Kurtis Blow released his self-titled debut in 1980, and more than three decades on the hip-hop classic still resonates. The album’s standout cut “The Breaks,” which essentially exists as the flipside to Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day,” finds Blow, born Kurt Walker 54 years ago, touching on the various road blocks life can throw up. Whether it be the IRS coming to collect or the loss of a job, the pioneering MC greets each hurdle with a shrug, rhyming, “These are the breaks.”
This idea of taking life as it comes is certainly solid advice, and it’s fair to say Blow has adopted the approach as his own. In the ’90s his music gradually started to take a backseat to his faith, and in 2009 the rapper became an ordained minister. These days he splits his time between the stage and the pulpit, though the message tends to be the same no matter the venue: be courteous, treat your fellow man with respect and when life throws a punch simply absorb it and keep striding onward.
Christopher Williams also performs.