Stop the Violence Movement

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"Self Destruction"
Single by The Stop the Violence Movement
ReleasedJanuary 15, 1989[1]
StudioPower Play Studios, Chung King (New York City)[1]
GenreEast Coast hip hop, golden age hip hop
Producer(s)KRS-One, D-Nice[1]
Hank Shocklee (Assoc.)
Music video
"Self Destruction" on YouTube

"Self Destruction" is the only single by the Stop the Violence Movement formed by American rapper KRS-One in 1988 in response to violence in the hip hop and African American communities.

The single raised over $100,000 and it was donated to the National Urban League.[1]


After a young fan was killed at a 1988 Boogie Down Productions and Public Enemy show, KRS-One formed the Stop the Violence Movement in hopes of encouraging the hip hop community to end violence being committed among themselves.[3] Further inspired by the recent murder of fellow BDP founding member Scott La Rock, he assembled many contemporary East Coast hip hop rap stars of the time to record a song about anti-violence. With production assistance by bandmate D-Nice and Hank Shocklee of the Bomb Squad, the product of the session was the chart-topping song "Self Destruction". All proceeds went to the National Urban League.[4] A VHS cassette entitled Overcoming Self-Destruction—the Making of the Self-Destruction Video accompanied the song's release.

The song debuted at No. 1 on the first week of Billboard's Hot Rap Songs existence and held the spot for ten consecutive weeks.[5][6]

The following rappers contributed the vocals to the song:

The song samples "Funky Drummer" by James Brown, and "Pass the Peas" by the JB's.[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video was filmed in the neighborhood of Harlem in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. West Coast rappers Tone Loc and Young MC, along with Digital Underground frontman Shock G, visited the video shoot and participated in the event.[1]

Later recordings[edit]

In 2007, in preparation for the original track's 20th anniversary, KRS-One relaunched the Stop the Violence Movement.[7] This resulted in two new iterations of the original concept — "Self Construction" and "Self Destruction 2009".

"Self Construction" was released first in April 2008. The track was produced by Duane DaRock and recorded in Los Angeles from February 7 to 9 at the Los Angeles Recording School. "Self Construction" includes appearances by over 55 artists including David Banner, The Game, Nelly, Redman, MC Lyte, 50 Cent, Ne-Yo, Talib Kweli, Method Man, Styles P, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, Cassidy, Wise Intelligent, Awol One, 2Mex, Rah Digga and Rakaa.

"Self Destruction 2009" was released in late 2008 and features contributions by Twista, Syleena Johnson, Phil G, Crucial Conflict, Kenny Bogus, Straw and Pugz Atomz.[8]

Also in 2008, Jersey City rapper Heat recorded "Self Destruction 2" with the help of other local area rappers.[9]

In late 2009, DJ Kay Slay produced "Self Destruction 2010" featuring Busta Rhymes, Bun B, Sheek Louch, Papoose, Uncle Murda and Jay Rock.[10]

In 2014, more than a dozen Baltimore rappers united under the name Stop the Violence Baltimore and recorded their own version of the song with new lyrics pertinent to violence in their city at the time.[11]

Single track listing[edit]

12" vinyl[edit]


  1. "Just Say Stet" (3:40)
  2. "Just Say Stet" (Instrumental) (3:44)


  1. "Rock De La Stet" (Vocal) (6:30)


Credits are taken from the liner notes and the official page of the ASCAP.[12][13][14]

  • Written by – Glenn Bolton, Arnold Hamilton, Paul Huston, Martin Nemley, Leonardo Roman, Marvin Shahid Wright
  • Producer – Stetsasonic
  • Co-producer – Eric Calvi, Robin Halpin (tracks: A1, A2), Jim Klein (track B)
  • Keyboards, Horns – DBC
  • Mastered by – Herb Powers Jr. (as Herbie Jr :^)*)
  • Engineer – Eric Calvi
  • Producer (exec.) – Tom Silverman


Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak position
US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard)[20] 1


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[21] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "How Stop The Violence Movement's "Self Destruction" Became One of the Most Important Rap Releases". Okayplayer. January 15, 2019. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  2. ^ "ASCAP Repertory entry for this song". ASCAP. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  3. ^ "Stop The Violence Movement – "Self Destruction" (1989)". September 13, 2019.
  4. ^ a b The Stop The Violence Movement – "Self Destruction",
  5. ^ "Hot Rap Songs – 1989 Archive – Billboard Charts Archive".
  6. ^ "The Stop The Violence Movement: Self Destruction (Hot Rap Singles)".
  7. ^ "KRS-One Relaunching Stop The Violence Movement; Enlists Superstar Rappers".
  8. ^ "Syleena Johnson Teams With KRS One For Stop The Violence Single". December 20, 2008.
  9. ^ "Self Destruction 2 (Jersey City) 20 Years later (music video)".
  10. ^ "New Music: DJ Kay Slay Ft. Busta Rhymes, Bun B, Sheek Louch, Uncle M, Papoose, Jay Rock & Remy Ma "Self Destruction '09 (Radio Rip)"".
  11. ^ Shipley, Al. "Thirteen Baltimore MCs Remake "Self-Destruction" and Create Their Own Stop the Violence Movement".
  12. ^ Just Say Stet (track listing). Stetsasonic. Tommy Boy. 1985. TB 875.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  13. ^ On Fire (track listing). Stetsasonic. Tommy Boy. 1986. TBLP-1012.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  14. ^ Cite error: The named reference ascap was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  15. ^ "The Stop The Violence Movement – Self Destruction". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  17. ^ "Stop the Violence Movement Chart History (Dance Singles Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  18. ^ "Stop the Violence Movement Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  19. ^ "Stop the Violence Movement Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  20. ^ "1989 Year End Chart: Hot Rap Songs". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  21. ^ "American single certifications – Stop the Violence Movement – Self-Destruction". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 5, 2017.

External links[edit]