Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hip-Hop Game Changer: MC Hammer

MC Hammer dominated the music scene in the early 90's with his innovative dance moves, fashion statements, and elaborate videos. His crossover appeal made him the first rapper to successfully bridge the gap with corporate America. Hammer endorsed tennis shoes, fried chicken, and even had his own cartoon. Not everyone saw this as a good thing. The hip-hop community took a stance against Hammer not only for dissing the godfathers of rap(RUN DMC) but also for giving our music away to the mainstream. Various artist such as Icecube, Q-Tip, LL Cool J, Too Short, and 3rd Base made Hammer the subject of discouraging lyrics. It was clear back then that hip-hop wasn't willing to water down its authenticity and sellout for the all mighty dollar. 20 years later you could view Hammer's career and business plan as a blueprint for success. No longer does hip-hop have the conscience or the vocal leaders to protect the integrity of the product. Hammertime is in full effect. Whatever sells records is a good song. Period. Whatever gets the kids to watch videos is a good image. Period. The bottom line is money and everything else is secondary. Should we apologize to Hammer for the unfair criticism? Should we thank him for having the vision to take the craft to higher heights? Should we change our opinion of what Hammer represents? I'll let you decide.

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