Today In Hip-Hop: MC Hammer’s “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em” Goes Diamond

On this day, April 15th, in hip-hop history…

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1991: MC Hammer’s third album Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em reaches Diamond status. Armed with the singles “Have You Seen Her” and “U Can’t Touch This,” Hammer’s album quickly became a commercial success after its release in February 1990. It spent 21 weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 and spawned an accompanying film of the same name, in which Hammer returns to his hometown and defeats a local drug lord. Since its release, Hammer’s album has become a staple of pop culture, with “U Can’t Touch This” being used and parodied in dozens of films and television shows.

Despite the LP’s commercial success, Hammer’s pop-rap sensibilities drew extensive criticism from his hip-hop peers. Artists like The D.O.C., Ice Cube, 3rd Bass and the Digital Underground all mocked Hammer’s musical style on various projects. Furthermore, many critics panned the album’s repetitive lyrics and sound, with Rolling Stone’s Michael Corcoran writing that, “he follows a lazy formula, interspersing concern with braggadocio, sexism with black pride.”