December 4, 2023

Kurtis Blow – Ego Trip is one of the lesser known rap albums of 1984 that got overlooked due to the success of Run-DMC. Despite being signed to a major record label, this Kurtis Blow album managed to get overlooked and just be only a minor success. Rap was just starting to become mainstream at this point thanks to the success of Run-DMC. But Kurtis got lost in the come-up.

AJ Scratch explained the history behind pioneering Bronx DJ who coincidentally served as DJ for Kurtis Blow during that time. The song uses some of that fresh storytelling.

Up in the Bronx where the people are fresh, there was one DJ who had to pass the test. And now he’s down by law and he’s ready to play. That’s right, y’all. His name is AJ (Kool DJ AJ). He never gets nervous when he cuts the beat He gets top notch service in the clutch on the street. This is a complete elite treat that can’t be beat. AJ never knew the agony of defeat. Kool DJ AJ has been DJ-ing since the inception of hip-hop culture. Just rock to the rhythm of the Kurtis Blow beat because AJ is gonna cut it up.

The song Basketball was the first rap song about basketball over thin bass lines and thin electro chords making the song hyper, cheerful, and energetic. The song became a fan favorite among basketball fans because of this. That thin bass is what also made this song memorable. Kurtis Blow used heavy basketball imagery to flex as Shaquille O’Neal would years later. There is a crazy fact about this song. The drum sounds in this song are mixed with the sound of a basketball being dribbled on the studio floor.

Now basketball is his favorite sport. He likes the way they dribble up and down the court. Kurtis Blow is the king on the microphone. He likes no interruptions when the game is on. So is Dr. J (Julius Erving) and Moses Malone who were kings of basketball back in the 1980s. His favorite play is the alley-oop. Other basketball moves he likes are pick-and-roll along with the give-and-go. They’re playing basketball. We love that basketball. Basketball has always been his thing.

He used to go to dinner and then take the girl to see Tiny play against Earl The Pearl. His man Kareem is the center on his starting team. Just give theem the ball, and then you chalk up two. Dantley and Wilkins are on the scene. And Ralph Sampson is really mean. Bill Russell didn’t take no junk.

Tell me, were you in the joint the night Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points? Or when Celtics won titles back-to-back and didn’t give nobody no kind of slack? Or when Dr. J shook the whole damn team with moves that came right out of a dream? Or when Willis Reed stood so tall? Playing D with desire? It’s basketball!

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

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