Stanley Kirk Burrell born March 30, , known professionally as MC Hammer or simply Hammer , is an American rapper, dancer, record producer and entrepreneur who had his greatest commercial success and popularity from the late s until the early s. Remembered for his rapid rise to fame, Hammer is known for songs such as " U Can't Touch This " and " 2 Legit 2 Quit " , flashy dance movements, choreography and eponymous Hammer pants.
A multi-award winner, M. During this time, Hammer unsuccessfully attempted to appeal to the rise of gangsta rap. Hammer and Friends. Throughout his career, Hammer has managed his own recording business. As a result, he has created and produced his own acts including Ho Frat Hoo! He recalled that six children were crammed into a three-bedroom housing project apartment. The Burrells would also frequent thoroughbred horse races, eventually becoming owners and winners of several graded stakes. In the Oakland Coliseum parking lot the young Burrell would sell stray baseballs and dance accompanied by a beatboxer.
Oakland A's team owner Charles O. Finley saw the year-old doing splits and hired him as a clubhouse assistant and batboy as a result of his energy and flair. Hell, our chief executive, the guy that ran our team, uh, that communicated [with] Charlie Finley, the top man there, was a year old kid.
He was an informant in the clubhouse, an informant for Charlie, and he got the nickname "Pipeline. Charlie said, "I'm getting you a new hat.
I don't want you to have a hat that says "A's" on it. Every time I come down to the clubhouse, you know, Rollie would yell out "Oh, everybody be quiet! Here comes Pipeline! He acquired the nickname "M. Burrell went on to graduate from McClymonds High School in Oakland in and took undergraduate classes in communications. Before Hammer's successful music career with his mainstream popularity lasting approximately between and and his "rags-to-riches-to-rags-and-back saga",  Burrell formed a Christian rap music group with CCM 's Jon Gibson or "J.
Some songs produced were called "Word" and "B-Boy Chill". Hammer once it was produced ,   was later released on Gibson's album Change of Heart With exception to later remixes of early releases, Hammer produced and recorded many rap songs that were never made public, yet are now available on the Internet. At about the age of 12, Oakland native Keyshia Cole recorded with Hammer and sought career advice from him. Together, the companies had more than employees.
Coupled with his dance abilities, Hammer's style was unique at the time. Now billing himself as "M. Hammer", he recorded his debut album, Feel My Power , which was produced between and and released independently in on his Oaktown Records label Bustin'. It sold over 60, copies and was distributed by City Hall Records. In the spring of , Tony Valera, a He would continue to call out other East Coast rappers in future projects as well. Hammer also released a single called "Ring 'Em", and largely on the strength of tireless street marketing by Hammer and his wife, plus continued radio mix-show play, it achieved considerable popularity at dance clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Heartened by his rising prospects, Hammer launched into seven-day-a-week rehearsals with the growing troupe of dancers, musicians, and backup vocalists he had hired. It was Hammer's stage show, and his infectious stage presence, that led to his big break in while performing in an Oakland club. It didn't take long for Capitol to recoup its investment. Once signed to Capitol Records , Hammer re-issued his first record a revised version of Feel My Power with additional tracks added and sold over 2 million copies.
Not entirely satisfied with this first multi-platinum success, Hammer's music underwent a metamorphosis, shifting from the standard rap format. Purists chastised him for being more dancer than rapper. Sitting in a leopard-print bodysuit before a concert, he defended his style: "People were ready for something different from the traditional rap style. The fact that the record has reached this level indicates the genre is growing. Hammer was very good friends with Arsenio Hall as well as a then-unknown teen named Robert Van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice , despite later rumors that there was a "beef" between the two rappers which was addressed during the height of both their careers on Hall's show, and whom he would later reunite with in a concert in Salt Lake City , Utah ,   and as such, Hammer was first invited to perform the song " U Can't Touch This ", prior to its release, on The Arsenio Hall Show in Hammer used some of the proceeds from this album to install a rolling recording studio in the back of his tour bus , where he recorded much of his second album.
The track was Hammer's first release in the UK. Hammer also appeared in Glen Goldsmith's music video for this song. The single failed to chart. Notorious for dissing rappers in his previous recordings, Hammer appropriately titled his third album and second major-label release Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em ,  which was released February 12, with an original release date of January 1, It was produced, recorded, and mixed by Felton Pilate and James Earley on a modified tour bus while on tour in The album went on to become the first hip-hop album to earn diamond status , selling more than 18 million units to date.
Sinclair went on tour with him during The album was notable for sampling other high-profile artists and gave some of these artists a new fanbase. Sweetness" UK only all charting. The album increased the popularity of hip-hop music. It remains the genre's all-time best-selling album.
A movie also accompanied the album and was produced in , called Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em: The Movie with portions of his music videos included within the movie. A critical backlash began over the repetitive nature of his lyrics, his clean-cut image, and his perceived over-reliance on sampling others' entire hooks for the basis of his singles—criticisms also directed to his contemporary, Vanilla Ice. Oakland hip-hop group Digital Underground criticized him in the CD insert of their Sex Packets album by placing Hammer's picture in it and referring to him as an unknown derelict.
Rap is not pop, if you call it that then stop. Fresh as rappers that Hammer claimed to be better than. However, Ice-T came to his defense on his album O. Original Gangster : "A special shout out to my man M. Hammer: a lot of people dis you, man, but they just jealous.
Despite the criticisms, Hammer's career continued to be highly successful including tours in Asia, Europe, Australia, and Russia. Soon after, M. Hammer Mattel dolls, lunchboxes, and other merchandise were marketed. He was also given his own Saturday morning cartoon, called Hammerman , which he hosted and voiced. After publicly dropping the "M. Hammer answered his critics within certain songs from the album. Sales were strong over five million copies ,  with the title track being the biggest hit single from this record.
The album peaked in the Top 5 of the Billboard Another hit came soon after, with " Addams Groove " which appeared on both The Addams Family motion picture soundtrack and the vinyl and cassette versions of 2 Legit 2 Quit , reaching No. His video for the song appeared after the movie. In , Boyz II Men joined the tour as an opening act. While traveling the country, their tour manager Khalil Roundtree was murdered in Chicago , and the group's future performances of " It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday " were dedicated to him.
As a result of this unfortunate experience, the song would help advance their success. The "2 Legit 2 Quit" video featured many celebrity appearances. It's been ranked as one of the most expensive videos ever made.
Despite the album's multi-platinum certification , the sales were one-third of Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em. At the end of the "2 Legit 2 Quit" video, after James Brown enlists Hammer to get the famous glove of Michael Jackson , a silver-white sequined glove is shown on the hand of a Michael Jackson look-alike doing the "2 Legit 2 Quit" hand gesture.
He told an amusing story about a phone call he received from "M. He explained how Michael had seen the video and liked it, and both expressed they were fans of one another. In , the song peaked at No. In , after a four-year hiatus, Doug E. Hammer claimed rumors falsely heralded his downfall were most likely a result of the fact he turned over his "trimmed-down" Bust It Records to his brother and manager Louis Burrell Jr.
During his hiatus between albums, Hammer consequently signed a multimillion-dollar deal with a new record company. He said there were a lot of bidders, but "not too many of them could afford Hammer". Therefore, Hammer parted ways with Felton Pilate who had previously worked with the successful vocal group Con Funk Shun and switched record labels to Giant Records , taking his Oaktown label with him.
Hammer was eventually sued by Pilate. By this time, he also parted ways with his only female executive, music business administration consultant and songwriter, Linda Lou McCall who previously worked with The Delfonics and her husband Louis A. McCall, Sr. Burrell, in to help set up his corporate operations and administration at Bust It Management and Productions Inc. While at Bust It, she and her husband Louis A. In and , Linda Lou was also involved in several lawsuits against Hammer which were eventually settled out of court.
With a new home and daughter, a new record soon to be released, and his new business, Hammer claimed he was happy and far from being broke during a tour of his mansion for Ebony. Hammer in the '90s is on the offense, on the move, on the attack.
And it's all good". In , Hammer began recording his fifth official album. To adapt to the changing landscape of hip-hop, this album was a more aggressive sounding album entitled The Funky Headhunter. He co-produced this record with funky rapper and producer, Stefan Adamek.