35th Year Anniversary “Kurtis Blow” Debut Album: The legendary Kurtis Blow may have turned 56 last month, but a far bigger celebration takes place 9/29/1980 when his debut album “Kurtis Blow” hits it’s 35th year anniversary! The self-titled album was released under Mercury/PolyGram Records and is one of the earliest hip hop albums to receive wide spread radio play. The first single “Christmas Rappin” sold over 500k, but it was the follow up single, “The Breaks”, that really put Kurtis in the spotlight. The track peaked at #87 on the Billboard Hot 100, making history by becoming the first certified gold rap song in Hip Hop history as well as the second certified gold 12 inch single. Interestingly the word “break” is used 84 times in just over 6 ½ minutes. Contrary to rumors, the funk beat in the song is original and not a sample. The track is so distinctive it has become a magnet for video games, having been featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, True Crime: New York, Scarface, and Dance Central 2. Kurtis was helped on the album by the Simmons brothers, with Russell Simmons assisting on “The Breaks” and Joseph Simmons aka Rev Run getting in on “Hard Times”. Randy Bachman also contributes to the album with “Takin’ Care of Business” – one of the first crossover attempts to fuse hip hop and rock n’ roll. Kurtis does his best on this classic track, but we all know the song and in my opinion… it’s just not the same. With this album, Kurtis became the first rapper to perform overseas and one of hip hop’s true pioneers.