I've been waiting on writing about Kurtis Blow's self titled 1980 album because I wasn't sure where to take it after this, it could go to his second album Deuce, Run DMC, or the Fat Boys.... So now that I've given a preview of upcoming reviews.... THESE ARE THE BREAKS!
The Good: "Rappin Blow (Part 2)", "The Breaks", and "Way Out West", which is all of Side A. Blow's lyrics encouraging the listeners to interact with the music is kinda revolutionary. This might be the first time we hear "Throw your hands in the air, and wave em like you just don't care", "Somebody scream!", and "Just do it just do it just do it do it do it." The single, "The Breaks" is epic, especially with the drum solos, which I'm pretty sure is actually someone playing the buckets. You really cannot listen to Side A and not get up and dance.
The Bad: SIDE B. Its really not good. In fact, you really have to ask what he was thinking recording "All I Want in this World." The lyrics are ridiculous: "A cute one, a shy one, a slim one, a sly one, a big one, a small one, a real off the wall one, all I want in this world is to find that girl." I don't believe I actually just listened to this song twice to write these lyrics down. His cover to "Takin Care of Business" is a clear display that he should stick to rapping. It's fucking horrendous! It's kind of great awful, but you should probably not be sober for it.
The Ugly: Back Cover. Do not look at it. In fact hold it very far away from your face when trying to read the track titles. Pretty sure Kurtis Blow's face is larger than life size, unless he is a giant. Not attractive.
This album is really a bridge between funky 70's disco and 80's rap and hippity hop. The catchy flows and sweet lyrics really make this album, whether they are good or bad (mostly good). He seems like he's not really all that interested in making any particular type of album, he's experimenting a lot. Dangerously bad results ensue on side B, but the good stuff cannot be ignored and is pretty damn funky. Although Blow's "The Breaks" is often mentioned with Sugar Hill Gang's "Rappers Delight" it's sort of amazing that Blow laid the track as a solo rapper instead of a group. These singles are cited as being the birth of modern hip-hop. Pretty boogaloo awesome.