The New York Diet

Minister and Hip-Hop Pioneer Kurtis Blow Downs Burgers Two at a Time

“I went out to Sylvia’s and ate an incredible lunch.”haha Photo: Melissa Hom

Harlem-born Kurtis Blow was one of the first rappers to hit the mainstream when he worked with Grandmaster Flash, Reverend Run, and Russell Simmons in the early eighties. Indeed his bio describes him as “rap’s first millionaire.” These days he’s a hip-hop minister (he has churches in New York, L.A., and Philadelphia) and tours the country performing his groundbreaking hits as well as new cuts such as “God Bless Ya Ma.” So what does the author of “The Breaks” eat on his snack breaks? “I love my Nutter Butters,” he says, “and candy bars like PayDay and Butterfingers.” We asked him what else he ate during the week leading up to a rare hometown club appearance tonight.

Wednesday, May 23
I got up and I ate a very hearty breakfast, with eggs and sausages and home fries. It was incredible. I bought it at a deli out in Queens, where I was visiting friends. It’s very important for me to get a big breakfast. I had lunch at a place out by the airport — a salad with a little tuna and blue-cheese dressing.

Tuesday, May 22
I had the same breakfast. Then I went out to Sylvia’s and ate an incredible lunch. The place is an incredible place to eat real good soul food. I had the short ribs of beef. Sylvia was there. She’s about 75 years old; she’s still a very smart lady— she’s always been motherly to me. You can always go to her for advice. She’s wonderful. Later on that night, I just had some McDonald’s really quick — a filet of fish.

Monday, May 21
For breakfast I had a coffee and a bagel.

I ate at my old college restaurant at 139th and Amsterdam, the College Deli, near CCNY. I grew up right there. I ate two burgers and a milk shake. I love my burgers. I have a very, very hearty appetite. I have a high metabolism, and I don’t gain weight.

Sunday, May 20
I ate over at my mom’s in Harlem; she cooked a very good dinner — some barbecued chicken, rice, and collard greens. I eat with her as much as I can — every Sunday. She’s an oxtail master — she can cook some really good oxtail and fry some good chicken and cook a mean steak. She’s awesome.

Saturday, May 19
I was out on the road in Knoxville, Tennessee. For breakfast we ate at Bob’s Big Boy. I always love my steak and eggs in the morning. That’s a very good meal for me on tour. For dinner we went to the Black Angus — one of the cats wanted to check it out. It’s basic fried chicken, fried good.

Friday, May 18
We were in Selma, Alabama. We ate at the Hilton for breakfast. I got steak and eggs that morning. My usual. Dinner was prepared for us by the church. It was big buffet with all kinds of steaks and chicken and fish. It was incredible.

Minister and Hip-Hop Pioneer Kurtis Blow Downs Burgers Two at a Time