MC Hammer, the rap star synonymous with his ubiquitous hit “U Can’t Touch This,” celebrates his 50th birthday today (March 30). The Oakland, Calif. native may not have a current song booming from speakers but his storied history has kept him in the public eye well after the release of his last album, Look Look Look, in 2006.
Facts about the Hammer:
1. Two songs off his debut album, Feel My Power, were used in the 1990 film and soundtrack for “Rocky V”: “That’s What I Said” and the title track “Feel My Power.”
2. His government name is Stanley Kirk Burrell.
5. MC Hammer has sold more than 50 million records worldwide. He’s the first hip-hop artist to achieve diamond status for an album.
6. The “MC” in his rap moniker represents “Master of Ceremonies.” Now due to his Christian beliefs, he says the initials stand for “Man of Christ.”
7. He is an ordained minister. In the late ’90s, Hammer became a preacher. He officiates weddings for close friends.
8. Bay area rapper Too $hort created a diss record titled “Rap Like Me,” in 1990, which took aim at MC Hammer. “He would do s— like be in the super mainstream media and like sit on the couch at ‘Arsenio’ and say, ‘Yeah, I’m really the only rapper from my area. There’s not really a lot of rappers from where I come from,'” Too $hort told The BoomBox. “I’m like, ‘Motherf—er, I’ve been popular since you was nobody. What the f— you talkin’ about?’ He would run that s— without dissin’ anybody. I watched Hammer become Hammer. It was a total charade, and it worked.”
9. Hammer enlisted in the Navy for three years.
10. The rhymer was the subject of a parody on the Disney Channel sketch comedy show “So Random,” where a character played MC Grammer, who grammatically corrects rappers during a rap battle.