The Funky Headhunter

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The Funky Headhunter
Studio album by Hammer
Released March 1, 1994
Recorded 1993
Genre G-funk, West Coast Hip Hop, Hardcore Hip Hop
Label Giant/Reprise/Warner Bros. Records
24545
Producer The Whole 9, Teddy Riley
M.C. Hammer chronology
Too Legit to Quit
(1991)
The Funky Headhunter
(1994)
Inside Out
(1995)
Singles from The Funky Headhunter
  1. "Pumps and a Bump"
    Released: February 26, 1994
  2. "It's All Good"
    Released: 1994
  3. "Don't Stop"
    Released: 1994
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly B−[2]

The Funky Headhunter is the fifth official release by Hammer, and fourth studio album overall (excluding his first EP album, called Feel My Power). Recorded in 1993, it was released in early 1994.

The album at the time was hailed as Hammer's comeback album. As with some earlier songs such as "Crime Story" (from the album Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em),[3] the content and reality about "street life" remained somewhat the same, but the sound was different, resulting in Hammer losing favor with fans.[4] Nonetheless, this harder-edged, more aggressive record went platinum, but failed to win him a new audience among hardcore hip-hop fans.[5]

Production[edit]

In 1993, Hammer began recording this album. To adapt to the changing landscape of hip-hop, the album was a more aggressive sounding album. He co-produced this record with funky rapper and producer, Stefan Adamek. While Hammer's appearance changed to keep up with the gangsta rap audience, his lyrics still remained honest and somewhat clean with minor swearing. Yet, on this album as with previous records, Hammer would continue to call out other rappers who had dissed him.

It was produced by innovative musicians and writers such as Teddy Riley (who had previously produced records for Guy, Blackstreet and Michael Jackson), The Whole 9, The Hines Brothers and G-Bomb. It also featured Death Row Records head Suge Knight, and Death Row recording artists Tha Dogg Pound.

Release and reception[edit]

Hammer debuted the album and video for "Pumps and a Bump" two months before its release on The Arsenio Hall Show and finally released it in March. Talk show host Arsenio Hall said to M.C. Hammer, "Women in the audience want to know, what's in your speedos in the 'Pumps and a Bump' video?" A clip from the video was then shown, to much approval from the audience. Hammer didn't give a direct answer, but instead laughed. Arsenio then said, "I guess that's why they call you 'Hammer.' It ain't got nothin' to do with Hank Aaron" (which refers to the fact that Hammer was nicknamed after Aaron). [6]

"Pumps and a Bump" proved to be a controversial track on this album, somewhat affecting Hammer's image. However, the single peaked at #3 on the US Rap charts. It was banned from heavy rotation on MTV with censors claiming that the depiction of Hammer in Speedos (and with what appeared to be an erection) was too graphic.[7] This led to an alternative video being filmed (with Hammer fully clothed) that was directed by Bay Area native Craig S. Brooks, who also helmed the video of rap group DRS' only hit single "Gangsta Lean".

On December 26, 1994, Deion Sanders released Prime Time, a rap album on Bust It Records (Hammer's label) that featured the minor hit "Must Be The Money". "Prime Time Keeps on Tickin'" was also released as a single. Sanders, a friend of Hammer's, had previously appeared in his "Too Legit to Quit" music video, and his alter-ego "Prime Time" is also used in Hammer's "Pumps and a Bump" video.

"It's All Good", produced by The Whole 9, was the second single released on this album, which would become a pop culture phrase as a result.[8] It was also the most successful song by this title (and first commercially released), peaking on the record charts as follows: US #46; US R&B #14; US Rap #3; UK #52.

This album peaked at number two on the R&B charts and remained in the Top 30 midway through the year.[6] The album eventually reached #12 on the Billboard 200 album chart [9] The album managed to become certified platinum.

Track listing[edit]

Source:[10]

  1. "Intro"
  2. "Oaktown"
  3. "It's All Good" (Response Diss to Black Sheep)
  4. "Somethin' for the O.G's"
  5. "Don't Stop"
  6. "Pumps and a Bump"
  7. "One Mo' Time"
  8. "Clap Yo' Hands"
  9. "Break 'Em Off Somethin' Proper" (Response Diss to Q-Tip, Rodney O, MC Serch, Black Sheep, Run-D.M.C. & Redman)
  10. "Don't Fight the Feelin'"
  11. "Somethin' Bout the Goldie In Me"
  12. "Sleepin' on a Master Plan" [Featuring Tha Dogg Pound]
  13. "It's All That"
  14. "Funky Headhunter" (Response Diss to MC Serch, Q-Tip & Redman)
  15. "Pumps and a Bump (Reprise: Bump Teddy Bump)"
  16. "Help Lord (Won't You Come)"
  17. "Do It Like This" [Extended Version]
  18. "Heartbreaka (Is What They Call Me)" [Japanese Edition]

Samples[edit]

Break 'Em Off Somethin' Proper

Don't Fight the Feelin'

Don't Stop

It's All Good

Oaktown

Pumps and a Bump

Somethin' for the O.G.'s

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Funky Headhunter - MC Hammer | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. 1994-03-01. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  2. ^ "The Funky Headhunter Review | Music Reviews and News". EW.com. 1994-03-18. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  3. ^ Greg Sandow (1990-02-16). "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em | Music". EW.com. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  4. ^ "MC Hammer - Crime Story Lyrics". MetroLyrics. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  5. ^ "MC Hammer - Upcoming Shows & Performances". Zvents. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  6. ^ a b "The Funky Headhunter: Information from". Answers.com. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  7. ^ "Bang Thy Head Carefully". San Francisco - News. 
  8. ^ "Outside the box and inside your head - Nov 8, 2005". CNN.com. 2005-11-08. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  9. ^ "MC Hammer Chart History". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 30 August 2012. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Funky Headhunter: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-10-13.