Lost but not least! Kurtis Blow – Throughout Your Years (Mercury)
‘Throughout Your Years’ is probably not the first track that’ll come to the minds of a big majority of you whenever thinkin’ of Kurtis Blow‘s legacy. The reason for that bein’ quite simple at the end. With ‘Throughout Your Years’ pretty much overshadowed by the memorable ‘Christmas Rappin” and ‘The Breaks’ as a matter of fact.
What a pity at the end, judging by the quality of its lyrics in addition to the deliberately positive message it’s spreading. And I’m not even talkin’ about its outstanding composition. Beginning with Onaje Allan Gumbs‘ brilliant Latin Jazz influenced piano line over a one of a kind blowin’ bassline.
‘Throughout Your Years’ is a self encouraging message which countless of us can use as a source of inspiration whenever needed. “A thousand things can hold you back and try to run you off the track. So you got to believe you can be the best. You got to work real hard to achieve success. So listen close, cause I insist. I got some advice, it goes just like this: Take your time, you don’t have to hurry. Hang tough, you don’t have to worry. In society, the strong survive. So rap a single or get a nine to five. With a little hard work and dedication we’ll pull together and rock the nation. So if you do the do and think you are great, come on everybody and participate. Say “Ho”! You gotta to say “ho” if you’re ready to go…”
As many words speakin’ for themselves, don’t you think?
A native of Harlem, NYC, Kurtis Blow studied communication and ministry. He managed to be the first Rapper to be signing a recording deal with a major company at the age of 20. This back in 1979 with Mercury releasing the seasonal ‘Christmas Rappin” which sold more than 500,000 copies. His debut eponymous album bringin’ him another hit by the likes of ‘The Breaks’ the year after along with the influential ‘Throughout Your Years’.
‘Party Time?’, his fourth album came to put an end to a dry period in the charts for Blow back in 1983. Meanwhile fusing elements of Hip-Hop with Go-Go influences such as brilliantly showcased on its title track. Its follow-up – ‘Ego Trip’ – including the hits ‘8 Million Stories’, ‘AJ Scratch’ and ‘Basketball’ the year after. Extra successes comin’ up in 1985 by the likes of the title track of his ‘America’ album and ‘If I Ruled The World’. Its follow-up, ‘Kingdom Blow’, failing to make it due to a particularly bad reception. And this despite the presence of the boilin’ hot ‘I’m Chillin” that saw him jammin’ once again with Go-Go famous Trouble Funk.
Blow then most likely moved into production with his recording career waning by the second half of the 80’s. This on the heels of collaborations he’d done with numerous luminaries almost since his debut as an artist. From Sweet G to the Fat Boys and The Krush Groove All Stars. But also Oran ‘Juice’ Jones. No to mention his contribution to the memorable ‘Save Your Love (For #1)’ by the likes of René & Angela back in 1985. Then to the Artists Against Apartheid record ‘Sun City’ the same year.
Kurtis received his salvation “born again” in 1994. He became an ordained minister on Aug. 16, 2009. As the founder of The Hip-Hop Church in Harlem, he serves as rapper, DJ, worship leader and licensed minister.