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Friday, June 24, 2011

African American Music Appreciation Month. . .

continues with
MC Hammer

He sold more than 50 million records worldwide and showed the world that hip hop artists could be commercially successful as he was the first the first hip hop artist to have an album achieve diamond status.

...and who could forget THE PANTS and super hype dance moves? They were a huge part of Hammer's trademark and helped separate him from other artists in his heyday. 

His first album Feel My Power, was released independently in 1987 and sold 600,000 copies. The album was later re-released in 1988 after he was signed to Columbia and he sold over 2 million copies. His follow up album, Please Hammer, Don't Hurt Em was released in 1990 and featured songs like Pray, and Can't Touch This was his biggest hit in the US, peaking at #2. "Pray" was also a major UK success, peaking at #8. The album went on to become the first hip-hop album to earn diamond status, selling more than 18 million units to date. I know I said that twice. Don't be so judgmental. Anyway, a movie also accompanied the album and was produced at this same time called "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em: The Movie" along with music videos included within the movie. Hammer's musical talents and commercial success allowed him to tour in Asia, Europe, Australia, and Russia. Before long, the Hammer brand was EVERYWHERE! 'Memba the M.C. Hammer dolls? Don't forget he also had lunchboxes, and other merchandise for the Hammer brand. Don't act like you didn't watch the Saturday morning cartoon, Hammerman! You can deny it, but I'm judging you. 

Hammer is probably best known for his lavish lifestyle, elaborate tour sets and high energy dance moves.  At one point, he had 15 trained dancers, 12 backup singers, 7 live musicians and 2 DJS. Also, the video for Too Legit to Quit has been ranked as one of the most expensive videos ever made. He later admitted he tried to support to many people that led to his very public financial straits, which eventually caused him to file for bankruptcy in 1996. 

BET ranked Hammer as the #7 "Best Dancer Of All Time."  Vibe's "The Best Rapper Ever Tournament" declared him the 17th favorite of all-time during the first round. Hammer was the to receive heavy airplay for his videos on MTV, which at the time had a predominantly white viewership that had aired little rap music before Hammer. Hammer has released 15 albums and is still active in the choreography/dance world today. He has also become an entrepreneur, running his own record label. 

Now that we have that out of the way, its time to DANCE! 

"Can't Touch This"


"Too Legit to Quit"

Whats your favorite MC Hammer song? Are there any aspects of African American music you think I glossed over? The carpet is yours oops I forgot YA CAN'T TOUCH THIS! 

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