Kurtis Walker, better known by his stage name Kurtis Blow, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record/film producer, b-boy, DJ, public speaker and minister. He is widely regarded as the first commercially successful rapper and the first to sign with a major record label.
Kurtis was born on August 9, 1959 in Harlem, New York. He was introduced to hip-hop culture at an early age, and by the time he was a teenager, he was already a proficient b-boy and DJ. He began to write his own rhymes and perform them at parties and local clubs.
In 1979, Kurtis released his debut single, “Christmas Rappin’”, which became an instant hit. The single sold over 500,000 copies and earned him a gold record. This success led to him signing with Mercury Records in 1980, making him the first rapper to sign with a major label.
Kurtis went on to release several more successful singles, including “The Breaks”, “Basketball”, and “If I Ruled the World”. He also collaborated with other prominent hip-hop artists, such as Run-DMC, the Fat Boys, and the Beastie Boys.
Kurtis Blow is credited with helping to popularize rap music and bring it into the mainstream. His success paved the way for other rappers to follow in his footsteps and achieve commercial success. He is still actively involved in the hip-hop community, and continues to perform and record music.
Kurtis Blow is a true pioneer of rap music and a true icon of the hip-hop culture. He is an inspiration to aspiring rappers and a reminder of the power of hard work and determination.