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MC Hammer


From rags to riches to bankruptcy to life as a preacher, Hammer's life plays like a movie (see: VH1's Too Legit: The MC Hammer Story). His 1990 crossover classic Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em made him an international megastar. Fueled by the high-energy party jam "U Can't Touch This," Hammer took the world by storm with his trademark genie pants and simple raps over the bassline from Rick James' "Superfreak." The single was an enormous hit, and the album became one of the biggest selling rap records in history. Other hits followed, namely "Pray." Hot on its heels, Too Legit To Quit (1991) found similar success. Hammer won Grammys, appeared in commercials and even had a cartoon show; but the fickle public soon grew bored with his positive and poppy style -- Gangsta Rap was on the rise. Three subsequent albums were met with little fanfare. In 1997, he declared bankruptcy and focused his efforts on God and family, two themes heavily addressed on his Gospel/R&B album Family Affair (1998). Despite his lyrical shortcomings, Hammer paved the way for other Crossover Rap superstars. He will always be remembered for his flamboyant style, crazy moves and chart-topping hits.
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