Groundbreaking rapper Kurtis Blow is recovering at a hospital after Los Angeles Police Department officers performed life-saving CPR when he collapsed Saturday at a bus stop.
Blow, whose real name is Kurtis Walker, remained hospitalized Friday, about a week after officers provided first aid at the San Fernando Valley bus stop until paramedics arrived.
"I died and these officers saved my life," said Walker. "The police saved my life, a black man. In this day and age, people need to hear that."
Walker was outside the Topanga Mall Saturday night when a security guard called police to report an argument between the rapper and another man, who officers later determined was Blow's son, according to a statement from the LAPD. Officers Peter Parra, Felix Rodriguez, Chis Vege and Calvin Hill responded to the report.
"As soon as we walked up to the group, the older man just collapsed," Vege said. "We didn't think about it, we just acted."
Vege swept Walker's airway and Hill started chest compressions. Walker began breathing again, but the officer continued compressions for about five minutes, according to witnesses.
"I know the paramedics came quickly, but it seemed like a really long time when you're pressing on a man's chest, hoping he won't die," said Hill.
The officers drove to the hospital to check on Walker's condition later that night. A reunion for Walker and the officers he called "angels" is being planned, according to the department.
Born in Harlem, New York, Walker became the first rapper signed to a major label in 1979 when he joined Mercury Records. His first album, "Christmas Rappin'," sold more tha 400,000 copies. He followed up with the acclaimed "The Breaks" and 10 more albums over 11 years, then went on to work with The Fat Boys, Run DMC and other artists as a producer.