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Rev. Run on Kurtis Blow: "He's the King"

Rev. Run on Kurtis Blow: "He's the King"

Rev. Run is getting in the holiday spirit as the narrator of the new film, The Hip Hip Nutcracker, a remix of Tchaikovsky's classic.

In the reimagined version, set in New York City, lessons are delivered with a groove, and the film features appearances from popular dance crew the Jabbawockeez, dancers from So You Think You Can Dance, and the legendary Kurtis Blow.

"I knew Kurtis Blow had been doing a version of it for a while," Run told Ebony. "One day, I saw it on his Instagram and I was like, 'Kurt is selling out all venues over the world with something called The Hip Hop Nutcracker?' Then, I got a phone call out of nowhere asking if I would be the narrator. For Disney? I love Disney. When I got to L.A, Kurtis was there; Mikael Baryshnikov, the Jabberwockies, Twitch, his wife Allison were all in it. They took The Nutcracker and flipped it on top of its head. They told me there would be a New York City set and dancing the entire time band they wanted me narrate it. There's going to be some real popping, locking, breakdancing, spinning on their head and, of course, some rapping."

Run, who started as Kurtis Blow's DJ, and was billed as "The Son of Kurtis Blow" early in his career, also talked about reconnecting with the legend.

"When I saw him in L.A., I was like, 'How are you, father?' He's the King," Run said. "He was Kurtis Blow and I was the son of Kurtis Blow. Before rap records came out, I used to DJ for him and rap with him. We're family. So to connect with something that he's already been doing on tour for years around the world was just amazing."

Run helped make the holiday season official for Hip-Hop courtesy of Run DMC's 1987 classic "Christmas In Hollis." He talked about the story behind the song.

"I got a call from a Very Special Christmas and they wanted us to do a Christmas record," he recalled. "I was like, 'I can't sing 'Silent Night' or 'The Christmas Song' by Nat King Cole, so I had to pull out a pen and start writing. One day it just flowed out of me from heaven. When I finished, I dropped the pen, called them back, and said, “I'm finished.” DMC added his lyrics and Jay had the beat. It was a charity song for Bobby Shriver and his foundation. 35 years later, it’s a classic."

Watch the trailer for the Hip Hop Nutcracker, now streaming on Netflix, below.

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