Review: Kurtis Blow – Tough

Kurtis Blow – Tough was one of the more rough edged Kurtis Blow albums which reflected on the working class struggle during the economic recession of the 1980s. Songs such as Tough addressed wealth inequality, employment, and even racial discrimination. You had your fun party tracks such as Juice and The Boogie Blues. Kurtis Blow displays his storytelling skills on a majority of the songs.

The album uses funky grooves and guitar twinges over rap lyrics given how the hip hop/rap genre was still in its infancy and had not become a widely accepted household genre except in urban areas.

Juice is a song about all the musicians Kurtis met one day. He acquired talent from being exposed to many genres and style of music.

Kurtis was walking down the avenue the other day when he heard this crazy sound. It was nothing but a guy with a set of drums. But he was really gettin’ down. He said his name is Jack and was a rhythm attack, Jack said, “When I got a pair of sticks in hand, I got savoir-faire on the bass and snare. And I’m here to take my stand. I got juice.”

The next to show was a guy named Joe who came in from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He had a Kangol cap with a real smooth rap and he knew just what to do. Joe was an unemployed work bricklayer and part-time conga player. Joe brought along a set of LP’s. He said, “Don’t do a lot of talkin’. Let my fingers do the walkin’. And I play just as pretty as you please. I got juice.”

There was a dude with a bongo who came from the Congo of Zaire. He had a rough beat of his own. He dressed real strange. He wore beads and chains. But he could rock you all alone. He said, “Call me Chief and I’ve got relief for those weary dancin’ blues. I got jungle heat from a primitive beat. I’ll move your shoes.”

The next to show was Kurtis Blow with timbales in his hands. Of course he is known for rap. And I think you’ll understand he was taught to play in a different way by a dude known as Delgado who was a timbale desperado. Kurtis got juice.

What do you say when you’re bustin’ loose? It’s good for the gander and chilly for the goose. Breakin’ out from that weekday noose. Gettin’ down on the one and up on the deuce.

The Boogie Blues is about a style of dance affectionately known as “The Boogie Blues”. So get on up. Get out and dance.

Now’s the time when things are hot to show the world just what you’ve got. Just grab a partner and hit the floor because this is what you’re waiting for. It’s time for us to take a chance. So get on up. Get out and dance. Just shout it out and spread the news about those low-down Boogie Blues

Now The Boogie Blues is nothing new. The Boogie Blues started back in 1922 when some guys and girls were sitting around in a little club outside of town. In walked a dude from parts unknown without a friend. He was all alone. Dressed up in tails and button shoes. He told them all about Boogie Blues. He told them it was a dance people all ought to know. It’s no too fast and not too slow. It’s not to hard and not too easy. Not too straight and not too sleazy. The Boogie Blues are something different and something new. The Boogie Blues are something special for you. Something just to rock your shoes. This is something called The Boogie Blues.

These lyrics show how danceable The Boogie Blues are.

Something special just for you
Something just to rock your shoes
Something called The Boogie Blues

The Boogie Blues has got the beat
The Boogie Blues will move your feet
Feel the beat and spread the news
About those low-down Boogie Blues

I rate this album 4/5****.

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