To live in changing times can feel like a curse. To understand the significance of history happening all around you is a difficult thing, and I should know. I was there when MC Hammer hurt ‘em, and that has shaped my entire life since.
When times of peril come around, we all think we will know what to do. But when I saw that look in Hammer’s eyes and I knew he was prepared to hurt ’em, I froze. I didn’t know how to stop him or even why Hammer was about to hurt ‘em. But it was no isolated incident. For all of MC Hammer’s massive, groundbreaking success in the world of pop rap and Addams Family-related promotional singles, he was constantly at the edge of snapping and hurtin’ ‘em.
Studio execs had to instruct his entourage to placate him and keep him from using his flashy dance moves from hurtin’ ‘em. After a Congressional investigation led by Tipper Gore on the subject of Hammer hurtin’ ‘em, all of the MC’s albums were required to have a special Parental Advisory sticker indicating that listening to this jam could lead to ‘em being hurt. And I was there, a witness to it all.
It is one of the great regrets of my life that I did not sufficiently make the case to Hammer why he should not hurt ’em. I often wonder if I had begged, if I had thrown myself at Hammer’s feet and pleaded, “Please, PLEASE, Hammer, don’t hurt ‘em,” would he have listened? It’s impossible to say. The moment of heroism I might have had has passed by. And besides, he was far too legit to quit, regardless of who was asking him to quit.
I still have nightmares of what happened, when I can sleep at all. The carnage, the violence, the giant pants. If I am remembered at all, it will be as the man who watched helplessly as Hammer hurt ’em. And did nothing.
Please, heed my words. If you ever see Hammer and he seems prepared to hurt ’em, don’t stand by, like me. Do something. The next time…you might be part of the ‘em that Hammer hurts.