Too Legit to Quit

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Too Legit to Quit
Too Legit to Quit cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 29, 1991 (1991-10-29)
Recorded1991
Genre
Length70:53
Label
Hammer chronology
Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em
(1990)
Too Legit to Quit
(1991)
The Funky Headhunter
(1994)
Singles from Too Legit to Quit
  1. "2 Legit 2 Quit"
    Released: September 5, 1991
  2. "Addams Groove"
    Released: December 17, 1991
  3. "Do Not Pass Me By"
    Released: January 23, 1992
  4. "This Is the Way We Roll"
    Released: April 16, 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[2]

Too Legit to Quit is Hammer's fourth record (and third major-label studio album), released on October 29, 1991 by Capitol Records. The album, also produced by Felton Pilate, has been certified silver in the UK by the BPI and triple platinum in the US by the RIAA.[1][3][4]

After dropping the "M.C." from his stage name, Hammer released Too Legit to Quit which answered critics within certain songs from the album. Sales were strong (over five million copies)[5] with the title track being the biggest hit.

Promotion and reception[edit]

Hammer set out on a world tour for Too Legit to Quit, but the stage show had become as lavish as his lifestyle. Loaded with singers, dancers and backup musicians, the supporting concert tour was too expensive for the album's sales to finance so it was canceled partway through.[6] In 1992, Boyz II Men joined Hammer's high-profile 2 Legit 2 Quit Tour as an opening act. While traveling the country, their tour manager Khalil Roundtree was murdered in Chicago, and the group's future performances of "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" were dedicated to him. As a result of this unfortunate experience, the song would help advance their success.[7] Other opening acts for the tour included Jodeci and Mary J. Blige.

"2 Legit 2 Quit" proved to be successful in the U.S., peaking at the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 5. Another hit came soon after with "Addams Groove" (which appeared on both The Addams Family motion picture soundtrack and the vinyl and cassette versions of 2 Legit 2 Quit), reaching No. 7 in the U.S. and No. 4 in the UK. Despite the album's multi-platinum certification, the sales were one-third of Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em.

Prior to Hammer's next album, The Funky Headhunter, rumors from critics and fans began claiming Hammer had quit the music/entertainment business and had suffered a financial downfall (since a couple of years had passed in between the two records), which Hammer denied at the time.[5] The introduction of the extended-play music video for "2 Legit 2 Quit" addressed the fact that Hammer must have quit (with Jim Belushi as a newscaster announcing it in a comical way) until Hammer shows up late to a concert dancing and rapping to the hit song.

Music videos[edit]

Music videos were produced for all four charting singles released. The music video for "Addams Groove" appeared before The Addams Family film.[8]

The music video for "2 Legit 2 Quit" included many celebrity appearances. It was ranked one of the most expensive videos ever produced.[9][10][11] The hand gestures used within the video became very popular as was the catchphrase itself.[12] At the end of the video, after James Brown enlists Hammer to obtain the glove of Michael Jackson, a silver-white sequined glove is shown on the hand of a Jackson look-alike doing the "2 Legit 2 Quit" hand motions. It was a reference to Hammer wanting to challenge Jackson to a dance-off for rights to his famous glove, which is also referenced on the album.[13]

Andy Samberg's character in the film Hot Rod pays tribute to Hammer's hand gestures from the music video with his explanation of no longer being "legit" so he must quit.

Hammer appeared on The Wendy Williams Show on July 27, 2009 and told a story about a phone call he received from Michael Jackson, regarding the portion of the "2 Legit 2 Quit" video that included a fake Jackson, giving his approval and inclusion of it. He explained how Jackson had seen the video and liked it, and both expressed they were a fan of each other.[14] Hammer and Jackson would later appear, speak and perform at the funeral service for James Brown in 2006.[15][16][17]

A compilation of music videos from this album were released on VHS (1992) and DVD (2002) called M.C. Hammer: 2 Legit - The Videos (102 minutes).[18]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."This Is the Way We Roll"Stanley K. Burrell, Felton C. Pilate5:53
2."Brothers Hang On"S. Burrell, Pilate, Norman Whitfield7:12
3."2 Legit 2 Quit"S. Burrell, James Earley, Michael Kelly, Pilate; Louis K. Burrell5:33
4."Living in a World Like This"S. Burrell, Pilate5:29
5."Tell Me (Why Can't We Live Together)"S. Burrell, Pilate, Timmy Thomas6:38
6."Releasing Some Pressure"S. Burrell, Pilate5:03
7."Find Yourself a Friend"S. Burrell, Pilate3:57
8."Count It Off"S. Burrell, Pilate5:07
9."Good to Go"S. Burrell, Pilate4:54
10."Lovehold"S. Burrell, Pilate4:55
11."Street Soldiers"S. Burrell, Pilate5:00
12."Do Not Pass Me By"S. Burrell, Pilate5:31
13."Gaining Momentum"S. Burrell, Pilate5:41
Total length:70:53

The cassette tape version of this album is considerably longer, with the addition of four songs (two of which are remixes). After "Find Yourself a Friend" there follows "Rollin' On (Oaktown Style)" (5:50). After "Gaining Momentum" is "Burn It Up" (4:28). The last two songs on the album are then "Addams Groove" (3:54) and "Street Soldiers (Saxapella Reprise)" (4:56). The total run time is 1:29:00 (89 minutes).

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1991–1992) Peak

Position

US Billboard 200[19] 2

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1992) Position
US Billboard 200[20] 9

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Hammer: Too Legit to Quit". allmusic.com.
  2. ^ "Too Legit to Quit". 1 November 1991.
  3. ^ "Hammer: Too Legit to Quit". riaa.com.
  4. ^ "Hammer: Too Legit to Quit". bpi.co.uk.
  5. ^ a b "FindArticles.com - CBSi".
  6. ^ "MC Hammer - Upcoming Shows & Peformances [sic]". Zvents. 2010-03-17. Archived from the original on 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2010-03-31. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ "VH1 Original TV Shows, Reality TV Shows - VH1".
  8. ^ https://www.retroist.com/2018/01/26/mc-hammer-addams-groove/
  9. ^ "Superstars And Super Hype To The Rescue". Newsweek. 1991-12-09. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  10. ^ "Hammer | View the Music Artists Biography Online". VH1.com. 1962-03-30. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  11. ^ Farber, Jim (1991-03-08). "Flesh Forward | Music". EW.com. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  12. ^ "The "Two Legit to Quit" Challenge". Spudart.org. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  13. ^ St. Petersburg Times, Tues, July 23, 1991, pp.4A
  14. ^ "Video | The Wendy Williams Show". Wendyshow.com. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  15. ^ Reid, Shaheem (2006-12-30). "James Brown Saluted By Michael Jackson At Public Funeral Service - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News". Mtv.com. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  16. ^ "MC Hammer Interview w/ Wendy Williams Show". Global Grind. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  17. ^ "MC Hammer on Wendy Williams:Video". Global Grind. 2009-07-27. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  18. ^ "MC Hammer: 2 Legit - The Videos". 27 August 2002 – via Amazon.
  19. ^ "Top 200 Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  20. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums - Year-End 1992". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-01-21.