Hip-Hop pioneer Kurtis Blow will be headlining an upcoming holiday remix of a classic opera. The legend will star in the 2021 version of The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a traveling tour that will produce almost 40 shows between now and the first week in January.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker, directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, is a contemporary spin on the original Tchaikovsky piece, a two-act ballet, created over 125 years ago.
Blow sits down with AllHipHop.com’s CEO Chuck Creekmur to talk about his role in the production and his historic connection to the Yuletide holiday.
In his interview, Blow shares that his excitement going out on stage night after night with the young break dancers, musicians, and DJ on the tour. One of the musicians that he plugged in is a violinist, Jarvis L. Benson who started with the tour when it opened in November.
“We have a DJ cutting up beats all night long. We have our own Hip-Hop musician, he is a violinist coming out and collab-ing with the DJ,” he beamed. “And to see and hear that is incredible. That fusion of classical music and Hip-Hop is incredible.”
“And I am the emcee and host of the show,” he proudly proclaims.
The 62-year-old has other accolades he can be proud of. In 1979, at the age of 20, he was the first rapper to be signed by a major label. His song, “The Breaks” went gold in the 1980s and is one of the biggest hits of its time and joints like “AJ” and “Basketball” are classics to any Hip-Hop enthusiast worth their grain in salt.
In 1997, when Nas covered his song “If I Ruled the World” and debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts a whole new generation of music lovers got to know the impact of the man, who is also one of the founders of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, in a brand new way.
But it is his song, “Christmas Rappin” that is probably the most recognizable and appreciated during the holidays.
Creekmur asked the visionary emcee, “What made you do that song at that time? Hip-Hop was so young.”
He replied, “The Christmas rap song was an idea from my producer. His name was Robert Ford, Jr. Rest in Peace.”
“He came to me in our first meeting and said, it would be a great idea if we did a song that would plan annually, every year during the Christmas Holiday. Why not do a Christmas rap,” Kurtis Blow shared.
Kurtis said that he immediately thought it was a great idea and the rest is history.
Check out the video for more from the interview.
The website shares that “Just like the original, in The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker prince go on a dream adventure battling a gang of mice, visiting the land of sweets and learning the lessons of the holiday season. Innovative digital graffiti and visuals transform the landscape of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s beloved story from traditional 19th Century Germany to the vibrant, diverse sights and sounds of contemporary New York City.”
For more information about the production and to buy tickets, please click here.