Kurtis Blow has always been about balance.
Blow, the first rapper ever signed to a major-label contract and one of hip-hop's first stars, has never had any problem being in the spotlight when he's performing his hits like "The Breaks" and "Basketball." However, when it comes to awards, Blow says "it's more about giving than taking."
"I would rather be there supporting someone else," said Blow, calling from a tour stop in Germany. "Music is just something that's part of my life, something I really love. I'm already blessed and fortunate enough to still do it."
Blow said he doesn't go for too many awards, but he will be at The Paramount on Thursday to be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, an honor he was proud to bestow on Salt-N-Pepa when he inducted them in 2012. (He hopes Roosevelt native Julius Erving, yes "Dr. J" himself, will do the honors for him.)
Though Blow was born and raised in Harlem, Long Island and especially Queens will always be special to him.
"It was always a safe haven to me," he said, adding that he cherished his summers in St. Albans and Bayside while growing up. "It gave me a sense of balance -- the urban and suburban. It gave me a well-rounded childhood and prepared me for life."
When Blow moved back from Los Angeles in 2000, he chose Laurelton as his home to tap into that balance. He now splits his time between performing and working on his ministry with the Hip-Hop Church.
Exclusive subscription offer
Newsday covers the stories that matter most to Long Islanders. We dig deep to uncover the facts, hold the powerful in check and keep a watchful eye on Long Island.
Your digital subscription, starting at $1, supports local journalism vital to the community.SUBSCRIBE NOW
Balance is what makes his song "If I Ruled the World" so influential to hip-hop. "I wanted to give people some inspiration," Blow said of the single from the 1985 movie "Krush Groove," in which he appeared. "I wanted to make people aware that there are ups and downs in life. It's a very important song that came at the most important part of my life."
WHAT The Long Island Music Hall of Fame Induction Gala
WHEN | WHERE8:30 p.m. Thursday, The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington
INFO $75-$150; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com