
  • Track listing 3
  • Samples used 4
  • Chart history 5
    • Album chart positions 5.1
    • Singles chart positions 5.2
  • References 6

Album information

Many themes, which surface a minimalist production accompanied by hard-hitting drum beats, cover 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.[1] Both the album cover, depicting KRS-One, and the album title make reference to Malcolm X.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [2]
Robert Christgau B+[3]
The Daily Vault B+[4]
Rhapsody (favorable)[5]
Rolling Stone [6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [7]
The Source [8]
Spin (8/10)[9]
Trouser Press (favorable)[10]
Virgin Encyclopedia [9]

The album is widely seen as one of, if not the first, politically conscious efforts in hip-hop. described the album as a landmark of political hip hop and Rolling Stone praised its social commentary.[2] 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."[6]

In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.[11]

In 2008, the single "My Philosophy" was ranked number 49 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

Track listing

All songs were written, produced and performed by KRS-One.

No. Title Length
1. "My Philosophy"   5:41
2. "Ya Slippin'"   4:56
3. "Stop the Violence"   4:42
4. "Illegal Business"   5:22
5. "Nervous"   4:13
6. "I'm Still #1"   5:13
7. "Part Time Suckers"   5:32
8. "Jimmy"   4:16
9. "T'Cha-T'Cha"   4:35
10. "Necessary"   2:57

Samples used

Chart history

Album chart positions

Year Album Chart positions
Billboard 200 Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums
1988 By All Means Necessary No.75 No.18

Singles chart positions

Year Song Chart positions
Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Hot Rap Singles
1988 Stop the Violence - No.76 -


  1. ^ By All Means NecessaryRIAA database search item , retrieved 22 May 2008
  2. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "By All Means Necessary — Boogie Down Productions".  
  3. ^  
  4. ^ Ehrenreich, Ben (2007-02-12). "The Daily Vault Music Review : By All Means Necessary". The Daily Vault. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  5. ^ Brolin Winning (1988-05-31). "By All Means Necessary : Boogie Down Productions".  
  6. ^ a b DeCurtis, Anthony (1988-10-06). "Boogie Down Productions: By All Means Necessary : Music Reviews".  
  7. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 94.  
  8. ^ Kazeem (August 4, 2010). "The Complete List Of 5 Mic Hip-Hop Classics". The Source. Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
  9. ^ a b "By All Means Necessary". Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  10. ^ "Boogie Down Productions".  
  11. ^ "100 Best Rap Albums + 100 Best Rap Singles.". Retrieved 2012-06-18.