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Kurtis Blow was the first rap superstar. He was the first rapper to be signed to a major label and the first one to have a gold single with “The Breaks.” But his career is a whole lot more than just that song and “Christmas Rappin’.” Even before stardom, Blow was a busy DJ and performer who was sharing bills with the likes of old-school legends DJ Hollywood and Eddie Cheeba.

And after he broke big—with the help of his manager Russell Simmons—Blow stayed on top, releasing a long string of albums through most of the 1980s and also producing for other artists like the Fat Boys and Oran “Juice” Jones.

Tracks featured in this episode:

  1. Full Force, “United”
  2. Run-DMC, “King of Rock”
  3. Fat Boys, “Fat Boys are Back”
  4. Fat Boys, “Hard Core Reggae”
  5. Fat Boys, “Rock ‘N’ Roll”
  6. Fat Boys, “Human Beat Box”
  7. Kurtis Blow, “Basketball”
  8. Kurtis Blow, “Christmas Rappin’”
  9. Kurtis Blow, “Party Time”
  10. Kurtis Blow, “America”
  11. Kurtis Blow, “Christmas Rappin’”
  12. Kurtis Blow, “Way Out West”
  13. Kurtis Blow, “Takin’ Care of Business”
  14. Irene Cara, “Fame”
  15. Eddie Cheeba (Live)
  16. DJ Hollywood and Starski live at The Armory, 1979
  17. Melba Moore, “This Is It”
  18. Fats Waller & His Rhythm, “The Joint Is Jumpin’”
  19. Love Bug Star Ski & The Harlem World Crew, “Positive Life”
  20. Dennis Coffey, “Scorpio”
  21. James Brown, “Funky Drummer - Pt. 1 & 2”
  22. Kurtis Blow, “Christmas Rappin’”
  23. Kurtis Blow, “Christmas Rappin’”
  24. Kurtis Blow, “Christmas Rappin’”
  25. Kurtis Blow, “Christmas Rappin’”
  26. Kurtis Blow, “The Breaks”
  27. Kurtis Blow, “Basketball”
  28. Kurtis Blow, “Basketball”
  29. Kurtis Blow, “Basketball”
  30. Kurtis Blow, “Tough”
  31. Prince, “When Doves Cry”
  32. a-ha, “Take On Me”
  33. Kenny Loggins, “Danger Zone”
  34. Deniece Williams, “Let’s Hear It for the Boy”
  35. Bananarama, “Cruel Summer”
  36. Berlin, “Take My Breath Away”
  37. Falco, “Rock Me Amadeus”
  38. Harold Faltermeyer, “Axel F”
  39. Mr. Mister, “Broken Wings”
  40. The Pointer Sisters, “Neutron Dance”
  41. Tears for Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World
  42. Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”
  43. Kurtis Blow, “AJ Scratch”
  44. Trouble Funk, “Pump Me Up”
  45. Kurtis Blow, “If I Ruled The World”
  46. Orange Krush, “Action”
  47. Eric B. & Rakim, “I Know You Got Soul”
  48. Kurtis Blow, “Suckers in the Place”
  49. Kurtis Blow, “I’m True to This”
  50. Kurtis Blow, “Only the Strong Survive”
  51. Alyson Williams, “Just Call My Name”
  52. Kurtis Blow, “Street Rock”
  53. Aerosmith, “Walk This Way”
  54. Run-DMC f/Aerosmith, “Walk This Way”
  55. The Whole Darn Family, “Seven Minutes of Funk”
  56. Kurtis Blow, “Street Rock”

Show notes:

  1. The Hip Hop Cosign, “Hip Hop History: Eddie Cheeba & DJ Hollywood-(The Disco Side of Hip Hop)”
  2. Carrie Golus, ‘Russell Simmons: From Def Jam to Super Rich’ [excerpt]
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