Kurtis Blow

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Kurtis Walker Combs (born August 9, 1959), better known by his stage name Kurtis Blow, is an American rapper and record producer.[1] He is one of the first commercially successful rappers and the first to sign with a major record label. "The Breaks", a single from his 1980 eponymous debut album, is the first certified gold record rap song.



Kurtis was born in Harlem, New York, New York, and got his public start in 1972 as a B-boy and a DJ under the stage name of Kool DJ Kurt.

In 1979, aged twenty, Kurtis became the first rapper to be signed by a major label, Mercury, which released "Christmas Rappin'".[1] It sold over 400,000 copies. Its follow-up, "The Breaks", sold over half a million copies.[1] He released ten albums over the next eleven years. His first album was Kurtis Blow, while his second was the Top 50 pop album Deuce. Party Time featured a fusion of rap and go go. Ego Trip included the hits: "8 Million Stories," "AJ," and "Basketball". His 1985 album, America, garnered praise for its title track's music video. From this album, the song "If I Ruled the World" became a Top 5 hit on Billboard's R&B chart. In 1996, fellow rapper Nas debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with a cover version of the song.

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