MC Hammer (born Stanley Kirk Burrell, 30.3.1962) MC Hammer is an American rapper and dancer, best known for his hit record 'U Can't Touch This'.
Childhood: MC Hammer was born in Oakland, California. He was raised by his mother, along with his eight brothers and sisters, He would spend much of his childhood dancing in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot, to a beatbox, or selling stray baseballs.
Charles O' Finley spotted him dancing, invited him to an Oakland Athletics game (he was the team owner), gave him a job as an office assistant and took him out on the road as the team's bat boy.
Having briefly flirted with the drug trade, MC Hammer eventually enlisted in the Navy for three years, until he was honourably discharged.
Music Career: Upon leaving the military, MC Hammer set up a record label called Bust It. This then spawned another company, Bustin' Records. He also formed a Christian rap group called Holy Ghost Boys. One song from this era, 'Son of the King' appeared on MC Hammer's debut album Feel My Power, released in 1987.
Feel My Power was produced by Felton Pilate of Con Funk Shun. The track 'Let's Get It Started' became popular in clubs, with MC Hammer proclaiming on the track that he was better than DR Run, LL Cool J or Doug E. Once he was signed up by Capitol Records, MC Hammer re-released his debut album under the name Let's Get It Started. He performed 'U Can't Touch This' (which samples Rick James' 'Super Freak') on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1989.
In 1990, MC Hammer released his second major label album, entitled Please, Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em. MC Hammer then released 'Have You Seen Her', a cover of a Chi-lites song and 'Pray' which contained samples from Prince's 'When Doves Cry' and Faith No More's 'We care A Lot'. Other acts sampled on Please, Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em include Marvin Gaye and The Jackson 5.The album became the first hip-hop album to obtain diamond status, having sold over 18 million copies.
Along with his friend and contemporary rap artist Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer soon became criticised for the repetitive nature of his songs and for sampling other people's songs to provide the basic hook for his own. A number of other hip-hop artists criticised him in their songs, including Ice Cube, Digital Underground, LL Cool J and The D.O.C. The criticism failed to dent MC Hammer's popularity, though. He even had a Saturday morning cartoon that he voiced and hosted, named Hammerman.
MC Hammer changed his name to simply Hammer and released another album, Too Legit To Quit. The track 'Addams Groove' appeared on the soundtrack to The Addams Family, which starred Christina Ricci, Angelica Houston and Christopher Lloyd. The video for '2 Legit 2 Quit' was one of the most expensive music videos of all time and featured James Brown, as well as a Michael Jackson lookalike.
Hammer parted ways with Capitol and signed with Giant Records. In 1992, Kevin Christian filed a $16 million lawsuit against MC Hammer for copyright infringement. MC Hammer admitted having used Christian's song 'Oh-Oh, You Got the Shing' for his own song 'Here Comes The Hammer'. MC Hammer's next album was entitled The Funky Headhunter and was released in 1994.This time, he chose to diss the likes of Run DMC, A Tribe Called Quest and Q-Tip on record.
MC Hammer's 1995 album, Inside Out, only managed to reach 119 on the Billboard chart. Hammer's decadent lifestyle failed to adapt to his dwindling record sales and he was declared bankrupt in 1996.
MC Hammer had a friendship with Death Row Records' Suge Knight that dated back to 1988. Hammer signed to the label, which was also home to Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg but they did not release any of his music. In 1996, he signed to EMI, who released a Greatest Hits album, followed by Family Affair in 1998.
His 2001 album, Active Duty was a response to the 11th September terrorist attacks in New York. It was followed two years later with Full Blast, which contains lyrics blasting Busta Rhymes and Eminem.
MC Hammer then created an independent digital label to release his next album, Look Look Look. 2009 saw him release DanceJamtheMusic.
Personal Life: MC Hammer is also an ordained minister and once officiated the wedding of the actor Corey Feldman and Susie Sprague.
The rapper spoke of the influence he and his peers have upon youth culture.
Snoop Dogg has offered his voice to a growing cry of outrage in the USA against gun violence. In the wake of the recent mass shooting in California, the rapper has rallied his peers in support of working to halt the nation's disturbing gun crime stats by speaking of the influence they could collectively exert.
The rap star spoke at a San Francisco news conference designed to raise awareness of his No Guns Allowed campaign. The cause was established last year after the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012 and aims to convince young people to stay away from guns.
"We are the voices that the youth listen to," Snoop said, via Sky News. "They respect us, so we are the ones who actually can put a half pause on the gun violence when we speak as one as a whole rap community.
Continue reading: Snoop Dogg Stands Up To Gun Violence, Rallies Rap Community
The Mc Hammer arrest that was spoken about widely on Twitter yesterday (23rd Feb) has now been commented upon by police. Their account of proceedings focuses on very different aspects of the event.
MC Hammer tweeted a play by play account of what happened when he was pulled over by police yesterday, in which he joked about the officer's portly figure and accused him of racism. Speaking to CNN, police have accused the rapper and 90s dance icon of being 'argumentative', but if Hammer's description of events is true you can see why he might be a little riled.
Among other tweets he said:
THe 40th anniversary of the American Music Awards brought out all the big names that you'd expect from the US music industry and more, with stars past and present rubbing shoulders at a truly star-spangled gathering at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles yesterday (November 18, 2012). However, despite the presence of Youtube sensation Psy - who closed the evening by being joined by MC Hammer for his huge hit 'Gangnam Style' - the US biggest selling artist of the year Taylor Swift, and pop royalty Usher and Christina Aguilera, there was only name on everybody's lips. Justin Bieber took home the top award of the evening, Artist Of The Year, and his mom Pattie Mallette was there to celebrate it with him.
There was exciting news for fans of people who’ve invented naff dance moves, as none other than the big-trousered one Mc Hammer joined K-pop sensation Psy on stage at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday evening (November 18).
MC Hammer of course, lest we ever, ever forget, was the man behind ‘U Can’t Touch This’, which saw him flap his legs in a goofy manner that captured the public’s imagination back in 1990. Psy has of course viral in 2012 with his moves for massive hit ‘Gangnam Style’, but paid homage to the American performer by wearing his own pair of overly baggy trousers last night, before calling those immortal words “Stop! It’s hammer time!”
Before we knew it, there he was, MC Hammer, resplendent in white and looking in fine shape for his 50 years of age. He joined in the energetic routine to ‘Gangnam Style’ with gusto, the duo gaining huge applause from a star-studded audience as they brought the curtain down on the annual music industry event. For Psy it seems the dream isn’t going to be stopping any time soon, with the Daily Mail reporting that the video for his smash hit has now been viewed a record breaking 760 million times. Remember when we all thought Gotye’s ‘Somebody I Used To Know’ was the pinnacle of the Youtube viral sensation? Think again, that song now languished on a ‘mere’ 347 million plays.
Continue reading: Psy Saves The Last Dance For MC Hammer At American Music Awards (Video)