Today in Hip-Hop: MC Hammer Files for Bankruptcy
On this day, April 3, in hip-hop history...
1996: Back in the late 1980s, you couldn't turn on a radio without hearing a song from MC Hammer. The California rapper with dancey crossover appeal was ruling the charts with hits like "U Can't Touch This" and "2 Legit 2 Quit." Hammer was a legit superstar, and one of the biggest names on the scene at the time. He was the first hip-hop artist to achieve diamond status on an album, selling more than ten million records, with his 1990 album Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em. And because he was such a huge success, that meant Hammer was also massively wealthy. Forbes magazine estimated the singer's net worth to be $33 million in 1990.
But the money train came to an abrupt halt in 1996. Hammer spent most of his money on superficial luxuries like cars, trips and racehorses. Due to slow album sales, unpaid loans, a large payroll of people and his lifestyle, Hammer couldn't keep up financially and racked up a debt of $13 million dollars. Hammer's tendency to live so lavishly while also trying to help everyone around him eventually caught up to him. The rapper filed for bankruptcy on April 3, 1996 at a California court.
MC Hammer has gone on to start a ministry and continues to perform the throwback hits that made him famous. Though the rapper has since amended his financial troubles, it was reported in 2015 that Hammer owes the IRS $1.4 million in interest on the 1996 tax delinquency.
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