Mc Hammer Jay Z

Mc Hammer Jay Z

Can't Touch This Rivalry: MC Hammer vs. Jay-Z - A Hip Hop Feud for the Ages

The annals of hip hop history are littered with legendary clashes. From Nas and Tupac to East Coast vs. West Coast, these feuds have fueled lyrics, captivated audiences, and shaped the genre's narrative. But one unlikely feud stands out: the war of words between MC Hammer and Jay-Z.

This article dives deep into this unexpected rivalry, exploring the careers of these iconic rappers, the origins of the feud, the diss tracks exchanged, and the lasting impact on hip hop culture. Buckle up, as we navigate the complex world of lyrical warfare and chart the course of a feud that defied expectations.

From Oakland to the Mainstream: The Rise of MC Hammer

MC Hammer, born Stanley Kirk Burrell, emerged from the vibrant Oakland rap scene in the late 80s. His infectious energy, signature parachute pants, and catchy hooks propelled him to superstardom. Tracks like "U Can't Touch This" and "2 Legit 2 Quit" dominated radio waves, making him a household name and a pop culture icon.

Hammer's success transcended music. He built a brand around his image, endorsing products and even launching his own dance craze. However, his flamboyant persona and perceived commercialization alienated some within the hip hop community.

Hov's Blueprint: Jay-Z's Path to Rap Royalty

Across the hip hop landscape, a young Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, was meticulously crafting his rise. Hailing from Brooklyn, Jay-Z's lyrical prowess and streetwise storytelling resonated with audiences. Albums like "Reasonable Doubt" and "In My Lifetime, Vol. 1" cemented his reputation as a lyrical genius and a hustler who understood the game.

Jay-Z's influence extended beyond music. He built Roc-A-Fella Records, becoming a successful entrepreneur and tastemaker in the industry. His career trajectory contrasted with MC Hammer's, who faced financial difficulties and a decline in popularity by the mid-90s.

A Spark Ignites: The Origins of the MC Hammer vs. Jay-Z Feud

The seeds of discord were sown in 2009 when Jay-Z, on Kanye West's track "So Appalled," rapped, "I dumb broke down like Hammer." This seemingly innocuous reference to MC Hammer's financial troubles ignited a firestorm.

MC Hammer, long out of the rap spotlight, perceived the lyric as a disrespectful jab at his past struggles.

Lyrical Warfare: Breaking Down the Diss Tracks

In an unexpected move, MC Hammer responded with a vengeance. In 2010, he dropped a diss track titled "Better Run Run." The song, a throwback to his 90s style, directly challenged Jay-Z's claims and reignited the feud.

Here's a breakdown of some key lines from "Better Run Run":

  • "Yo Jay, I got a Reasonable Doubt if I knocked on your door would you come on out?" - A playful jab at Jay-Z's classic album title.
  • "Don't need a dark pair, that boy tried to steal my swag" - Accusing Jay-Z of copying his style.
  • "MC Hammer better run run, MC Hammer better run run" - A self-aware and playful use of Jay-Z's reference.

While Jay-Z's response may seem indirect, it highlights the strategic nature of his approach. By not directly engaging in a diss track war, he maintains a sense of composure and avoids giving MC Hammer undue attention. This tactic aligns with his cultivated image as a mature businessman who transcends petty squabbles.

However, the "Arm & Hammer" reference in one of his songs can be interpreted as a subtle jab. Arm & Hammer is a brand of baking soda, and some listeners perceived it as a play on MC Hammer's financial woes. The implication is that MC Hammer's career had "fizzled out" like expired baking soda – a clever double entendre showcasing Jay-Z's lyrical wit.

This approach allows him to throw shade without resorting to explicit insults, further solidifying his image as a sophisticated player in the rap game.

"Better Run Run": MC Hammer's Retribution

MC Hammer, on the other hand, took a more direct route. His diss track, "Better Run Run," acts as a rebuttal to Jay-Z's initial reference and injects new life into the feud.

The song playfully mocks Jay-Z's lyrics while referencing his own past success. Lines like "Don't need a dark pair, that boy tried to steal my swag" humorously accuse Jay-Z of copying his style.

"Better Run Run" might not have topped the charts, but it served as a reminder that MC Hammer could still pack a punch, both lyrically and with his signature dance moves incorporated into the music video.

Beyond the Beef: The Impact on Hip Hop Culture

The MC Hammer vs. Jay-Z feud, while unexpected, offered a unique perspective on hip hop rivalries. It showcased a clash between titans of different eras – the flamboyant showman from the glitzy 80s versus the lyrical kingpin of the gritty 90s.

More importantly, it highlighted the evolution of hip hop itself.

  • The feud demonstrated the growing influence of entrepreneurship within the genre. Both rappers had become successful businessmen, and their careers transcended music.
  • It also sparked discussions about legacy and respect for hip hop pioneers. MC Hammer, despite facing financial difficulties, was a undeniable innovator who helped popularize the genre. The diss track served as a way to remind the industry of his contributions.
Where Do They Stand Now? The Aftermath of the Feud

The MC Hammer vs. Jay-Z feud fizzled out after a few lyrical exchanges. Neither rapper actively pursued further conflict.

  • MC Hammer continued to release music sporadically and focused on his entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Jay-Z remained at the forefront of the rap industry, building his Roc Nation empire.

While there might not be a clear resolution or a handshake moment, the absence of further animosity suggests a mutual respect between the two rappers.

Legacies and Lessons: The Enduring Influence of MC Hammer and Jay-Z

The MC Hammer vs. Jay-Z feud, though brief, serves as a microcosm of hip hop history. It encapsulates the genre's evolution, the growing influence of business within the art form, and the importance of respecting past contributions.

  • MC Hammer's legacy is undeniable. He remains an iconic figure whose music and dance moves continue to inspire.
  • Jay-Z stands as a hip hop titan, a shrewd businessman who redefined the rapper's role in the industry.

Their unlikely feud, though fueled by a flippant lyric, sparked conversations about respect, legacy, and the ever-changing landscape of hip hop.

Even in the age of social media feuds and instant rebuttals, the MC Hammer vs. Jay-Z feud reminds us that clever wordplay, calculated responses, and a touch of humor can make for a memorable clash within the world of hip hop.

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