"; ?> Rocafella BLOG 5.1 | ROC Podcast in the Works
Rocafella.comRocaWear.comOffical Kanye West Web SiteDash Films - Coming Soon


ROC Media Kit: RMK1.0
Quick Reviews
Aztek Escobar
The Charles' Critical Corner

Antman (MIA)
Nikki (coming soon)


Kanye does so why don't you. Speak your mind on the new Messageboard. Its up to you to build the community. Unlike Rocafella.com's forum its free.
Jay-Z & Timbaland »

What do you get when you take the greatest living rapper and the greatest hip hip producer. You get one hot album. Sign the petition and lets make it happen.

by kenn on 3/30/2004 02:12:00 PM

Kurtis Blow: Rap pioneer

I found this one MSNBC. Sort of Jigga related. Kurtis Blow knows all about the breaks — both good and bad — of the hip-hop game.

The pioneering rapper notched rap’s first gold single back in 1980 for the album “The Breaks,” which sold more than 500,000 copies — a milestone for a fledgling genre that was still fighting for credibility.

For a while, the Jheri-curled, gold-chain wearing Blow was part of rap’s royalty, churning out hits like “A.J.” and “Basketball,” even starring in the 1985 rap film “Krush Groove” with Run-DMC and a young LL Cool J.

But as rap’s popularity exploded in the late ’80s, Blow’s imploded. The hits stopped coming and he moved to California to pursue a film career that has thus far eluded him.

He never stopped rapping, though. The 44-year-old still recites his famous rhymes at clubs, though the Jheri has been replaced with cornrows.

And he’s still on the radio: He hosts “Backspin” on one of Sirius satellite radio’s hip-hop stations. He’s also working on a rap documentary.

As far as today’s rap scene, he’s looking at the next generation; his 18-year-old son, KBJ — Kurtis Blow Jr. — is working on his debut disc with dad.

AP: What’s your view of hip-hop now?

Blow: There is sort of like a generation gap, and a lot of cats like myself and my peers are frustrated. We see a lot of younger kids making all the money ... But for me, I was fairly successful in my career so I’m not harboring any ill feelings toward the new school. As a matter of fact, I totally support it. I mean, eight, nine or 10 years ago, I said some things about how hip-hop had changed and how I didn’t like that. And I sat back and read these things, and it really seemed like I was a hater. I don’t want to be that anymore. So I changed my tune. I started to look at the positive side of what’s happening today.

AP: Do you listen to it?

Blow: I’m pretty abreast of new stuff that’s going on. ... It’s pretty complicated. They rap wittier. They rap faster. It’s hard to keep up for an old cat. We as old schoolers, we should support our young kids of today.

AP: What have you been up to since your heyday?

Blow: Well, I left scene in the early ’90s, I moved out to Cali to raise my family. ... I always knew in the back of my mind I would come back. I still perform. I never stopped performing.

AP: Was it hard to accept when the hits stopped coming?

Blow: That was probably the most frustrating part of my career, those years, because not only were they unsuccessful songs that I put out, but, it was more like, the record company didn’t give a damn. I was always fighting with this big bureaucratic system ... I was brokenhearted, no doubt.

AP: Some of today’s rappers are multimillionaires. Not so for your generation. Do you feel cheated?

Blow: No, I don’t feel cheated or robbed or anything like that. There are several reasons why, and it could be some personal psychotherapy that I’m doing on myself to keep from going crazy (laughs). I look at it like this — I was there at a time where hip-hop was young, it was fresh, it was real, it was vibrant, and I was there from the beginning. ... and that’s something I hold dear in my heart. Not many people can say that, and that’s something that no one can ever take away from me. That’s a treasure in itself.

AP: Are you set financially? A lot of your peers are struggling.

Blow: It still is a struggle, but I welcome the struggle because it keeps me energetic, it keeps me young, and fresh. I’m working, I have to work and hustle — it’s not a problem. I can’t say that for a lot of my peers. They have it hard, and I just want to appeal to a lot of the younger kids who are actually making it — go back and reach and help those old-schoolers, whether it be by doing their song over, give them a little paycheck for being in videos, help them out, or have them open up for you on your tour.

AP: Do you think today’s rappers respect their elders?

Blow: Sure they do! I always get it. Eminem was really really nice to me when I met him. I think he is such a gentlemen and he really is an intelligent young man who is going to be around for a while. Jay-Z was cool. I went and said, ‘Hey, Jay-Z,’ and his bodyguards (jumped up). Jay-Z said, ‘Yo, yo! That’s Kurtis Blow!’ And he came over and shook my hand. Most of the time, it’s all love.

Free Apple iPod Program