Remember rapper Kurtis Blow? Wow. This is a stroll down memory lane for all the folks in my age group. As you will recall Kurtis Blow was the first hip-hop artist to be signed by a major record label. He was also the first hip-hop artist to release an album for a major label and he was the first to endorse a soft drink — Sprite — in an advertisement. He opened for the late, great Reggae King Bob Marley. So, Kurtis Blow, whose real name is Kurtis Walker, paid his dues and has bragging rights. It was nice to see him in the news again. This time he’s rapping for Jesus.

Walker is currently on tour, appearing in concerts across the country and promoting his newest album with his gospel-influenced hip-hop group, The Trinity. In a recent interview time Tampa Bay online, he said “Our basic mission, our basic story, is to spread the Gospel.” “We just thank God for the opportunity that he is using us to make this happen.” Walker says he is “far from perfect.” But he does strive to be an example to youth. On Aug. 15, he will be ordained as a minister in South Carolina.

What I loved about Kurtis Blow was the fact that he never cursed on any of the songs I heard. It was clean and hip-hop was fun then. Today, it is used by many artists to denigrate women, to promote violence and to ascribe to a materialistic lifestyle. It is embarrassing to listen to some of the songs by some of the artists, who claim to be “role models” for our young people. The hip-hop genre needs to be rescued and reinvented, starting with the record labels, the parent companies, the artists and television and radio stations that play this music.

“Father, Son & Holy Ghost,” his new album with The Trinity, will feature lyrics with a clear Christian message.