Hip-hop extraordinaire MC Hammer launched to stardom in the late 1980s, turning heads with his flashy dance moves and trademark parachute Hammer pants. Widely considered the first “mainstream” rapper, MC Hammer made his chart debut with the release of his second full-length album Let’s Get it Started in 1988, topping the R&B charts and reaching number 30 on the Billboard 200. His big break was still to come, however, when his third album Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em hit shelves in 1990. The record-breaking album spawned five chart-topping singles and remained in the number one spot on the Billboard 200 for 21 weeks, propelling hip-hop to the forefront of mainstream music. Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em became the first hip-hop album to earn a diamond certification from the RIAA, and remains one of the genre’s best-selling albums of all time with over 29.2 million units sold worldwide. MC Hammer has released eight additional albums and earned several prestigious awards over the course of his career. He is considered a pioneer and a forefather of the pop-rap genre.
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