*The last time we left off with rap legend Kurtis Blow he was speaking to us about his involvement with the TV One special “Way Black When” and about his conversations with son Kurtis Blow, Jr. regarding his own budding rap career.
We continue on with our discussion with Blow, as promised, and get down to the nitty gritty regarding his citation for marijuana possession at LAX back in December 2010.
“It was a very difficult situation because of the media,” he explained. “My marijuana use is a very, very personal thing for me being a minister. You know in California it is legal to have it for medical reasons. I do have it for medical reasons. A couple years back I cracked my spine surfing out at Malibu. I get these muscle spasms. You know how it feels when you hit your funny bone? I get that all over my body because of my spine, it hits up against my nerve and it’s very, very painful. Instead of taking pain pills the doctor suggested that I use marijuana once in a while.”
OK, it’s not unheard of for a doctor to prescribe the wacky-tobacky for medicinal purposes, especially in California. But anyone could tell you that you can’t transport it across state lines. It instantly becomes a federal crime. What’s up with that?
“I was going through LAX and I had about a half a joint in my pocket,” said Blow. “They selected me to go through the body scan. So, when it came up, I was like ‘Wow!’ I didn’t even know it was in my pocket. So, they gave me a ticket. I never was arrested or anything, I went to court for it, and they immediately dismissed the case because I have a license.”
That seemed like a pretty simple explanation, but it was all over the television and the Internet to the point where it seemed far worse at a glance.
“That’s the whole thing about the media,” Blow told Lee Bailey. “Because when it happened nobody was there. No cameras, no news, no nothing. So, they let me go on my flight. I made my flight to New York. When I landed my son calls and is like ‘Aww, man you’re all over TMZ. They’re saying you got busted with marijuana, about a pound of weed.’ And I’m like ‘Ohmigod!’ It was actually on CNN … Jay Leno made a couple jokes about it. So, it was really, really crazy how it was blown up out of proportion.”
Marijuana is about as mundane as illegal drugs get and, some would argue, is less of a menace than alcoholic beverages. Not that big a deal, right? It is when you’re a former rapper turned minister. Because of his former rap career we’re certain many traditional church goers where giving him the crooked eye to begin with. This situation couldn’t have helped.
“It is a big thing because that little private personal thing that happened to me at LAX got blew up out of proportion and got back to my gospel people. The traditional gospel folks are like ‘Wow, this is crazy!’ I’m a minister and most traditional Christians do not smoke marijuana. So, they say,” he continued.
“It’s in the Bible and I have ministers call me up all the time and say ‘Don’t worry about it. You’ve got to continue on doing what God has called you here to do. If you look in Genesis verse 29 chapter 1, it states God gives you all the herbs and seeds that are of the Earth and you should do with it what’s best for you.”
We understand the man’s point and are familiar with that oft-times cited Biblical passage, however we do live in a fanatical world. Some would consider limiting oneself to be tantamount to being un-American. Does Kurtis blaze all the time?
“If anything, you have to know your limits. So, yeah, I don’t look at people and judge them for what they do as long as you do things in moderation and you’re not crazy. I am against drugs because people abuse drugs, but I am for drugs when it’s for medical reasons. Like when you have a headache take a aspirin, take two. But don’t take the whole bottle.”
And how did that situation affect Blow in his newfound mission of sheparding souls?
“When you’re dealing with Christians we have traditionalists and that’s a really hard thing,” said Blow. “This is an infringement on my soul, so to speak. Personally I believe that smoking marijuana will not keep you out of Heaven. Basically, what Jesus said is the things that go into your mouth cannot defile you. What comes out of your mouth will defile you and keep you out of heaven. It’s not what we intake, it’s what we do after we intake. If you go to a concert, have a few drinks and come home and everything is chill, great. But if you get drunk and have unprotected sex with another man’s wife then that’s a problem.”
When men and women come to the church, the black church in particular, and speak of change the conversation will go south more likely than not. Though Kurtis tell us that he did harbor some feelings regarding the rigidity of the black church, he says he didn’t want the conversation to begin this way.
“That’s why it was such a difficult time for me,” he explained. “I didn’t want to have this conversation with traditionalists. Then again, I don’t know if God wants me to say ‘You traditional Christians don’t know who God is, for real!’ But I don’t want to go through that. I don’t want to go through a war with traditional Christians. The times have changed, but don’t let the times change you.”
We’re certain there are those out there that question Kurtis Blow’s intentions and credentials for ministry. Here he gave us the breakdown.
“I am what you would call and apostle because I travel to churches all around the world and preach as opposed to simply preaching at one church. The apostles were traveling ministers, but they would go into dead churches and build them up. And that’s what I’m about. God have me popularity so I can go into these dead churches and people will come out to see me.”
Though Kurtis Blow wouldn’t come out and say it, it appears as though the LAX situation has put a damper on his ministry. He tells EURweb.com that he has been more focused on family affairs as of late.
“I haven’t really been pushing the point on that lately,” Blow says of his ministerial travels. “My oldest son Kurtis Jr is putting out a mixtape. I’ve been helping him with that. Also, my youngest just finished his first year at Stanford. Do you know how expensive it is to go to Stanford? I’m living in Woodland Hills (Ca) and I’m back with my wonderful wife. I’ve been back out here for 2 years and I’ve been dealing with my sons.”
In the meantime, Kurtis is also hitting the road again as part of Salt-N-Pepa’s Legends of Hip-Hop tour. If you want to learn more about Kurtis Blow you can log on to www.kurtisblow.net. But please don’t go to wikipedia.org. It seems as though our favorite Bad Boy has been playing has been doing a little cyber joking at Blow’s expense.
“If you go to wikipedia they changed my name to Kurtis Walker Combs,” said Blow. His given name is Kurtis Walker. “I don’t know why, but I think Diddy had something to do with it. We had some words on the Internet. Well, he sent out this text one time ‘take your telephone number off facebook. People can get your number and call you.’ I said ‘I don’t mind that Diddy. I want people to call me. I need work, you don’t need work. You’re rich and famous, I’m poor and popular. Plus, I’mma die in 25 or 30 years, God willing, so I want to talk to anybody who wants to talk to me.’ Then he said ‘I’m gonna be around for another 100 years. I ain’t going nowhere.’
“Then he goes on to say, ‘We’re just having a little bit of fun.’ But then the next week it’s back to my name being Kurtis Walker Combs and I’m recording for Bad Boy Records. I made the correction, but every time I make the correction somebody comes back and changes it again. You know how many times I’ve changed it back? At least six or seven times. Somebody keeps messing with me.”
Oh well. Anyway, hit up Kurtis Blow on www.kurtisblow.net for more information on his goings on and for a list of tour dates for the Legends of Hip-Hop tour log on to www.legendsofhiphop.com. But please don’t go to wikipedia.org. We checked recently and the facts were correct, but who knows how long that’s going to last.