Kurtis Blow
Kurtis Blow

Birth name

Kurt Walker


9 August 1959 (age 57)
Harlem, New York, United States


Hip hop


Rapper, record producer, actor, DJ, minister

Years active

mid 1970s-present



Associated acts

The Fat Boys, Run-D.M.C.

Kurt Walker (born 9 August 1959), better known by his stage name Kurtis Blow, is an American rapper and record producer. He is the first commercially successful rapper, and the first to sign with a major record label. "The Breaks", a single from his 1980 self-titled debut album, is the first certified Gold hip hop song. He has released eight studio albums, over the course of eight years from 1980 to 1988. Blow is currently an ordained minister.

Originally from Harlem, Blow began DJing under the name Kool DJ Kurt during the mid 1970s. In 1979, aged twenty, Kurtis Blow became the first rapper to be signed by a major label, Mercury, which released his single "Christmas Rappin'". The single sold over 400,000 copies, while its follow-up, "The Breaks", sold over half a million copies. Towards the end of the 1980s, his recording career waned and he moved into music production. Blow is responsible for hits by Run-D.M.C. and The Fat Boys

Blow is the founder of The Hip Hop Church, of which he serves as worship leader and licensed minister. He became an ordained minister in 2009.


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