Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em

  (Redirected from Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em)

Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em is the third studio album by MC Hammer, released on February 12, 1990,[1] by Capitol Records and EMI Records. The album was produced, recorded, and mixed by Felton Pilate and James Earley.

Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em
Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 12, 1990 (1990-02-12)
RecordedMay 1988 – November 1989
  • Big Louis Burrell
  • MC Hammer
  • Scott Folks
MC Hammer chronology
Let's Get It Started
Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em
Too Legit to Quit
Singles from Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em
  1. "Help the Children"
    Released: January 10, 1990
  2. "Dancin' Machine"
    Released: February, 1990
  3. "U Can't Touch This"
    Released: April, 1990
  4. "Have You Seen Her"
    Released: June, 1990
  5. "Pray"
    Released: August 21, 1990
  6. "Here Comes the Hammer"
    Released: December 1990

The album ranked number one for 21 weeks on the US Billboard 200, due primarily to the success of the single "U Can't Touch This".[2] Likewise, the album saw longevity on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, peaking at number one and staying at the top for 28 weeks.[3] It was the top selling album of 1990 in the United States and one of the bestselling hip hop albums of all time.[4]

Most of the singles released from the album proved to be successful on radio and video television, with "U Can't Touch This", "Pray", "Have You Seen Her", "Here Comes the Hammer" and "Yo!! Sweetness" (UK only) all charting. The album raised rap music to a new level of popularity. It is the first hip-hop album ever to be certified diamond by the RIAA for sales of over ten million in the United States.[5] To date, the album has sold as many as 17 million copies worldwide as of July 15, 2012.[6][7]

Album detailsEdit

Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em was released on February 12, 1990, and features the successful single "U Can't Touch This" (which sampled Rick James' 1981 single "Super Freak"). It was produced, recorded, and mixed by Felton Pilate and James Earley on a modified tour bus in 1989.[8] Despite heavy airplay and a No. 27 chart debut, "U Can't Touch This" peaked at No. 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart because it was released only as a twelve-inch single.[9][clarification needed] However, the album was a No. 1 success for 21 weeks, due primarily to this single, the first time ever for a rap recording on the pop charts. The song has been and continues to be used in many movies and television shows to date, and appears on soundtrack and compilation albums as well.[citation needed]

Follow-up singles included "Have You Seen Her" (a cover of the Chi-Lites) and "Pray" (a beat sampled from Prince's "When Doves Cry" and Faith No More's "We Care a Lot"),[10] which was his biggest hit in the US, peaking at No. 2. "Pray" was also a major UK success, peaking at No. 8. The album was notable for sampling other high-profile artists and gave some of these artists a new fanbase. "Dancin' Machine" sampled The Jackson 5, "Help the Children" (also the name of an outreach foundation Hammer started)[11] interpolates Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)", and "She's Soft and Wet" also sampled Prince's "Soft and Wet".

Hammer toured extensively in Europe, which included a sold-out concert at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. With the sponsorship of PepsiCo International, Pepsi-Cola CEO Christopher A. Sinclair went on tour with him during 1991. By June 1991, the album sold 14.5 million copies worldwide.[12] It would go on to become the first hip-hop album to earn diamond status, selling more than 18 million units to date.[13][14][15][16]

Following the album success, Hammer embarked in a 1990–1991 worldwide tour with 144 dates grossing over $32 millions of dollars.[17]

According to Guinness World Records of hit singles, the album cost just $10,000 to produce.[18] The video for "Here Comes the Hammer" proved to be the most expensive video on this album, Hammer's second most expensive behind "2 Legit 2 Quit".[19][failed verification]

Critical reactionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [13]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[20]
Rolling Stone     [10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [21]
The Village VoiceC+[22]

A backlash began over the repetitive nature of Hammer's lyrics, his clean-cut image, and his perceived over-reliance on using hooks from other artists for the basis of his singles. He was mocked in music videos by The D.O.C. and Ice Cube. Oakland hip-hop group Digital Underground mocked him in the CD insert of its Sex Packets album when placing his picture in with the other members and referring to him as an unknown derelict, and he was also mentioned in the song "The Humpty Dance" with Shock G dissing him, saying "People say 'Ya look like MC Hammer on crack, Humpty!'".[citation needed] LL Cool J mocked him in "To tha Break of Dawn," a track on his Mama Said Knock You Out album, calling Hammer an "amateur, swinging a Hammer from a bodybag [his pants]," and saying, "My old gym teacher ain't supposed to rap." LL would also refer to the mockery a later time with I Shot Ya (remix), a track on his Mr. Smith album. (LL Cool J would later compliment and commend Hammer's abilities/talents on VH-1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop, which aired in 2008.)[citation needed]

However, Ice-T came to Hammer's defense on his 1991 album O.G. Original Gangster: "A special shout-out to my man M.C. Hammer: a lot of people dis you, man, but they just jealous." Ice-T later explained that he had nothing against people who were pop-rap from the start, as Hammer had been, but only against emcees who switch from being hardcore or "dirty" to being pop-rap so they can sell more records.[citation needed]

Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em was also criticized for its sampling of other musicians' songs.[10] The album sampled high-profile artists and gave some of these artists a new fanbase as a result.[citation needed] "U Can't Touch This" sampled "Super Freak" by Rick James; "Dancin' Machine" sampled the Jackson 5; "Have You Seen Her" is a semi-cover of The Chi-Lites song; "Help the Children" interpolates Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)"; "Pray" and "She's Soft and Wet" sample the Prince songs "When Doves Cry" and "Soft and Wet" respectively.

"This Is What We Do" was a 1990 track released by Hammer (featuring B Angie B) for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film and soundtrack.


Rick James sued Hammer for infringement of copyright on the song "U Can't Touch This", but the suit was settled out of court when Hammer agreed to credit James as co-composer, effectively cutting James in on the millions of dollars the record was earning. Hammer was also sued by a former producer, Felton Pilate (who is also a member of the successful R&B band, Con Funk Shun) and by several of his former backers, and faced charges that performance troupe members endured an abusive, militaristic atmosphere.[23]

In 1992, Hammer also admitted in depositions and court documents to getting the idea for the song "Here Comes the Hammer" from a Texas-based Christian recording artist named Kevin Abdullah. Abdullah had filed a US$16 million lawsuit against Hammer for copyright infringement for his song entitled "Oh-Oh, You Got the Shing".[24] Hammer settled with Abdullah for $250,000 in 1995.[25]

Track listingEdit

1."Here Comes the Hammer"Stanley Burrell4:32
2."U Can't Touch This"Stanley Burrell, Rick James, Alonzo Miller4:17
3."Have You Seen Her" (The Chi-Lites cover)Stanley Burrell, Barbara Acklin, Eugene Record4:42
4."Yo!! Sweetness"Stanley Burrell4:36
5."Help the Children"Stanley Burrell, Marvin Gaye5:17
6."On Your Face" (Earth, Wind & Fire cover)Charles Stepney, Maurice White, Philip Bailey4:32
7."Dancin' Machine" (The Jackson 5 cover)Hal Davis, Don Fletcher, Dean Parks2:55
8."Pray"Stanley Burrell, Prince5:13
9."Crime Story"Stanley Burrell5:09
10."She's Soft and Wet"Stanley Burrell, Prince, Chris Moon3:25
11."Black is Black"Stanley Burrell4:31
12."Let's Go Deeper"Stanley Burrell5:16
13."Work This"Stanley Burrell5:03


"Work This"

"Help the Children"

"Here Comes the Hammer"


"U Can't Touch This"

"Yo!! Sweetness"

"She's Soft and Wet"

"Black Is Black"



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[51] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[52] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[53] 8× Platinum 800,000^
France (SNEP)[54] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[55] Gold 250,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[56] 2× Platinum 400,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[57] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[58] Platinum 15,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[59] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[60] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[61] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[63] Diamond 10,100,000[62]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


The Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em album was accompanied by a straight-to-video film titled Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em: The Movie (1990),[64] It stars Hammer as a rapper who returns to his old neighborhood and defeats a drug dealer who is using kids to traffic his product. Hammer plays an additional role of preacher "Reverend Pressure". The film costarred Juice Sneed, Keyon White, Joe Mack and Davina H'Ollier.

The movie won Hammer, director Rupert Wainwright and producer John Oetjen a Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Long Form at the 33rd Grammy Awards.[65][66] Besides Hammer, music talent included Ho Frat Hoo! (1991 MTV Video Music Awards Best Choreography in a Video winner for "Pray" along with Hammer), Torture, Special Generation and rapper One Cause One Effect.[67][68][69]

Additional releases included The Making of Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em (1990),[70] Hammer Time (1990) and Here Comes the Hammer (1991). All projects were Capitol Records Productions.[71][72][73]

See alsoEdit


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  3. ^ "Please Hammer Don't Hurt Em". Retrieved 2012-07-13.
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  10. ^ a b c Corcoran, Michael (May 17, 1990). "MC Hammer: Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
  11. ^ "Recent Press Releases". Retrieved 2010-03-31.[dead link]
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  14. ^ CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY (2001-06-24). "Rap's Teen Idols Return". TIME. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
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  19. ^ Farber, Jim (March 8, 1991). "article".
  20. ^ Sandow, Greg (June 8, 1990). "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  21. ^ Considine, J. D.; Brackett, Nathan (2004). "Hammer". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 359. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
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