NEW YORK — Even though it's due in stores today, KRS-One has done everything he can to make sure nobody buys his latest album — at least not yet.
"This is insane, this is insane, this is so egregious, this is so devious," KRS-One fumed on Monday, angry at Koch Records' plan to release an album by him called Kristyles. The Bronx battle king, alleging that the record Koch was putting out not only did a disservice to him as an artist and a businessman, but that it was an affront to hip-hop culture as a whole, won a court injunction on Monday to stop its release.
"They don't have the full album," KRS explained. "They have stuff that I wasn't even putting on the album. I have no idea what's on the album [Koch put together]. I don't know what the artwork looks like, I don't know what the album credits look like, I don't know nothing. What they did was go behind my back and release the album. I got word just in the nick of time last week. I got my legal team together and we slapped them with a court order to cease the distribution and the pressing and manufacturing of this album."
Despite KRS' efforts, Kristyles had already been shipped out and was being sold by some stores on Tuesday.
KRS-One said he's still working on his album, which he plans on calling The Kristyle, and trying to secure appearances from Dirt McGirt and Wesley Snipes. But ODB and Snipes aren't the only things missing from the version Koch has assembled; the disc also lacks KRS' tribute to Jam Master Jay.
"Do they care about the death of Jam Master Jay?" he continued. "Oh, you mean to tell me that the fake album you're putting out right now, you omitted KRS-One's tribute to Jam Master Jay? Oh no, no, no. That's ridiculous. That's wack. This is a problem. This ain't about no money, this ain't about me not selling a record, this is about principle. We cannot allow these record companies to dictate to us how we are going to present hip-hop to the world."
KRS-One also said he's upset about Koch's naming the disc Kristyles rather than The Kristyle, which he explained is an acronym for "To have everything, keep radiating in sprit through your love everyday."
He said the last conversation he had with Koch was sometime in early May, when he and the label discussed pushing the album back from its June 24 release date because issues had to be resolved concerning the LP's press campaign, the video shoot for a first single and a photo shoot for the album's packaging.
The legendary MC, who said The Kristyle was supposed to spell the end of his contractual obligations to Koch, also divulged that his talks with the label ceased after the company's execs insisted on communicating only through both parties' lawyers.
On Tuesday Koch released a statement about the injunction reading: "Koch and [its hip-hop/R&B imprint] In the Paint Records do not comment on the specifics of pending litigations. They believe that they have acted appropriately and expect to be vindicated in court."
KRS-One said the album he's still working on could be released as soon as the next few weeks. He plans to sell it for $10 through the phone number (866) HIP-HOP-9 and on his summer tour of the West Coast and Midwest. He also plans to make the LP available for download on KaZaA.
"I don't need my fans to buy my music," he explained. "My music is free, basically. I appreciate when people buy my music, but I'm not going to sit here while some company rips my fans off."
KRS-One and Koch are due back in court on Friday for a hearing to determine whether the injunction will be upheld.