Kurtis Blow, the First Rapper to be Signed by a Major Label

Kurtis Blow

Often regarded as a founding father of Hip-Hop, Kurtis Blow became a huge part of music history at the age of 20. In 1979, Blow, born Kurtis Walker, became the first rapper to be signed by a major label.

According to DailyRapFacts, “a British record label, Mercury Records signed Kurtis Blow,” who then “cut a record called “Christmas Rappin.” That very record went on to sell more than 400,000 copies, but this wasn’t the only time Kurtis Blow would make history.

He was also the first rapper to appear and perform on national television after his appearance on Soul Train in October of 1980.

Blow was truly a pioneer in the world of rapping as he later collaborated with artists like Whitney Houston, New Edition, Stephanie Mills, El Debarge, James “JT” Taylor of Kool & the Gang, The Fat Boys, and Run DMC. He also traveled the world to share his music.

With a career that lasted more than 30 years, Kurtis Blow is definitely a living legend for young artists to follow.