For your sake, I hope you didn’t miss VH1’s documentary “Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America.” You got archival clips from its early beginnings as a local program in Chicago in 1970 and on through its move to Los Angeles, where its social impact reached far beyond hair styles and hot-minute singles. Then you got Don Cornelius, his baritone voice and the flyest wardrobe you’ve ever seen. You got Ike & Tina, you got Earth Wind and Fire and you got Public Enemy.
But for this FroBack, we got Kurtis Blow singing the Breaks in front of a sea of afros (love the aerial shots). “The Breaks” off his 1980 debut album was the first hip hop record to go Gold.
Ready for this list of other firsts: First rapper to sign to a major label First rapper to tour US & Europe (with The Commodores, 1980) First rapper to record a national commercial (Sprite) First rapper to use the drum machine, sample and sample loop First rap music video (“Basketball”) First rap producer (rap’s producer of the year in 1983 and 1985) First rapper featured in a soap opera (One Life to Live) First rap millionaire