1. The Breaks
2. Christmas Rappin’
3. Hard Times
4. Star Life
7. Party Time
8. One-Two-Five (Main Street, Harlem, USA)
9. 8 Million Stories
10. AJ Scratch
13. If I Ruled the World
14. I’m Chillin’
“Clap your hands every body, if you’ve got what it takes/I’m Kurtis Blow and I’ want you to know that these are The Breaks”
Who doesn’t know that little rhyme? And regardless of the other 13 tracks, none have been remembered the way “The Breaks” has.
“Christmas Rappin'” almost made history as it was being recorded the same time as “Rapper’s Delight” was released.
This is a good collection of songs and are all quite representative of Blow’s skills. I’ve never been a huge fan of his (although seeing him open for Run DMC in 1998 was quite a thrill), mostly for the reason that I find his work inconsistent. I either really love the song or I really couldn’t care less about it. This disc is no exception.
The first three songs are all quality, including “Hard Times,” which would later be remade by Run DMC.
“Star Life” is one of those I could do without. “Tough” has a standard bass line and forgettable lyrics. “Daydreamin'” was written by Oran “Juice” Jones and showcases Blow’s lack of singing skills and should have been excluded from this all together.
The disc finally gets back on track with “8 Million Stories” and its song stealing guest appearance by Run DMC.
The disc finishes us strong with “AJ Scratch,” a classic, that may the best produced track of his career. “Basketball” is also a memorable song with a catchy hook and “sign-of-the-time” lyrics.
But, in my humble opinion, Kurtis Blow’s best track ever is the funky, Davey DMX produced “If I Ruled the Rule.” His performance of it in the film Krush Groove is priceless and one of the films highlights.
About half of this disc make it a must have, but just beware of the weak middle section. – JohnG