The 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

Jay Z, Eminem, Tupac, Biggie and more

Kurtis Blow, 'The Breaks'
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40. Kurtis Blow, 'The Breaks'

Non-album single, 1980

The first rap hit on a major label, peaking at Number 87, 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," taking B-boy culture to mainstream USA while blazing a trail for rappers like Run of Run-DMC, who got his start billing himself "The Son of Kurtis Blow."

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