“Self-Destruction” was released as a charity single to benefit the National Urban League, a New York-based civil rights organization that fights racial discrimination. The benefit single was recorded after several shootings in New York’s hip-hop community, including the one that killed Scott La Rock, who was one of the original members of KRS-One’s Bronx-based Boogie Down Productions.

Reaching #76 on the R&B charts, it raised awareness and more than $600,000 for the organization. KRS-One would revisit the song several times in later years, enlisting rappers like Method Man, Talib Kweli, The Game, and 50 Cent to re-record the song in 2008.