CANOGA PARK (CBSLA.com) — Pioneering rapper Kurtis Blow is singing the praises of Los Angeles police officers who saved his life.

Kurtis Blow, whose name is Kurtis Walker, had collapsed at a bus stop near the Westfield Topanga mall at about 9 p.m. last Saturday night, according to police.

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“I died and these officers saved my life,” Walker said from his hospital bed. “The police saved my life, a black man. In this day and age, people need to hear that!”

A mall security guard had seen a younger man yelling at an older man at a bus stop Saturday night, so the initial 911 call described the incident as a robbery. When LAPD officers arrived, they determined there was no robbery happening, but an argument between the 57-year-old man and his son, who is his twenties.

As Officers Chris Vege and Calvin Hill, Jr., walked up to the group, the older man “just collapsed,” Vege said. “We didn’t think about it; we just acted. I swept his airway for obstructions, and Officer Hill started chest compressions.”

Witnesses told police they believed the officer continued chest compressions on Walker for at least five minutes.

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“We didn’t think too much about what we had done, but we were curious to see how the man was doing,” Vege, who is assigned to the Topanga Area gang unit, said later. “So we drove to the hospital later that night, and several people made a big deal about us saving the man’s life! We were happy for him and his family that he pulled through.”

Walker has not had a chance to meet with the officers since the ordeal, but says he would like to meet them as soon as he is discharged.

“The police are angels, and they are here to help us,” Walker told Sgt. Stephan Bell, who is writing a Life Saving Award commendation for the officers. “They got there so fast. If they got there any later, I would have died. I want to thank the officers from the bottom of my heart, no pun intended.”

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