Kurtis Blow is proud to announce the minting of Hip-Hop’s first-ever certified Gold Record as an NFT.
A digital rendering of the original RIAA-certified Gold Record plaque for ‘The Breaks,’ Blow’s landmark 1980 song that defined the Hip Hop genre, will be released as a collection of 41 non-fungible tokens, bringing one of rap’s greatest and most enduring moments into the NFT space.
Always on the cutting edge of artistic innovation, Kurtis laid the groundwork for Hip-Hop to dominate pop culture; he was the first rapper signed to a major label, he filmed the first Hip-Hop commercial (with Sprite), and was the first artist to bring Rap to Europe (on tour with The Clash). The pioneer has now added blockchain-based art to his vast career that includes multiple top-10 hits on Billboard’s R&B chart, and close collaborations with Whitney Houston, Run DMC, Bob Dylan, and Russell Simmons. The party hit was instrumental in breaking rap into mainstream conversation; now that influential moment in music history will be forever preserved on the blockchain, a budding entertainment and business space itself.
“So many firsts are accredited to my career and legacy. ‘The Breaks’ becoming certified may have been the biggest moment.” – Kurtis Blow.
A ubiquitous song in music history, “The Breaks” was the first RIAA-Certified Gold rap song, and it is now the first classic Hip Hop NFT collection. These extremely limited NFTs were designed by Kurtis’ son, Michael Walker, a Stanford graduate and multimedia artist. The release is a collaboration with Godspeed Labs and Launch featuring a near-perfect rendering of the gold record plaque commemorating the 1980 single from Blow’s debut album. 41 numbered editions will be sold over a 41-hour auction from 9 AM PT on Friday, June 4 through 2 AM PT on Sunday, June 6, to represent the 41 years of Hip Hop innovation that followed the song’s release.
“My generation doesn’t always acknowledge authentic Hip-Hop history, and older generations aren’t into the NFT space. It’s an honor to be able to bridge the gap with my father.” – Michael Walker
The song explores many breaks – musical breaks, work breaks, losing breaks, and winning breaks, the latter two of which can be seen in a major way over the past year; 2020 was a tough break for most, yet it catalyzed a community-supported wave toward breaking the old paradigm of centralized power and finance that can be seen in the new, decentralized business world of blockchain, crypto, and NFTs. These new types of breaks, which give power and agency to the under-represented, are breaks to steward in 2021 and beyond.
Fans can own a piece of history in the Kurtis Blow pantheon by bidding on the NFT artwork. The auction will begin Friday, June 4th at 9 AM PT with 41 editions of the NFT dropping at a starting bid of 0.41 ETH on OpenSea.
Launch is a livestreaming music membership service-producing unique consumer offerings including online concerts and music programming featuring emergent artists and veteran talent from around the world.
About Godspeed Labs
Godspeed Labs is a mixed reality design lab specializing in art installations, digital media, and music. Founded by Michael Walker, a Stanford graduate and the son of Kurtis Blow.