Thursday, April 11, 2013

"The Breaks" by Kurtis Blow

Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  0319
Date:  09/06/1980
Debut:  98
Peak:  87
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Rap

Pop Bits:  Even though this song only peaked at #87, it is historic in many ways. Rap/hip-hop was just in its infancy in the lat 70s and it started to get more attention when The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" became the first nationally successful rap song hitting #36 (#4 R&B). Kurtis Blow then became the first rapper to sign to a major label (Mercury) and his first single, "Christmas Rappin'," was a solid seller. But it was this second single that really made an impact. It was the first major label solo rap hit to get on the chart and also the very first to reach gold status (mainly for its 12" version). It's also one of the lowest peaking pop entries to go gold (although it did hit #4 R&B and #9 Dance). The song was both historic and influential as was Blow's self-titled debut album.

ReduxReview:  I didn't hear this song until many years later. After all, our local pop radio station was not going to toss this in between Air Supply and Olivia Newton-John. But eventually I got to hear it and not only does it have historical value, it is just a dang good memorable record. I don't know how many times over the years in certain situations I've just said "well these are the breaks!"

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Unlike a lot of rap songs that would follow, "The Breaks" does not use samples of other songs for its background. The beats are all original. And because it is original, the song itself ended up being sampled in other rap recordings.


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