Kurtis Blow

The Breaks

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Song Review by John Bush

The first hard-times anthem in hip-hop, "The Breaks" united all the ingredients of the burgeoning party raps -- a repetitive funk riff on guitar, popping bass, party-people vocals -- with a social conscience that's half-comedic, half-cautionary. Though Kurtis Blow's rapping never wore very well, he's good for a laugh or two ("Ma Bell sends you a whopping bill/With 18 phone calls to Brazil) and a few warnings ("You borrowed money from your Mom/And yesterday you lost your job") while the impromptu backing chorus screams, "That's the breaks/That's the breaks!" One of early rap's biggest crossover stars, Blow took "The Breaks" to the R&B Top Five in 1980, and it even hit the pop charts.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1986 Unidisc 4:05
Hip Hop Greats: Classic Raps 1990
Various Artists
Rhino 7:41
The Awesome 2 Present: The History of Rap, Vol. 1 1990 Select Records / Select 7:41
Street Jams: Hip-Hop from the Top, Vol. 1 1992
Various Artists
Rhino 6:29
The Best of Kurtis Blow 1994 Mercury 7:48
Old School Jams, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
SPG 7:42
Planet Funk, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
Priority Records
Funk Classics: The 80's 1995
Various Artists
Rebound Records 4:07
From Hip to Hop, Vol. 1: Funkbots 1995
Various Artists
Orchard Lane 7:48
Street Jams: Hip-Hop From the Top, Vol. 1-4 1996
Various Artists
Rhino
True School, Vol. 1 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 7:41
Kurtis Blow Presents the History of Rap, Vol. 2: The Birth of the Rap Record 1997
Various Artists
Rhino 7:49
Hip-Ol' Skool 1997
Various Artists
Hip-O 4:07
MTV Presents: Hip-Hop Back in the Day 1998
Various Artists
Priority Records 6:30
The Source Presents: Hits from the Vault, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
Polygram 4:41
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 6:29
Tech House Phenomena, Vol. 2 1999 Euka / Eukahouse 4:12
Old School Jams: The History Lesson 1999
Various Artists
SPG 7:42
Old School Rap, Vols. 1-4 [Box Set] 2000
Various Artists
Thump Records 6:30
The Best of Breakdance & Electric Boogie, Vol. 2 2000
Various Artists
ZYX Music 3:56
Dynamic House Edition, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Clip 4:05
Sounds of the Decade 2001
Various Artists
H&G 2:26
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Rebound Records
Old School Rap Party, Vol. 1 2002
Various Artists
Thump Records 6:29
Rappers Delight 2002
Various Artists
Universal International 3:54
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Box Set 2002
Original Soundtrack
Sony Music Distribution 7:47
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Vol. 5: Wildstyle 2002
Original Soundtrack
Sony Music Distribution 7:47