Hip-hop Media training

MC Hammer Named After Baseball Legend

Hip-Hop Media Training

If your knowledge of MC Hammer starts with his insanely popular song "U Can't Touch This" from his 10 times platinum album Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em and ends with his then signature baggy, genie-like pants with the extended crotch, then you should catch Hammertime, his new A&E reality show which debuts June 14.

 

It is here that you'll get to meet Stanley Kirk Burrell, the real life persona of the '90s rap star who made $33 million, had a $12 million mansion and secured lucrative endorsement deals with KFC, Taco Bell and Pepsi before filing for bankruptcy.

Hammertime will follow Hammer, who lives in Oakland, California with his wife of 23 years. He has six children.

Ironically, it wasn't Burrell's rapping skills that got him the name MC Hammer. Long before he picked up a mic, the then 13-year-old kid from Oakland received the nickname from baseball legend Reggie Jackson.

Burrell earned a gig as the batboy for the Oakland A's after catching the attention of the team owner Charlie Finley who spotted the ambitious baseball fanatic dancing in front of the stadium for tips to buy game tickets. Jackson dubbed Burrell Hammer because he thought he resembled Hank Aaron.

Though Hammer hoped to become a professional baseball player, he joined the Navy. While enlisted, he continued to hone his rap skills which dated back to his days in the Christian group the Holy Ghost Boys. After an honorable discharge from the Navy, MC Hammer began pursuing full time a career in hip hop.

In 1987, he released his first album Feel My Power and sold 60,000 copies independently. The following year, after signing a recording deal with Capitol Records, MC Hammer updated the album and released it as Let's Get It Started.

It was his next album, 1990's Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em, that made MC Hammer a household name.

He remained in the news over the years, releasing several subsequent albums though none achieved the success of Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em. He caught flack with the 1994 record The Funky Headhunter. Then signed to Suge Knight and Dr. Dre's Death Row Records, The Funky Headhunter depicted Hammer as a gangsta rapper, an image that wasn't digestible considering his pop stature, shiny stage costumes and bubblegum raps. He became a preacher in the late '90s and appeared on other reality shows The Surreal Life and I Married...MC Hammer.

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