The Breaks (song)
12" single cover
|Single by Kurtis Blow|
|from the album Kurtis Blow|
|B-side||"The Breaks" (Instrumental/Do It Yourself)|
|Released||June 14, 1980|
|Genre||Old school hip hop|
|Songwriter(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 1980 single by American rapper Kurtis Blow from his self-titled debut album. It peaked at #87 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the first certified gold rap song, and the second certified gold 12-inch single. In 2008, the song ranked #10 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs. 
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 lyrics. Unlike most hip-hop songs which sample prerecorded funk, the funk beat in this song is original (contrary to suggestions that it sampled "Long Train Runnin'" by The Doobie Brothers).
It sold over 500,000 copies, becoming the first rap song to earn a gold certification from the RIAA and the second 12-inch single to earn a gold certification, following "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer.
The song has also featured in few games: the 2002 game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the fictional in-game radio station "Wildstyle", the 2005 game True Crime: New York City, the 2006 game Scarface: The World Is Yours and 2011 Kinect game Dance Central 2.
- Steve Sullivan (2017-05-17). "Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings, Volume 3". Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
- "Key Tracks: Kurtis Blow's Self-Titled Debut Album". Red Bull Music Academy. 2015-12-07. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
- "Kurtis Blow - Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
- Zanfagna, Christina (2017). Holy Hip Hop in the City of Angels. University of California Press. p. 55. ISBN 9780520296206.
- George, Nelson (1988). The Death of Rhythm & Blues. New York, NY: Pantheon Books. p. 191. ISBN 0142004081. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- "VH1's 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs". Prefixmag.com. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 67.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 37.
- Grein, Paul (August 10, 1985). "Hot Madonna: July Fills Her Coffers With RIAA Metal". Billboard. Billboard Publications, Inc. 97 (32): 1. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- "Answers.com - Worldwide". Answers.com. Retrieved 2007-07-11.