12" single cover
|Single by Kurtis Blow|
|from the album Kurtis Blow|
|B-side||"The Breaks" (Instrumental/Do It Yourself)|
|Genre||Old school hip hop|
|Writer(s)||Kurtis Blow, Robert Ford Jr., James B. Moore, Russell Simmons, Larry Smith|
|Producer(s)||J.B. Moore, Robert Ford Jr.|
|Kurtis Blow singles chronology|
The Breaks is a critically acclaimed 1980 hit single by Kurtis Blow from his self-titled debut album. It was one of the earliest hip-hop hits hitting its peak at #87 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was the first certified gold rap song for Hip Hop, and the second certified gold 12 inch single in the history of music.
Lyrics and structure
"The Breaks" repeats the word "break" (or any of its homophones) eighty-four times over six and a half minutes. It features six breakdowns (seven including the outro) while there are three definitions for "break," "to break" or "brakes" used in the released. Unlike most hip-hop songs which sample prerecorded funk, the funk beat in this song is original (contrary to some statements that believe it sampled "Long Train Runnin'" by The Doobie Brothers). It has, in turn, been sampled by other, including the 2005 reggaeton single, "Chacarron Macarron" by El Chombo.
Recognitions and usage
The single hit #87 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, #4 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart, and #9 on the U.S. Billboard dance chart. It sold over 500,000 copies, becoming only the second 12-inch single to earn a gold certification from the RIAA, following "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer. The background beat of this album was used in Organized Rhyme's song "Check The O.R." In 2008, the song ranked #10 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs.  The song has also featured in few games: the 2002 game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the 2005 game True Crime: New York City, the 2006 game Scarface: The World Is Yours and 2011 Kinect game Dance Central 2.
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- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 67.
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- George, Nelson (1988). The Death of Rhythm & Blues. New York, NY: Pantheon Books. p. 191. ISBN 0142004081. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
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