Kurtis Blow - America - 1985
Yet another Kurtis Blow album with an awesome cover. This was eyed while checking out at Joe's Record Paradise last night as it was sitting behind the counter. Our cashier said this "concept album" was for sale and upon flipping to the back cover, we were all immediately in awe of Kurtis Blow's "sweet mullet" as quoted by the Joe's cashier. Add this to the collection of Kurtis Blow ridiculous back album covers (see our post for his first album).
So buying this record was a toss up, since it a) was not $1 or less for an album that we knew absolutely nothing about, b) is from 1985 c) gives special thanks to Slick Vick (who is this? Slick Rick's inferior brother), and d) has a track called "Super Sperm". However, it does contain a track "If I Ruled the World" - music and lyrics by Kurtis Blow. Could this be the original of the song that I know by Nas and Lauryn Hill? I had to find out.
Of course it is the archetype of the song that I know from the 90's by Nas; I should know by now that very few 90's rap and hip hop songs are originals. The hook is the similar, but the verses of Blow's song sound more like Will Smith's Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme. "As I arrived, the crowd started to cheer - And then someone yelled out, 'The King is here!'" Many lyrics on this one will likely remind you of early Will Smith, one song "Summertime Groove" in particular seems a straight steal by Mr. Smith... perhaps an homage.
The rest of the songs sound a lot like beat boxing, but with a beat machine on a keyboard. This makes sense since this same year he produced the Fat Boys album which pioneered the human beat box along with Doug E. Fresh. I sorta wish I had a boom box to rock this album.
Overall, I think I would be ok just buying a single of If I Ruled the World, nothing REALLY stands out on the rest of the album, but its fun to listen to. The first track has a few moments of inspiration, but it is kind of watered down.
PS - try really hard to not listen to the last track on Side B - "Don't Cha Feel Like Makin Love" - its as bad as your would think for a Kurtis Blow Side B track. What is it with this guy and his incredibly bad album ending tracks? It's like he's trying to prove a point that he can indeed embarass himself at least once per album. This track sounds like the worst Poison song ever recorded. BAD!!!