What do we think about Hammer?
MC Hammer’s ascendancy (however brief) to hip-hop’s commercial apex had plenty of detractors. Not only did “Let’s Get it Started”, one of his first hits, call out Doug E. Fresh (who he later signed), LL Cool J AND Run-DMC, but his lack of lyrical skills and his reliance on dancing did not go over well with most “legit” hip-hoppers, and he was widely labeled as a sellout.
The first widely-circulated Hammer diss came courtesy of New York trio 3rd Bass and their hit “The Gas Face”. While MC Serch and his rhyming partner Pete Nice didn’t touch on Hammer in the song’s actual lyrics (most of which dealt with record industry shadiness and racism), an ad-lib during the end of the song made their distaste for him quite clear, as did the accompanying video clip. “Gas Face” is also notable for being the song that propelled 3rd Bass’s debut “The Cactus Album” to Gold status, as well as the fact that it contains one of the earliest recorded vocals by a rapper named Zev Love X, who would later go on to minor fame as a member of the rap troupe KMD before donning a mask and reinventing himself as MF Doom.
The Hammer disses didn’t stop. Within a year, both LL and Run-DMC took shots at him, as did NWA and The D.O.C. (courtesy of “The Formula”‘s vide0), Ice Cube dissed him in “True to the Game” (although he denied it in interviews), and even Vanilla Ice (who actually toured as Hammer’s opening act) took shots at the guy. Initially, Hammer laughed all the way to the bank, though I’m pretty sure that Serch and Pete are probably in as decent if not better financial standing as Hammer is these days.
(and how can you not love Gilbert Gottfried?)