Throughout his career he has released 15 albums and is currently an ordained minister. In , at the age of twenty, Kurtis Blow became the first rapper to be signed by a major label, Mercury , which released "Christmas Rappin'". His first album was Kurtis Blow , while his second was the Top 40 pop album Deuce. Party Time featured a fusion of rap and go-go. His album, America , garnered praise for its title track's music video.
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Run of Run D. Not bad for a fledgling MC. Blow turns 60 today August 9 , entering yet another decade of musical innovation and inspiration. Back then, it was an underground scene born out of the Bronx that spilled over into the other boroughs. While disco ruled the mainstream, hip-hop in its fledgling years was popular among African American and Latino youths. From there, a master of ceremonies MC would get on the mic and showcase his rhymes. According to All Music.
As the first commercially successful rap artist, Kurtis Blow is a towering figure in hip-hop history. His popularity and charisma helped prove that rap music was something more than a flash-in-the-pan novelty, paving the way for the even greater advances of Grandmaster Flash and Run-D. Blow was the first rapper to sign with and release an album for a major label; the first to have a single certified gold 's landmark "The Breaks" ; the first to embark on a national and international concert tour; and the first to cement rap's mainstream marketability by signing an endorsement deal. For that matter, he was really the first significant solo rapper on record, and as such he was a natural focal point for many aspiring young MCs in the early days of hip-hop. For all his immense importance and influence, many of Blow 's records haven't dated all that well; his rapping technique, limber for its time, simply wasn't as evolved as the more advanced MCs who built upon his style and followed him up the charts. But at his very best, Blow epitomizes the virtues of the old school: ingratiating, strutting party music that captures the exuberance of an art form still in its youth. Kurtis Blow was born Kurtis Walker in Harlem in He was in on the earliest stages of hip-hop culture in the '70s -- first as a breakdancer, then as a block-party and club DJ performing under the name Kool DJ Kurt ; after enrolling at CCNY in , he also served as program director for the college radio station. He became an MC in his own right around , and changed his name to Kurtis Blow as in a body blow at the suggestion of his manager, future Def Jam founder and rap mogul Russell Simmons. Blow performed with legendary DJs like Grandmaster Flash , and for a time his regular DJ was Simmons ' teenage brother Joseph -- who, after changing his stage name from "Son of Kurtis Blow ," would go on to become the first half of Run-D.