Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em

Band: MC Hammer
Album: Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em
Best song: Uh, yeah.
Worst song: See above.

In the span of my life, 1990 was one of the stranger years in music. A lot of great music came out that year, but they were hardly heard by a lot of people.

Instead, the general musical zeitgeist could likely be called “silly.” It was the pre-“Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang”/Nevermind period and, at best, popular music was nonsense.

In all honestly, it was a pretty great time to be nine years old. The underground hadn’t blown up yet, the 1980s were decidedly over. This timing made it so that I could develop my own tastes in relation to the silliness that came out. It’d be silly to be a huge Warrant fan at any age other than nine years old, but I liked Warrant a lot as a young lad. Anyone embracing Vanilla Ice’s record is probably immature, but at least a nine-year-old has an excuse. I was nine. I thought the song “Groove is in the Heart” was great fun because, well… I was nine.

Sure, Alice in Chains’ Facelift came out in 1990. As did Fugazi’s Repeater, an album I adore. But — and I hate to keep repeating this — I was nine. What was I suppose to do? Head to the record store alone? Or should I have gotten my 11-year-old sister to take me?

Like everyone else in the world, I liked MC Hammer. “U Can’t Touch This” is a pretty fun record, for what it is, sampling “Superfreak” with aplomb.

MC Hammer was the kind of artist that spoke perfectly to the suburban white kids of the time. He was a big baseball fan and was once an Oakland A’s batboy. In cosmic luck, the A’s were having a resurgence at the time with popular players like Mark McGwire, Rickey Henderson and Jose Canseco. He was glittery, dancing and masculine, despite the fact that he was outstandingly showy.

The music is so very simple, but so very fun. It’s hard not to enjoy it now, but, man, does it sound dated.

Perfect for a nine-year-old Ross.

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