Video Breakdown – “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow

If you’re anything like me, then I’m sorry, and I’ll be praying that you can turn your life around.

If you are, chances are you might like the sport of basketball. There’s also a good chance you’re familiar with this classic song. If you are NOT a basketball fan, it’s okay, this song will still blow your mind and touch your spirit.

Kurtis Blow was a rap pioneer. He was the first rapper to ever be signed to a major label, and he released songs throughout the early 80’s that continually busted onto the Billboard top 50.

The only problem with his music? It was early 80’s rap.

Kurtis Blow is now an ordained minister, known for his work with The Hip Hop Church and for saying things like, “Don’t get it twisted, God has always existed.” He is also now officially my new hero.

In honor of this being the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, let’s do a video breakdown of the Kurtis Blow classic “Basketball”, shall we?

0:00-0:10 – INSTANTLY we’re treated to some gold. How long do you think they practiced this routine? Because half of them just quit doing anything.

Oh, great 80’s hair, everyone!

0:11-0:16 – Oh good. Prepare yourselves, children. We’ll see PLENTY of this for the next 3 minutes.

0:17-0:19 – This guy actually died immediately before filming started.

0:20-0:39 – SO MUCH here. Primarily because the director decided that we didn’t ever have to cut away from this shot. Ever. At all. Here are the highlights:

  • These guys have never played basketball before in their lives. It’s as if somebody threw a ball into the middle of The Gods Must Be Crazy and we’re just watching what happens.
  • Also, I think they just left the set of Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo.
  • Fair warning guys: prepare to fall completely in love with Kurtis Blow and his CRAZY EYES
  • 0:25 – Just curious: who exactly declared Kurtis Blow to be the king of the microphone? Can we get that vote repelled or something?
  • 0:32 – I swear he just looked at a cue card.
  • 0:38 – The “HMPH” was a really nice and necessary touch.

0:39-0:56 – Awkward dancing and the worst game of basketball in history? I don’t think this video could get any worse. Surely it can’t, right? I mean, I just do-


0:57-1:15 – Look at his face. Kurtis Blow is just happy to be here, guys.

Do you think he enjoyed getting assaulted by pom-poms? Or was it really throwing off his “creepy eye contact” thing he had going on?

1:15 – Pow. Thank you. Just….thank you.

1:16-1:34 – You may be confused, but trust me: this is how every church league basketball game ends. Every single one. Also, what is up with the kung-fu obsession? It seriously lasted through pretty much two decades. The 70’s and 80’s couldn’t get ENOUGH kung-fu.

Oh, and you might be tempted to think this is the best part of the music video. Trust me. It somehow gets better.

1:34 – Quick side note for all you basketball fans: this is the only time Rick Barry has ever been mentioned in a rap. Or in a song in general. Or in a sentence that didn’t end with “is a douchebag”.

1:36 – Don’t blink! You’ll miss one of the very few pieces of actual basketball footage they could afford.

1:38 – Don’t blink. You’ll miss HAVING YOUR SOUL STOLEN

1:41 – Actually, you know what? I’m not sure this is real.

1:43 – Well, it says “Knicks” so I guess we’ll just have to trust Kurtis on whether this is an actual NBA player or not.

1:45 – Yeah, in case you were curious, it’s definitely the same shot of a photographer every time. The budget for this video was roughly what I make in a week. And I know you’re wondering, so don’t worry. I make practically nothing.

1:47-1:52 – I really don’t think Kurtis Blow’s facial expressions could get any better than right now.

1:59-2:01 – Okay, can you explain this? Cause I can’t. I tried. He wanders up, says SOMETHING, then leaves. I dunno.

2:11-2:12 – At this point, I’m pretty sure he’s actually trying to leave the music video.

2:13-2:23 – And at THIS point, they’re just making this video up as they go.

2:24-2:28 – You can never have too much recycled footage.

2:29-2:37 – This is Kurtis’ ANGRY FACE

  • 2:32 – ….an “OK” hand gesture?

2:38 – “WEEEEE!”

2:45-2:47 – They couldn’t even find somebody who could throw a ball to him properly.

2:53-3:03 – And now, kids, HERE is the best part of the video. A  SOLID nine seconds of a fat guy putting mustard on a large hotdog while a giant chicken watches. This….this is why people make music, right here.

3:20 – Are the lightening bolts supposed to make us think the TV is on? Or did Track Suit Guy bring his own special effects?

3:23-3:48 – And this is how we’re led out from this video: Kurtis almost dunking on a 6-foot tall rim, some classic 80’s awkward high fives, and the simplest line dance in history.

Congrats! You just sat through Basketball by Kurtis Blow. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the 80’s fashion and Kurtis’ fondness for extremely mundane basketball references (“the forwards, the centers, and ALL the guards!”). I’m sure after this, you’re really looking forward to baseball season.

So, basketball, huh? How do you feel about all that stuff?

8 thoughts on “Video Breakdown – “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow

  1. Solidly done…
    I like that basketball, cheer-leading, and rapping are eXACTly the same today as they were in the early 80’s. When I started listening to this I actually thought, “is this the new J. Cole?”

  2. He also released a sequel to this track:

    “Hot dogs are my favorite food,
    They put me in a really good mood.
    Oscar Meyer wieners on a whole wheat bun,
    Mustard and relish- fun fun fun!
    Chili and cheese and mayo, too-
    Grab a footlong coney, now you know what to do!
    I’m talking hot dogs, yall!
    Aww, yeah…Curtis Blow knows his processed meat products, homeboy…”

  3. Do you know what was being played on the television on the segment that was cut out on the vevo version of the music video?

      1. There was another song being played before the station got switched to the Basketball number. Do you remember what it was or where I can get a version that isn’t made by Vevo?

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