Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em
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|Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em|
|Studio album by MC Hammer|
|Released||February 12, 1990|
|Recorded||May 1988 – November 1989|
|MC Hammer chronology|
|Singles from Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em|
Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em is the third album (and second major-label release) by MC Hammer, released on February 12, 1990 by Capitol Records. The album was produced, recorded, and mixed by Felton Pilate and James Earley.
The album ranked number one for 21 weeks on the Billboard 200, due primarily to the success of the single "U Can't Touch This". The song has been and continues to be used in many movies and television shows to date, and appears on soundtrack/compilation albums as well. Likewise, the album saw longevity on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at number one because it peaked there for 28 weeks.
The album singles released all proved to be successful on radio and video television, with "U Can't Touch This", "Pray", "Have You Seen Her", "Here Comes the Hammer" and "Yo!! Sweetness" (UK only) all charting. The album raised rap music to a new level of popularity. It was the first hip-hop album certified diamond by the RIAA for sales of over ten million. It remains one of the genre's all-time best-selling albums. To date, the album has sold as many as 22 million units.
Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em was released on February 12, 1990, and featured the successful single "U Can't Touch This" (which sampled Rick James' 1981 single "Super Freak"). It was produced, recorded, and mixed by Felton Pilate and James Earley on a modified tour bus in 1989. Despite heavy airplay and a #27 chart debut, "U Can't Touch This" peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart because it was released only as a twelve-inch single.[clarification needed] However, the album was a #1 success for 21 weeks, due primarily to this single, the first time ever for a rap recording on the pop charts. The song has been and continues to be used in many movies and television shows to date, and appears on soundtrack and compilation albums as well.
Follow-up singles included "Have You Seen Her" (a cover of the Chi-Lites) and "Pray" (a beat sampled from Prince's "When Doves Cry" and Faith No More's "We Care a Lot"), which was his biggest hit in the US, peaking at #2. "Pray" was also a major UK success, peaking at #8. The album was notable for sampling other high-profile artists and gave some of these artists a new fanbase. "Dancin' Machine" sampled The Jackson 5, "Help the Children" (also the name of an outreach foundation Hammer started) interpolates Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)", and "She's Soft and Wet" also sampled Prince's "Soft and Wet".
He also toured extensively in Europe which included a sold-out concert at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. With the sponsorship of PepsiCo International, Pepsi-Cola CEO Christopher A. Sinclair went on tour with him during 1991. By June 1991, the album sold 14.5 million copies worldwide. It would go on to become the first hip-hop album to earn diamond status, selling more than 18 million units to date. The album increased the popularity of hip-hop music. It remains the genre's all-time best-selling album.
According to Guinness World Records of hit singles, the album cost just $10,000 to produce. The video for "Here Comes the Hammer" proved to be the most expensive video on this album, Hammer's second most expensive behind "Too Legit to Quit".[not in citation given]
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A backlash began over the repetitive nature of his lyrics, his clean-cut image, and his perceived over-reliance on using hooks from other artists for the basis of his singles. He was mocked in music videos by The D.O.C. and Ice Cube. Oakland hip-hop group Digital Underground mocked him in the CD insert of its Sex Packets album when placing his picture in with the other members and referring to him as an unknown derelict. LL Cool J mocked him in "To tha Break of Dawn," a track on his Mama Said Knock You Out album, calling Hammer an "amateur, swinging a Hammer from a bodybag [his pants]," and saying, "My old gym teacher ain't supposed to rap." (LL Cool J would later compliment and commend Hammer's abilities/talents on VH-1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop, which aired in 2008.)
However, Ice-T came to Hammer's defense on his 1991 album O.G. Original Gangster: "A special shout-out to my man M.C. Hammer: a lot of people dis you, man, but they just jealous." Ice-T later explained that he had nothing against people who were pop-rap from the start, as Hammer had been, but only against emcees who switch from being hardcore or "dirty" to being pop-rap so they can sell more records.
Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em was also criticized for its sampling of other musicians' songs. The album sampled high-profile artists and gave some of these artists a new fanbase as a result. "U Can't Touch This" sampled "Super Freak" by Rick James; "Dancin' Machine" sampled the Jackson 5; "Have You Seen Her" is a semi-cover of The Chi-Lites song; "Help the Children" interpolates Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)"; "Pray" and "She's Soft and Wet" sample the Prince songs "When Doves Cry" and "Soft and Wet" respectively.
Rick James sued Hammer for infringement of copyright on the song "U Can't Touch This", but the suit was settled out of court when Hammer agreed to credit James as co-composer, effectively cutting James in on the millions of dollars the record was earning. Hammer was also sued by a former producer, Felton Pilate (who is also a member of the successful R&B band, Con Funk Shun) and by several of his former backers, and faced charges that performance troupe members endured an abusive, militaristic atmosphere.
In 1992, Hammer also admitted in depositions and court documents to getting the idea for the song "Here Comes the Hammer" from a Texas-based Christian recording artist named Kevin Christian. Christian had filed a US$16 million lawsuit against Hammer for copyright infringement for his song entitled "Oh-Oh, You Got The Shing". Hammer settled with Christian for $250,000 in 1995.
|1.||"Here Comes the Hammer"||MC Hammer||4:32|
|2.||"U Can't Touch This"||MC Hammer, James, Miller||4:17|
|3.||"Have You Seen Her" (The Chi-Lites cover)||Acklin, Record, Hammer||4:42|
|4.||"Yo!! Sweetness"||MC Hammer||4:36|
|5.||"Help the Children"||Gaye, MC Hammer||5:17|
|6.||"On Your Face" (Earth, Wind & Fire cover)||Bailey, Stepney, White||4:32|
|7.||"Dancin' Machine" (The Jackson 5 cover)||Davis, Fletcher, Parks||2:55|
|8.||"Pray"||MC Hammer, Prince, Gould, Bottum||5:13|
|9.||"Crime Story"||MC Hammer||5:09|
|10.||"She's Soft and Wet"||MC Hammer, Moon, Prince||3:25|
|11.||"Black Is Black"||MC Hammer||4:31|
|12.||"Let's Go Deeper"||MC Hammer||5:16|
|13.||"Work This"||MC Hammer||5:03|
Help the Children
Here Comes the Hammer
U Can't Touch This
She's Soft and Wet
Black Is Black
Charts and certifications
Sales and certifications
The Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em album was accompanied by a straight-to-video film titled Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em: The Movie (1990), It stars Hammer as a rapper who returns to his old neighborhood and defeating a drug dealer who is using kids to traffic his product. Hammer plays an additional role of preacher "Reverend Pressure". The film costarred Juice Sneed, Keyon White, Joe Mack and Davina H'Ollier.
The movie won Hammer, director Rupert Wainwright and producer John Oetjen a Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Long Form at the 33rd Grammy Awards.[not in citation given] Besides Hammer, music talent included Ho Frat Hoo! (1991 MTV Video Music Awards Best Choreography in a Video winner for "Pray" along with Hammer), Torture, Special Generation and rapper One Cause One Effect. All projects were Capitol Records Productions.
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