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Music / MC Hammer

Hammer, looking awesome.

"Can't touch this."

MC Hammer, hip-hop's first Large Ham, born Stanley Kirk Burrell (1962-). He is mostly famous for his dance hit "U Can't Touch This"note  and for bringing rap into the mainstream. In fact, along with Vanilla Ice, he practically was mainstream rap from about 1988 to 1992. Nowadays, he's a Pentecostal minister, and he has a TV show, Hammertime, on A&E.

Tropes That Apply To MC Hammer:

  • Adam Westing: On the rare occasion Burrell is seen on TV nowadays, it's usually as an exaggeration of his Hammer persona, or referencing his Fall from Grace. His ministry is rarely brought up.
  • Anyone Remember Pogs?: People really did wear MC Hammer-inspired Hammer Pants while the fad lasted.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: His concerts. A big reason he lost his fortune so quickly was that his stage shows were beyond extravagant, with dozens of dancers, musicians, giant screens, and a lot of pyrotechnics. A hell of a show, but also a hell of a money drain.
  • The Cameo: MC Hammer managed to get in a video game... as a hammer, in the Japanese version of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
    ''"You got the M.C. Hammer!
    BAM BAM pound the likes of stakes!
    BAM BAM pound, pound other things too!"''
  • Celebrity Toon: Hammerman — named after another alias for Mr. Burrell — where Hammer is a superhero with magical shoes. The opening theme will fill you in on the finer details.
  • Chart Displacement: Most younger isteners would be surprised to hear that "U Can't Touch This" was the lowest-peaking of his five top-10 hits.
  • Darker and Edgier: Hammer tried this with The Funky Headhunter by trying to look and sound like the more popular gangsta rap artists of the time, but it didn't take.
  • Drop the Hammer: Stop! Hammertime!
  • Good Shepherd: In his case, "M.C." means "Man of Christ". Even before that, a line in U Can't Touch This praises God for blessing him with "a mind to rhyme and two hype feet".
  • Greatest Hits Album: Greatest Hits, The Hits and Platinum. There's also Back To Back Hits where his hits are mixed in with Vanilla Ice's (admittedly, a pretty good idea).
  • Large Ham: His stage persona and his concerts were larger than life.
  • Mondegreen: That's "GET BUCK, GET BUCK" he's chanting on "2 Legit 2 Quit," not "KICK BUTT, KICK BUTT".
  • Meaningful Name: When Burrell worked as a batboy for the Oakland A's, Reggie Jackson nicknamed him "Hammer" due to Burrell's resemblance to a young Hammerin' Hank Aaron.
  • Music of Note: Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em showed, once and for all, that Hip-Hop could attract a mass audience, if Run-D.M.C. and Beastie Boys didn't already provide good enough evidence.
  • New Sound Album: The Funky Headhunter.
  • Riches to Rags: One of the more famous celebrity examples. Hammer's lavish lifestyle and dwindling album sales eventually resulted in him being $13 million in debt. He filed for bankruptcy in 1996.
  • Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: "Pumps and a Bump" from The Funky Headhunter
  • Stop and Go: "Stop! Hammertime!"
  • Trope Codifier: MC Hammer was the first rapper to achieve mainstream popularity, although his poppy, upbeat style would fall out of style in the mid-1990s when gangsta rap became popular. He is also largely responsible for the mainstream public notion that most rapper names start with "M.C." (By extension he's largely the reason why most rapper names don't.)

/hammer time