MC Hammer

Artist Playlists

About MC Hammer

With his flashy dance moves, parachute pants, and righteous message, rapper MC Hammer became a massive cultural force in the early ’90s. He was the first hip-hop artist to sell 10 million copies of a single album. • MC Hammer was a bat boy for the Oakland Athletics between 1973 and 1980. Team owner Charles O. Finley discovered him dancing for donations outside of the coliseum. • Athletics players dubbed the teen “Lil Hammer” for his resemblance to Hall of Famer Hank Aaron. • MC Hammer’s independent debut, 1986’s Feel My Power, was co-produced with Con Funk Shun’s Felton Pilate II and financed by Athletics players. • After signing to Capitol, MC Hammer conquered pop culture with the 1990 single “U Can’t Touch This,” which rides a sample of the Rick James classic “Super Freak.” • MC Hammer’s 1990 album Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ’Em became the first rap LP to achieve diamond certification, selling more than 10 million copies in about a year. • Amid high-profile soft drink and fast food endorsements, Hammer voiced ABC’s Saturday morning cartoon Hammerman in 1991. • As his career surged, MC Hammer faced criticism from some of his rap peers, including A Tribe Called Quest, Ice Cube, 3rd Bass, and LL Cool J. • Hammer tried for a more gangsta image on his 1994 album The Funky Headhunter, featuring the Top 40 hit “Pumps and a Bump.” • In the mid-1990s, MC Hammer joined the gangsta-rap label Death Row Records and recorded unreleased songs with 2Pac and others. • In 1996, Hammer famously filed for bankruptcy protection after running up massive debts. In the late ’90s, he became a preacher and launched the TBN show MC Hammer and Friends.

Oakland, CA, United States
March 30, 1962
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