100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

What makes a great hip-hop song?

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40. Kurtis Blow, "The Breaks"

The first rap hit on a major label, peaking at Number 87 on Billboard's Hot 100, was a no-frills joint: a loping bass line and jumping beat with the Harlem-born Blow presiding over playground-party noises and percussion breakdowns. Blow toured extensively behind "The Breaks," introducing America to B-boy culture – "something I'm sure few people outside New York have ever seen," he said in 1981 – while blazing a trail for rappers like Run of Run-DMC, who started out calling himself "The Son of Kurtis Blow."

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