A hip-hop legend, Kurtis Blow was 20 in 1979, when he became the first rapper to be signed by a major label. Mercury released “Christmas Rappin’,” and it sold more than 400,000 copies, becoming an annual classic. Its gold follow-up, The Breaks, helped ignite an international “Rap Attack.” He released 10 albums in over 11 years: his full-length debut, Kurtis Blow; his second, Deuce, a Top 50 Pop album and a big hit across Europe; Party Time featuring a pioneering fusion of rap and gogo; and Ego Trip, including the hits “8 Million Stories,” “AJ” and “Basketball.” In 1985 he released America, featuring “If I Ruled the World,” a Top 5 hit on Billboard’s R&B chart; Columbia/Sony recording artist Nas debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Album chart with a cover of the song in 1997.
Kurtis called into The Backstage Beat to discuss his role in this production and lots more. We started by talking about Atlanta. Kurtis said he has always loved Atlanta. He has lots of friends and fans here and loves the feel and vibe of the city. He thinks the Fox Theatre is one of the best places to perform and for something as special as a Nutcracker rendition, he is thrilled to be bringing it to Atlanta.
“It’s the most incredible hip hop show on earth!” Kurtis proclaimed. He went on, “I really stand by that cause not only am I a part of it, I have seen it from a fans standpoint too. It is really all about the fusion. We are blending together different worlds. Three different worlds to be more precise. You have the classical world, Tchaikovsky to be exact, and you have big orchestra sounds and then you have hip hop. As a producer, it is really amazing this fusion. Then you have this beautiful ballet mixed with break dancing.”