While he made many groundbreaking singles, Kurtis Blow was never a consistent album artist, making this best-of collection his definitive artistic statement. Throughout the early '80s, Blow helped define what rap could do, and these tracks confirm his status as one of hip-hop's legendary acts. (AMG)
With his funky, hooky beats and confident, distinct lyrics and flow, Kurtis Blow established himself as one of rap's earliest crossover artists, a fact which at times obscures his actual talent and innovation.
THE BEST OF... offers a fair sampling of the output of a man who stood as one of the first public faces of hip-hop.
His two best-remembered hits are both present, of course: "The Breaks" stands decades later as arguably early rap's greatest participatory song, with its handclaps and chants and uncommonly groovy riff, and while "Basketball" inevitably dates itself both lyrically and by its light, bubblegum sound, there's sweetness in its simplicity. Blow's rhymes are generally simple but memorable, and the melodies are designed perfectly to hook the listener in.
Statement songs such as "Hard Times," "Tough," "America," and "Starlife" (perhaps the first rap lament on the pitfalls of stardom) drive their respective points home.
A forgotten classic lurks in 1986's "I'm Chillin'," featuring the Transformers theme and the sparsest and baddest lyrics on offer here.
Kurtis Blow was the first popular MC of hip-hop and this collection offers ample evidence why. (cduniverse)
01. The Breaks (12’’ Single)
02. Christmas Rappin' (12’’ Single)
03. Hard Times
04. Starlife (Limited Edition 12’’ Single)
07. Party Time (12’’ Single)
08. One-Two-Five (Main Street, Harlem, USA)
09. 8 Million Stories (Feat. Run-D.M.C.)
10. AJ Scratch
13. If I Ruled The World
14. I'm Chillin'
Kurtis Blow (rap vocals, DMX synthesizer, timbales); Run-D.M.C. (rap vocals); Adam White (spoken vocals); Denzil Miller (guitar, keyboards); Danny Harris (guitar, synthesizer); John Tropea, Dean Swenson, J.B. Moore, Curtis Bedreau, Dean Bailin (guitar); Mark "Sugar Rico" Rivera (saxophone); Onaje Allan Gumbs, Don Blackman (piano); Robbie Kondor, Gerard Charles, Jeff Bova (synthesizer); T-Bone Wolk, Richard Pascual, Craig Short, Seth Glassman (bass); Jimmy Bralower, Alonzo "Go-Go" Robinson (drums); Jaime Delgado (congas, timbales); Sam Jacobs (percussion); Davey Dee, William Waring, Larry Smith, Wayne Garfield, Robert Ford (background vocals).
Producers include: Kurtis Blow, J.B. Moore, Robert Ford, Jr., Robert Reed.
Digitally remastered by Gary Mayo (Polygram Studios).
Includes liner notes by Nelson George & Russell Simmons.
Part of the ‘Funk Essentials’ series.
Material originally from 1979-1986.