Looking to hire Kurtis Blow for a private party, fundraiser, gala, public concert, wedding, college, fair or festival worldwide?
BookingEntertainment.com makes it easy to get available dates, pricing and fees for booking Kurtis Blow.
Fill out an entertainment request form and a Kurtis Blow booking agent who can assist you in booking Kurtis Blow will get back to you to discuss booking Kurtis Blow for your event.
Want to talk about your event now? Give us a call at (212) 645-0555 and one of our booking agents will be happy help you immediately.
Our office is staffed from 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM EST, Monday - Friday.
As the first commercially successful rap artist, Kurtis Blow is a towering figure in hip-hop history. His popularity and charisma helped prove that rap music was something more than a flash-in-the-pan novelty, paving the way for the even greater advances of Grandmaster Flash and Run-D.M.C. Blow was the first rapper to sign with (and release an album for) a major label; the first to have a single certified gold (1980's landmark "The Breaks"); the first to embark on a national (and international) concert tour; and the first to cement rap's mainstream marketability by signing an endorsement deal. For that matter, he was really the first significant solo rapper on record, and as such he was a natural focal point for many aspiring young MCs in the early days of hip-hop. For all his immense importance and influence, many of Blow's records haven't dated all that well; his rapping technique, limber for its time, simply wasn't as evolved as the more advanced MCs who built upon his style and followed him up the charts. But at his very best, Blow epitomizes the virtues of the old school: ingratiating, strutting party music that captures the exuberance of an art form still in its youth.
Kurtis Blow was born Kurtis Walker in Harlem in 1959. He was in on the earliest stages of hip-hop culture in the '70s -- first as a breakdancer, then as a block-party and club DJ performing under the name Kool DJ Kurt; after enrolling at CCNY in 1976, he also served as program director for the college radio station. He became an MC in his own right around 1977, and changed his name to Kurtis Blow (as in a body blow) at the suggestion of his manager, future Def Jam founder and rap mogul Russell Simmons. Blow performed with legendary DJs like Grandmaster Flash, and for a time his regular DJ was Simmons' teenage brother Joseph -- who, after changing his stage name from "Son of Kurtis Blow," would go on to become the first half of Run-D.M.C. Over 1977-1978, Blow's club gigs around Harlem and the Bronx made him an underground sensation, and Billboard magazine writer Robert Ford approached Simmons about making a record. Blow cut a song co-written by Ford and financier J.B. Moore called "Christmas Rappin'," and it helped him get a deal with Mercury once the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" had climbed into the R&B Top Five.
Blow's second single, "The Breaks," was an out-of-the-box smash, following "Rapper's Delight" into the Top Five of the R&B charts in 1980 and eventually going gold; it still ranks as one of old school rap's greatest and most enduring moments. The full-length album Kurtis Blow was also released in 1980, and made the R&B Top Ten in spite of many assumptions that the Sugarhill Gang's success was a one-time fluke. Although the album's attempts at soul crooning and rock covers haven't dated well, the poverty-themed "Hard Times" marked perhaps the first instance of hip-hop's social consciousness, and was later covered by Run-D.M.C. Blow initially found it hard to follow up "The Breaks," despite releasing nearly an album a year for most of the '80s. 1981's Deuce and 1982's Tough weren't huge sellers, and 1983's Party Time EP brought D.C. go-go funksters E.U. on board for a stylistic update. Around this time, Blow was also making his mark as a producer, working with a variety of hip-hop and R&B artists; most notably, he helmed most of the Fat Boys' records after helping them get a record deal. 1984's Ego Trip sold respectably well on the strength of cuts like the DJ tribute "AJ Scratch," the agreeably lightweight "Basketball," and the Run-D.M.C. duet "8 Million Stories." Blow followed it with an appearance in the cult hip-hop film Krush Groove, in which he performed "If I Ruled the World," his biggest hit since "The Breaks."
"If I Ruled the World" proved to be the last gasp of Blow's popularity, as hip-hop's rapid growth made his style seem increasingly outdated. 1985's America was largely ignored, and 1986's Kingdom Blow was afforded an icy reception despite producing a final chart hit, "I'm Chillin'." Critics savaged his final comeback attempt, 1988's Back by Popular Demand, almost invariably pointing out that the title, at that point, was not true. In its wake, Blow gave up the ghost of his recording career, but found other ways to keep the spirit of the old school alive. In the early '90s, he contributed rap material to the TV soap opera One Life to Live, and later spent several years hosting an old-school hip-hop show on Los Angeles radio station Power 106. In 1997, Rhino Records took advantage of his status as a hip-hop elder statesmen by hiring him to produce, compile, and write liner notes for the three-volume series Kurtis Blow Presents the History of Rap. The same year, he was a significant presence in the rap documentary Rhyme and Reason. Blow's music has also been revived by younger artists seeking to pay tribute; Nas covered "If I Rule the World" on 1996's It Was Written, and R&B group Next sampled "Christmas Rappin'" for their 1998 smash "Too Close." ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide
Kurtis Blow Song List
As an experienced entertainment booking agency, Booking Entertainment agents represent buyers of big name entertainment, providing pricing fees and full turn key concert events for our clients. We are a full-service booking entertainment agency for clients hosting corporate events, galas, private events, fundraisers, corporate functions, college concerts, private parties and speaking engagements worldwide.
Booking Entertainment works to get the best possible booking fee and price for our clients while also providing the celebrity or big name entertainer with the level of professionalism and industry norms that they expect from an event run by a professional booking agency and production management company.
Booking Entertainment uses our agency / management relationships and over 20 years of production experience to help buyers of headline / top name entertainers and does not claim or represent itself as the exclusive agent, manager or management company for any of the artists on our site.
Fill out the form below and your assigned agent will contact you quickly to see how Online Talent can best serve you and your clients.
This non-obligatory and confidential form was created for our booking agents to get a clear understanding of who you would like to book as well as your proposed date, budget and venue.
Our 20 years of agency / management relationships help you get the best possible price and ensures that your talent buying experience is handled with honesty and integrity. You can also talk to us about producing the entire musical portion of the event for one flat fee with no surprises...
Want to talk about your event now? Give us a call at (212) 645-0555 and one of our booking agents will be happy to help you immediately.
Our office is staffed from 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM EST, Monday - Friday.
Fields marked by asterisks (*) are required
NEED HELP? Please feel free to email us with questions at any time
"When you are looking to book big name entertainment for an event, there are a number of pop up booking agencies on the web that if they are reputable, simply book the acts and leave you to handle all of the responsibilities of producing the entertainment portion of your event. Our entertainment booking agents have been personally trained by me to ensure that the entire booking process and event production is handled flawlessly and with the personal touch that I make sure goes into every corporate event, private party or public concert that we handle. My reputation is on the line for every show we do, and I ensure that both our clients and the acts / celebrities that we book are treated to our unprecedented level of service.
Let our entertainment agent specialists show you how we can save you up to 30% on your production costs and why so many of our clients come back to our booking agency year after year to enjoy our hassle free service when they want to book big name entertainment for corporate events, private parties and public concerts worldwide."
CEO & President - Steve Einzig
"The first thing I do when I am planning my event for next year is call Steve at BookingEntertainment. Our event is at the Waldorf Astoria every year, and the team at BookingEntertainment delivers a perfect experience year after year. No matter what time we get in the room, BookingEntertainment makes it work."
J.T - Hospital Fundraiser - New York - (Stevie Wonder, Carole King, The Doobie Brothers, Kelly Clarkson, Don Henley, Chicago, Hall & Oates, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Natasha Bedingfield)
"They make corporate event planning a snap!! When we were looking for an entertainment agency while in the party planning stage of our event, BookingEntertainment.com was the only talent agency that we felt comfortable with. They delivered in a huge way. We loved dealing with them and the event was perfect."
M.B - Private Client - Barbados - (Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf, Bryan Adams, Kenny Rogers)
"Our events with BookingEntertainment have been perfect. They saved us over $200,000 in costs that were needlessly spent in previous years."
R.W - Fundraiser - Las Vegas - (Billy Joel, Stevie Nicks, Hall & Oates)
"BookingEntertainment is one of my favorite vendors. As the corporate meeting planner for a Fortune 500 company, my logistics sometimes incorporate more than 1000 people over several days of meetings and events. Year after year, the final evening concert is a SMASH!! With BookingEntertainment ensuring every last detail is attended to, I am free to relax and enjoy the show with my clients and colleagues."
B.M - Fortune 500 Company - Dallas - (Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Penn & Teller)
"Booking Entertainment is a first-rate company that provides more than just booking services. From solid recommendations that fit the target audience to top-notch event production, Booking Entertainment truly delivers. I've been working with Steve Einzig and his staff for over two years on all of our events and highly value their professionalism. Once I have made the call, I know that I don't have to worry about the entertainment for the event. That kind of comfort and assurance is priceless."
A.W - Corporate Event - Atlantic City and Baltimore (Lionel Richie, Donna Summer)