I’ve literally been playing and listening to music for over 40 years now. No other rapper has been more influential on me than MC Hammer. Although I was a fan of his starting back in 1987, it went to a whole new level once he dropped his classic album Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em on this day in Black Music History – February 12, 1990.
On the strength of the explosive hit single “U Can’t Touch This”, where he flowed over Rick James’ “Super Freak” baseline, Hammer called his shot and took the word by storm. To this day, there has not been a bigger smash hit single in the history of Rap music. It propelled Hammer from a local, Bay Area MC and dancer selling records out his trunk, to a world-wide phenomenon. The album exploded going gold, then platinum, then multi-platinum and eventually MC Hammer became the first Diamond selling artist in Hip-Hop history.
I can still remember seeing the bootleg Black Bart Simpson Hammer shirts being sold in Venice Beach.
He had hella commercials, an action figure dancing doll, comic book, a cartoon and was even on lunch boxes. He also had this dope promotional movie also titled Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em that came out around the same time (Brother Mack steals the show!).
I’m working a Hammer tribute mix and another article in time for his 60th birthday which is this March 30th. In the meantime, let’s salute this Oakland icon and appreciate his hustle because he kicked down many doors to help make Hip-Hop the top selling music it is today. By the way, he did so with a positive message representing Oakland, California and the Bay Area the whole time. I’d like to also send a special shout out to Hammer’s co-producer Felton Pilate, the #1 hype man 2 Bigg MC, his beautiful dancers Oaktown’s 357, DJ Redeemed and the Lone Mixer (RIP). They were also very influential on me because their energy force helped push Hammer and drive his message through to the audience.