Kurtis Blow breaks hip-hop nationally with his 1980 debut

Kurtis Blow’s 1980 debut album fundamentally shaped hip-hop, making history as one of rap’s first nationwide hits.

Before the game-changer: Hip-hop began at Bronx block parties 50 years ago, developed at park jams and parties, and took nearly a decade to enter recording studios.
* Prior to Blow’s 1980 album, hip-hop was mainly an in-the-moment experience.

Kiana Fitzgerald’s perspective: As a critic and author, Fitzgerald believes that Kurtis Blow’s album reshaped hip-hop by showing artists they could make a career from their music.
* “This album really took all of those elements and distilled that into one specific experience,” said Fitzgerald.

Blow’s break: Blow caught attention with his 1979 single “Christmas Rappin’,” but it was his second song, ‘The Breaks,’ that solidified his success and led to a full album deal with Mercury Records.
* “The Breaks” is considered one of the most influential songs in hip-hop history.

Legacy of Blow: Kurtis Blow’s 1980 debut, both the album and the artist, established the blueprint for modern hip-hop.
* His debut is viewed as one of rap’s foundational achievements.

View original article on NPR

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