Open main menu

Feel My Power is the debut record by M.C. Hammer, produced by Felton Pilate (of Con Funk Shun) and released in 1986. This album sold over 60,000 copies, a considerable success for a small independent label of the era, which led to several offers from major labels.

Feel My Power
Feel My Power.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 13, 1986 (1986-08-13)
LabelBustin' Track [1]
M.C. Hammer chronology
Feel My Power
Let's Get It Started
Singles from Feel My Power
  1. "Ring 'Em"
    Released: 1987
  2. "Get It Started"
    Released: 1988

Album historyEdit

In the mid-80s while rapping in small venues and after a record deal went sour, Hammer borrowed $20,000 each from former Oakland A's players Mike Davis and Dwayne Murphy to start a record label business called Bust It Productions.[2] He kept the company going by selling records from his basement and car. Bust It spawned Bustin' Records, the independent label of which Hammer was CEO. Together, the companies had more than 100 employees. Recording singles and selling them out of the trunk of his car, he marketed himself relentlessly. Coupled with his dance abilities, Hammer's style was unique at the time.

Billing himself as "M.C. Hammer", he recorded this debut album, which was produced between 1985-1986 and released independently in 1986 on his Oaktown Records label (Bustin'). In the spring of 1988, San Francisco Bay Area KSOL radio DJ Tony Valera began playing the track "Let's Get It Started" — a song in which he declared he was "...second to none, from Doug E. Fresh, LL Cool J, or DJ Run" — in his nightly mix-show. (Hammer would continue to call out other rappers in future projects as well.) After a huge response, Tony brought the record to KSOL's Music Director Marvin Robinson, who agreed that it should be played in regular rotation on the radio, after which the track began to gain popularity in nightclubs.

Hammer also released a single called "Ring 'Em", and largely on the strength of additional air play on KSOL (and rival KMEL) and tireless street marketing by Hammer and his wife, it achieved considerable popularity at dance clubs in the Bay Area. Heartened by his rising prospects, Hammer launched into seven-day-a-week rehearsals with the growing troupe of dancers, musicians, and backup vocalists he had hired. It was Hammer's stage show, and his infectious stage presence, that led to his big break in 1988 while performing in an Oakland club. There he impressed a record executive who "didn't know who he was, but knew he was somebody", as was quoted as saying in the New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll.

M.C. had received several offers from major record labels before (which he initially declined due to his personal success), but after the successful release of this independent album and elaborate live dance show amazed the Capitol Records executive, Hammer agreed to sign a record deal soon after. Hammer took home a $750,000 advance and a multi-album contract, which did not take long for Capitol to recoup its investment.[3] After signed to Capitol Records, Hammer re-issued a revised version of this album with additional tracks added on his next album and sold over 2 million copies with Let's Get It Started.

Track listingEdit

  1. "That's What I Said" 1:57
  2. "Ring 'Em" 4:05
  3. "Get It Started" 4:19
  4. "Feel My Power" 4:03
  5. "The Thrill Is Gone" 4:37
  6. "Mix It Toss It & Bust It" 3:52
  7. "Son of the King" 3:27
  8. "Brother Versus Brother" 3:51
  9. "I Can Make It Better" 3:36

"That's What I Said" and "Feel My Power" were later used for the Rocky V film and soundtrack. "The Thrill Is Gone" samples the original song by B.B. King.[4] Additionally, the album samples James Brown.[5]