The amazing and one-of-a-kind, Kurtis Blow, is one of the founders and creators of recorded rap. A timeless artist and hip hop legend, Kurtis blazed the trail for early hip hop artists and continues to carry the torch for hip hop music into new arenas. Credited with many accolades, he was the first rapper to ever be signed to a major label, first to release a certified gold rap album, first rapper to tour the United States and Europe, first to record a national commercial, the first to use the drum machine, first to release a rap music video, and the first rapper to become a millionaire.
In 1979, at the age of 20, Kurtis Blow became the first rapper to be signed by a major label and he released “Christmas Rappin’” which sold over 400,000 copies and became an annual classic. Its gold follow-up, “The Breaks”, helped to ignite an international rap following, solidifying the new art form. Kurtis went on to release ten albums over eleven years. His early projects made him an instant success at home and across Europe.
Kurtis Blow’s hit songs like “8 Million Stories”, “AJ”, and “Basketball”, were ahead of their time and still get spins by DJs today. Fellow rap legend Nas debuted at #1 on the Billboard Charts with a cover of Kurtis’ “If I Ruled the World” in 1997. Beyond his own hits, Kurtis contributed to the success of The Fat Boys and Run DMC. In fact, Run began his career billed as “The Son of Kurtis Blow”. Wyclef Jean, Love Bug Starski, Sweet Gee, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Full Force, and Russell Simmons have all been produced by – or have worked with – Kurtis in the past.
Kurtis’ multidisciplinary skill set has taken him across the country and overseas to score, produce, and act in various films. He has completed multiple world tours and continues to work on other creative endeavors. His innate ability to reach people is evident in his work as an activist, radio personality, and most recently, an ordained minister and leader of the Hip Hop Church. New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, even appointed Kurtis to the new Nightlife Advisory Board in June of 2018. Kurtis advocates on behalf of music venues and clubs, continuing to shape the influence the industry – this time at a policy level.
Kurtis Blow brings talent, passion, and showmanship to every performance. He fits in perfectly at large music venues, festivals, casino entertainment, night clubs, concert halls, special events, and big celebrations.