Kurtis Blow Biography, Age, Son, The Breaks, Wife, Songs, Albums, Net Worth

Kurtis Blow Biography | Kurtis Walker

Kurtis Walker, professionally 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 the first commercially successful rapper and the first to sign with a major record label. 

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.M.C.

Blow was the first rapper to sign with (and release an album for) a major label; the first to have a single certified gold (1980’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 1959. 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 1976, he also served as program director for the college radio station.

He became an MC in his own right around 1977 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.M.C.

Over 1977-1978, Blow’s club gigs around Harlem and the Bronx made him an underground sensation, and Billboard magazine writer Robert Ford approached Simmons about making a record.

Blow cut a song co-written by Ford and financier J.B. Moore called “Christmas Rappin’,” and it helped him get a deal with Mercury once the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” had climbed into the R&B Top Five.

Blow’s second single, “The Breaks,” was an out-of-the-box smash, following “Rapper’s Delight” into the Top Five of the R&B chart in 1980 and eventually going gold; it still ranks as one of old school rap’s greatest and most enduring moments.

The full-length album Kurtis Blow was also released in 1980 and made the R&B Top Ten in spite of many assumptions that the Sugarhill Gang’s success was a one-time fluke.

Although the album’s attempts at soul crooning and rock covers haven’t dated well, the poverty-themed “Hard Times” marked perhaps the first instance of hip-hop’s social consciousness, and was later covered by Run-D.M.C. Blow initially found it hard to follow up “The Breaks,” despite releasing nearly an album a year for most of the ’80s.

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1981’s Deuce and 1982’s Tough weren’t huge sellers, and 1983’s Party Time EP brought D.C. go-go funksters E.U. on board for a stylistic update.

Around this time, Blow was also making his mark as a producer, working with a variety of hip-hop and R&B artists; most notably, he helmed most of the Fat Boys’ records after helping them get a record deal. 1984’s Ego Trip sold respectably well on the strength of cuts like the DJ tribute “AJ Scratch,” the agreeably lightweight “Basketball,” and the Run-D.M.C.

duet “8 Million Stories.” Blow followed it with an appearance in the cult hip-hop film Krush Groove, in which he performed “If I Ruled the World,” his biggest hit since “The Breaks.”

“If I Ruled the World” proved to be the last gasp of Blow’s popularity, as hip-hop’s rapid growth made his style seem increasingly outdated.

1985’s America was largely ignored, and 1986’s Kingdom Blow was afforded an icy reception despite producing a final chart hit, “I’m Chillin’.” Critics savaged his final comeback attempt, 1988’s Back by Popular Demand, almost invariably pointing out that the title, at that point, was not true.

In its wake, Blow gave up the ghost of his recording career but found other ways to keep the spirit of the old school alive. In the early ’90s, he contributed rap material to the TV soap opera One Life to Live and later spent several years hosting an old-school hip-hop show on Los Angeles radio station Power 106.

In 1997, Rhino Records took advantage of his status as a hip-hop elder statesmen by hiring him to produce, compile, and write liner notes for the three-volume series Kurtis Blow Presents the History of Rap. The same year, he was a significant presence in the rap documentary Rhyme and Reason.

Blow’s music has also been revived by younger artists seeking to pay tribute; Nas referenced “If I Ruled the World” on 1996’s It Was Written, and R&B group Next sampled “Christmas Rappin’” for their 1998 smash “Too Close.” The following decade, Blow founded the Hip Hop Church in New York, became an ordained minister, and recorded religious rap albums with the Trinity.

Kurtis Blow Age

Kurtis Walker, professionally 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 the first commercially successful rapper and the first to sign with a major record label.

Kurtis is 60 years old as of 2019. He was born on 9 August 1959 in New York City, New York, United States.

Early life, Family And Education

Walker was raised in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City. He attended CCNY and Nyack College, studying communications/film and ministry.

Kurtis Blow Son | Joseph Simmons

Joseph Ward Simmons, the son of Kurtis Blow, Joseph Ward Simmons (born November 14, 1964), better known by the stage name Run, Rev. Run or DJ Run, is a musician, rapper and actor. Simmons is one of the founding members of the influential hip hop group Run–D.M.C. He is also a practicing minister, known as Reverend Run.

He found new popularity in 2005 with his family’s MTV reality show Run’s House.

Before Run–D.M.C., Simmons was the lead vocalist in the hip-hop group named “The Force.” He founded Run-D.M.C. as a lead vocalist along with friend Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels and the late DJ Jason “Jam-Master Jay” Mizell.

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Run began using the stage name of “Rev. Run” after he was ordained as a Pentecostal minister by E. Bernard Jordan, Simmons’s spiritual mentor. Jordan also named him “Protege of the Year Award” in 2004.

The same day, symbolic of his “Prosperity Ministry”, there was a “Rolls Royce parade outside the Plaza Hotel in New York City, “featuring Jordan’s Phantom Rolls Royce. The new $325,000 Phantom had been a gift from Reverend Run as a “thank you” for Jordan’s mentoring support.

Simmons married Valerie Vaughn in 1983. They have three children: Vanessa Simmons, Angela Simmons, and Joseph “Jojo” Ward Simmons, Jr…

He married Justine Jones on June 25, 1994. With her, he had three more children: Daniel “Diggy” Simmons III, Russell “Russy” Simmons II, and Victoria Anne Simmons. Victoria was four pounds, five ounces when she was delivered via cesarean section.

She died shortly after being born on September 26, 2006, due to omphalocele, a birth defect that caused her organs to grow outside her body.

The Simmons’ allowed MTV camera crews of Run’s House to document baby Victoria’s death, telling PEOPLE that “God, in my mind, gave us something to go through in front of America, so we documented it on-camera – not so much to show you sadness, but to show you how we, as ministers, would handle this tragedy.

The kids found out on-camera. Diggy was waiting to see, ‘How’s Mommy?’ And the first words we said were, ‘The baby didn’t make it.’” Soon they adopted a baby girl, Miley Justine Simmons.

The Simmons family lives in Saddle River, New Jersey in a six-bedroom colonial-style home that was listed for sale in 2007 for $5.5 million.

In 2017, Simmons said he was adopting a part-time vegetarian diet because God advised him to.

Kurtis Blow Net Worth

Kurtis Blow is an American rapper and record producer who has earned his net worth as one of the first commercially successful rappers; Blow was also the first rapper to sign with a major record label.

Blow sign a contract with Mercury records in 1979 and then went on to release his debut self-titled album in 1980 which bear the single “The Break” which was the first certified gold record rap song.

Kurtis was born on August 9, 1959, in Harlem, New York, Mercury records released Christmas Rappin in 1979, Blow who performs on the album was only 20. In addition to his own music Blow is also responsible for Rap hits by The Fat Boys and Run DMC.

Many well-known rap groups have been produced by Blow such as Love Bug Starski, Sweet Gee, Dr. Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde, Full Force, Russell Simmons, and Wyclef Jean.

His career also includes acting performances and music coordination in several movies including Leon Kennedy’s Cry of the City and the hit film Krush Groove.

Kurtis blow was the break-through rap artist who accomplished many firsts including; the first rapper to tour US & Europe (w/ The Commodores, 1980), the creator of the first rap music video (Basketball), the first rap producer (Rap’s producer of the year in 1983 85) and the first rapper featured in a soap opera (One Life to Live).

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Blow was featured in a Hip Hop display at the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Blow was also the first rapper to become a millionaire. Kurtis Blow is an American rapper and record producer who has a net worth of $5 million.

Kurtis Blow Wife, Married

Kurtis Blow was born on August 9, 1959, in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, the USA as Kurt Walker. He has been married to Shirley Stewart since September 2, 1984. They have three children.

Kurtis Blow The Breaks

“The Breaks” is a 1980 single by Kurtis from his self-titled debut album. It peaked at on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the first certified gold rap song and the second certified gold 12 inch single in the history of music. In 2008, the song ranked on VH1’s 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs.

Lyrics and structure “The Breaks” repeats the word “break” (or any of its homophones) eighty-four times over six and a half minutes. It features six breakdowns (seven including the outro) while there are three definitions for “break,” “to break” or “brakes” used in the lyrics.

Unlike most hip-hop songs which sample prerecorded funk, the funk beat in this song is original (contrary to suggestions that it sampled “Long Train Runnin’” by The Doobie Brothers).


“Basketball” is a song that was written by William Waring, Robert Ford, Kurtis, J. B. Moore, Jimmy Bralower, and Full Force and recorded by him released in 1984 from his album Ego Trip.

It was later covered by Lil’ Bow Wow in 2002, featuring Jermaine Dupri, Fabolous, and Fundisha for the Like Mike soundtrack. A music video for the original Kurtis Blow version was produced and directed by Michael Oblowitz in New York City in 1984. The song was used in the opening video, and as part of the soundtrack, in the video game NBA 2K12.

In 2016, the song was played during an episode of The Goldbergs entitled “Dungeons and Dragons, Anyone?”. Kurtis Blow also recorded a new version of the song with lyrics about the game Dungeons & Dragons for the episode.

The video game NBA2k12 used the song during the introduction.

Kurtis Blow Songs

Kurtis Blow (1980, Mercury)Deuce (1981, Mercury)Tough (1982, Mercury)The Best Rapper on the Scene (1983, Mercury)Ego Trip (1984, Mercury)America (1985, Mercury)Kingdom Blow (1986, Mercury)Back by Popular Demand (1988, Mercury)Other albumsKurtis Blow Presents: Hip Hop Ministry (2007, EMI Gospel)Just Do It (2008, Krush Groove/Trinity/B4 Ent.) (with The Trinity)Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (2009, Krush Groove/Trinity/B4 Ent.) (with The Trinity)30th Anniversary of The Breaks CD (2010, Krush Records)Compilation albumsThe Breaks (1986, Polygram)The Best of Kurtis Blow (1994, Mercury)Best of… Rappin’ (2002, Spectrum Music)20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Kurtis Blow (2003, Mercury)Singles and EPs“Christmas Rappin’” (1979, Mercury MDS-4009)“The Breaks” (1980, Mercury MDS 4010)Tough EP (1982, Mercury)“Party Time?” (1983, Mercury)“Nervous” (1983, Mercury)“Ego Trip” (1984, Mercury)“Basketball” (1984, Mercury)“The Bronx” (1986, Mercury)“Back by Popular Demand” (1988, Mercury)“Chillin’ at the Spot” (1994, Public Attack)

Kurtis Blow Facebook

Kurtis Blow Party Time

Party Time? is an LP by rapper Blow, released in 1983 on Mercury Records. The title track and the song “Got to Dance” were both party-themed, but the other songs struck a sociopolitical tone.

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