August 9, 1959
American rapper and producer Kurt Walker, best known as Kurtis Blow, was born in Harlem, New York in 1959. Kurtis is best known for being the first rapper to sign with a major record, in addition to being the first commercially successful rapper.
In 1979, at the age of 20, Kurtis Blow signed a record deal with American-based record label Mercury Records. He was also the first rapper to perform overseas.
His first single released through Mercury was “Christmas Rappin'”, the first from his 1980 self-titled debut album. “Christmas Rappin'” sold over 500,000 copies, and the second single “The Breaks” sold over half a million copies. “The Breaks” remains one of the more sampled songs in hop hop history.
Kurtis serves as rapper, DJ, and licensed minister in The Hip Hop Church, in which he found. He became an ordained minister on August 16, 2009. In 1996, Kurt became featured in a hip hop display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not only is Kurtis a genuine scholar of hip hop, he is a pioneer; the first in many different respects of it, in addition to paving the way for future generations.