Another clear reference to classic hip-hop, Boogie Down Productions' Criminal Minded. Connor uses the reference, along with the Nas reference above, both to prove his hip-hop credentials and to tie his struggle and his “heist” in with the long tradition of hip-hop.
The choice is also notable for being one of the first hip-hop albums to openly discuss criminal activity, providing a protoype for East Coast gangsta rap. The marriage of “conscious” social themes and gangsta tropes brought forth by KRS-One neatly mirrors Connor’s own “intelligent gangsta” aspirations.
Criminal Minded also, notably, features “The Bridge Is Over”, an attack on Nas' hometown of Queensbridge. This could be seen as a commentary on the conflicting influences that created Connor and most other great rappers, showing how the two artists he shouts out in the song about the struggle that created him were foes.
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