Kurtis Blow is a pioneering figure in the world of hip-hop and one of the genre’s most respected and influential artists. He was one of the first rappers to achieve mainstream success, with a string of hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s that helped to popularize hip-hop across the globe. With his unique blend of funk, soul, and rap, Kurtis Blow paved the way for a new era of hip-hop music and culture.
In this article, we will be exploring the top 10 best Kurtis Blow songs of all time. From his early classics like “The Breaks” and “Christmas Rappin'” to later hits like “Basketball” and “Starlife,” Kurtis Blow has left an indelible mark on the world of hip-hop. We’ll be taking a deep dive into each of these songs, exploring their history, their impact on the genre, and what makes them so timeless. Whether you’re a long-time fan of Kurtis Blow or a newcomer to his music, this article is sure to provide a comprehensive overview of his greatest hits and why they continue to be celebrated today.
“America” is a politically-charged song by Kurtis Blow that was released in 1985. The track is a commentary on the state of America at the time, touching on issues such as racism, poverty, and war. The song features Blow’s signature rap style, with hard-hitting lyrics that call for change and social justice. The track’s chorus features a group of singers repeating the word “America” in a powerful, anthemic style. The song’s music video features footage of American life, including images of protests and political speeches, as well as clips of everyday people going about their lives. “America” was a departure from some of Blow’s earlier, more lighthearted tracks, and showcased his ability to address serious social issues through his music.
2. 8 Million Stories ft. Run-DMC
“8 Million Stories” is a classic hip-hop track by Kurtis Blow, featuring the legendary group Run-DMC. Released in 1986, the song captures the essence of New York City in the mid-1980s, with its booming music scene, colorful street life, and urban decay. With its heavy bassline, sharp beats, and clever lyrics, “8 Million Stories” takes listeners on a journey through the city’s neighborhoods, from the Bronx to Brooklyn. The track features dynamic performances from both Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC, with each group bringing its own unique flavor to the song. The chorus, with its infectious call-and-response section, has become a classic hip-hop refrain. “8 Million Stories” was a commercial success upon its release and has since become a beloved classic of the genre, showcasing the best of what 1980s hip-hop had to offer.
3. Throughout Your Years
“Throughout Your Years” is a soulful track by Kurtis Blow, released in 1985. The song showcases a more introspective side of the rapper, with lyrics that reflect on the struggles and challenges of life. The track features a slow, melodic beat, with Kurtis Blow’s smooth vocals front and center. The song’s lyrics touch on themes of perseverance, self-doubt, and personal growth, offering words of encouragement and hope to listeners. “Throughout Your Years” is a departure from some of Kurtis Blow’s more upbeat and party-oriented tracks, but it showcases his versatility as an artist and his ability to connect with audiences on a deeper level. With its heartfelt lyrics and soulful sound, “Throughout Your Years” remains a beloved track among fans of both hip-hop and soul music.
4. I’m Chillin’
“I’m Chillin'” is a classic party track by Kurtis Blow, released in 1986. The song features a funky, danceable beat and catchy, lighthearted lyrics that celebrate the simple pleasures of life. With its playful rhymes and upbeat energy, “I’m Chillin'” became an instant hit among hip-hop fans, and its popularity has endured over the years. The track’s video features Kurtis Blow and his crew throwing a wild house party, with dancing, drinking, and general revelry on full display. “I’m Chillin'” showcases Kurtis Blow’s gift for crafting infectious, crowd-pleasing tracks, and it remains a beloved classic of the hip-hop genre. With its feel-good vibes and irresistible groove, “I’m Chillin'” is the perfect track to get any party started.
5. The Breaks
“The Breaks” is a landmark track by Kurtis Blow, released in 1980. The song is widely regarded as one of the first commercial hits in the hip-hop genre and is considered a classic of the era. With its catchy chorus and memorable, sample-heavy beats, “The Breaks” captured the spirit of the early days of hip-hop and helped to popularize the genre among mainstream audiences. The song’s lyrics celebrate the simple joys of life and emphasize the importance of perseverance and hard work. “The Breaks” became a major commercial success upon its release and helped to establish Kurtis Blow as a major force in the hip-hop world. To this day, the song remains a beloved classic of the genre and an important touchstone in the history of hip-hop music.
6. If I Ruled the World
“If I Ruled the World” is a thought-provoking track by Kurtis Blow, released in 1985. The song features a mellow, soulful beat and introspective lyrics that imagine a world where Kurtis Blow is in charge. The song’s lyrics touch on themes of justice, equality, and social change, offering a hopeful and optimistic vision of the future. “If I Ruled the World” is a departure from some of Kurtis Blow’s more lighthearted party tracks, but it showcases his versatility as an artist and his willingness to explore deeper, more meaningful themes in his music. The track’s catchy melody and memorable lyrics have made it a favorite among fans of both hip-hop and soul music, and its message of hope and unity remains as relevant today as it was when the song was first released.
“Basketball” is a classic hip-hop track by Kurtis Blow, released in 1984. The song is an ode to the sport of basketball, with Kurtis Blow rapping about the game’s excitement and energy. The track’s infectious beat, catchy hook, and playful lyrics have made it a favorite among fans of both hip-hop and basketball. “Basketball” is also notable for being one of the first hip-hop songs to feature a live band, with Kurtis Blow and his backing musicians bringing a level of musicality and energy to the track that set it apart from other rap songs of the era. The song’s enduring popularity has led to it being used in numerous films, TV shows, and commercials over the years, cementing its status as a beloved classic in both the worlds of hip-hop and sports.
8. Christmas Rappin’
“Christmas Rappin'” is a holiday-themed track by Kurtis Blow, released in 1979. The song is one of the earliest examples of a Christmas-themed rap song and features Kurtis Blow rapping about his experience of celebrating the holiday season with his family and friends. The track’s upbeat tempo, catchy melody, and playful lyrics have made it a holiday favorite for many fans of hip-hop and Christmas music alike. “Christmas Rappin'” is also notable for being one of the first commercially successful rap songs, paving the way for the genre’s rise to mainstream popularity in the 1980s and beyond. The song’s enduring popularity has led to it being included on numerous holiday music compilations and radio playlists, cementing its status as a classic Christmas tune.
9. Party Time?
“Party Time?” is a classic track by the legendary rapper and hip-hop pioneer, Kurtis Blow. Released in 1983, the song features an infectious beat and funky bassline, with Kurtis Blow delivering his signature smooth flow and witty lyrics. The track’s party theme is reflected in the upbeat and danceable rhythm, which encourages listeners to get on their feet and move. With its catchy hook and memorable chorus, “Party Time?” became a hit in the clubs and on the radio, solidifying Kurtis Blow’s status as one of the leading figures in the early days of hip-hop. The song’s influence can still be heard in modern rap and hip-hop, as it continues to inspire new generations of artists and fans. “Party Time?” remains a beloved classic in the world of hip-hop and a testament to Kurtis Blow’s enduring legacy as a pioneer of the genre.
“Tough” is a track from Kurtis Blow’s fifth album, “Kingdom Blow,” released in 1986. The song features a driving beat and a catchy chorus, with Kurtis Blow showcasing his signature flow and lyrical prowess. The track’s theme is all about resilience and overcoming obstacles, with Kurtis Blow delivering a powerful message of strength and determination. The song’s upbeat and positive vibe is infectious, inspiring listeners to keep pushing forward even in the face of adversity. With its timeless message and catchy rhythm, “Tough” remains a fan favorite and a testament to Kurtis Blow’s enduring legacy as one of the most influential and iconic figures in the history of hip-hop.