Kurt Walker, 9 August 1959, Harlem, New York, USA. A producer and rap pioneer who had one of the genres earliest hits with Christmas Rappin in 1979, written for him by J.B. Ford and Billboard journalist Robert Ford Jnr. Blow had previously studied vocal performance at the High School Of Music and Art at the City College of New York. Afterwards, he began working as a DJ in Harlem where he added his first tentative raps to liven up proceedings. By this time he had made the acquaintance of fellow City College student Russell Simmons, who convinced him to change his name from Kool DJ Kurt to Kurtis Blow. Playing in small clubs alongside other early innovators such as Grandmaster Flash, he signed to Mercury Records just as the Sugarhill Gang achieved the first rap chart success with Rappers Delight. Blow in turn became the first rap artist to cut albums for a major label. His 1979 hit, The Breaks, for which his partner...
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