Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Kurtis Blow - America (1985)

From Wikipedia:
Born in Harlem, New York, next to a spaghetti factory, Curtis Walker got his public start in 1976 as a breakdancer and a block party DJ known by the name of Kool DJ Kurt. That same year he enrolled at the City College of New York and became a program director for the college radio station.
Also in 1976, he joined a group called “The Force.” Russell Simmons was a lead member of that group. The Force sponsored parties around Harlem until 1977, when Simmons moved the group to Queens, New York.
After becoming an MC on his own, Kool DJ Kurt changed his name, with the persuasion of his manager Russell Simmons, to Kurtis Blow (as in body blow). Kurtis began trying to sell
himself as “the number one rapper in Queens,” with Russell’s help.
For a short time Blow’s regular DJ was Simmons’ younger brother Joseph, who at the time was known as “DJ Run, the Son of Kurtis Blow.” He later changed his name and went on to become the first third of Run-D.M.C.

I hadn't heard this album in years until I rediscovered it the other week.
There's certainly some nice tracks in the bunch most importantly the epic title track with Kurtis getting political in the Reaganomic Era amidst the Cold War, anti-Russian hysteria of the time.

Check out the backing vocalists and musicans for some of these tracks as Kurtis wasn't messing about and went for the best he could find.

Also check out the early sampling technology used on If I Ruled The World where the bars of Troublefunk's Pump Me Up are just a tiny bit out of time. Or is that me?

You'll also discover upon opening the .rar file that I've reversed the track, MC Lullaby and you can finally hear what he said! I put this version at the end of the set so that the original still remains untouched.


A1 ..........America (6:17)
A2 ..........America Dub Mix (2:42)
A3 ..........Super Sperm (1:16)
A4 ..........AJ Meets Davy DMX (6:37)
A5 ..........Hello Baby (6:42)
................Vocals - Brenda K. Starr , Danny Harris , Davy DMX , Lyonne , Tashan
B1 ..........If I Ruled The World (7:10)
................Vocals - Alyson Williams , Danny Harris , Fonda Rae , Lisa Fisher
B2 ..........Respect To The King (1:57)
B3 ..........AJ Is Cool (5:51)
................Vocals - Alyson Williams , Fonda Rae , Lisa Fisher
B4 ..........Summertime Groove (5:44)
B5 ..........MC Lullaby (0:28)
B6 ..........Don't Cha Feel Like Making Love (4:16)

I still don't like it when Kurtis sings though. "Hello Baby" in particular.

"We begin bombing in five minutes"

1 comment:

ramses3rd said...

I've always had a soft spot for ol' Kurtis. This is a pretty solid album, personal faves are probably the two "AJ..." tracks (never really went for If I Ruled The World).

Fully agree with your comments about singing, back then you couldn't buy a hip hop album without at least two wack songs on them (I still weep when I think about the Twilight 22 LP).

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