Where Are They Now?: MC Hammer

In February 2020, a Cheetos commercial aired that showed a man unable to help out with favors because he had Cheeto dust on his hands. Debuting during Super Bowl LIV, each time the man’s dusty fingers caused an inconvenience in the ad, MC Hammer would interject with his world-famous lyric “Can’t Touch This.”

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The Cheetos commercial helped to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of “U Can’t Touch This,” which sampled Rick James’ career-defining hit “Super Freak” (1981). Likely the most prominent song MC Hammer ever concocted, “U Can’t Touch This” dropped in May 1990, sending sent MC Hammer to another stratosphere. When speaking about the song in an interview with Access Hollywood on the set of the Cheetos gig, he explained why the song is still relevant decades later.

“I think what makes the song timeless is the melody, the energy, the fun lyrics, the tones, the bass line obviously, Rick James Rest in Peace,” he said. “And it’s tied to fun memories, good memories, good times, so I think that combination makes it very memorable.”

The first song of his to land on the Billboard Hot 100, “U Can’t Touch This” made way for endorsement deals, increased visibility, and even more chart-topping hits. Later singles like “Pray,” “2 Legit 2 Quit,” and “Addams Groove,” all of which also cracked the top 10 of the Hot 100.

Throughout his parachute pants-wearing, expressive dance moving career, MC Hammer reached heights that not many in music history have. Along with earning multiple gold and platinum plaques, the Oakland native won Grammys, American Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards, and NAACP Image Awards. In fact, his third studio album Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em (1990) became the first rap album to be certified diamond by RIAA. He is undoubtedly embedded into the fabric of hip-hop music.

Hammer’s run in the late 1980s and early 1990s simply saw him become a household name and a very rich man. When examining his net worth in a recent article of ours from 2022, we concluded that his bankroll peaked at around $70 million in his heyday. Although he dealt with bankruptcy in the mid-1990s and a period of financial recovery, he still lives a happy, relatively affluent life.

While turmoil like lawsuits, arrests, money problems, declining career trajectory, and more put a damper on his public image for a few years, MC Hammer’s perseverance and optimism have landed him back on his feet. If you check out his social media pages now, Hammer is typically in an excellent mood, enjoying time with family, supporting his hometown sports teams like the Golden State Warriors, and reminiscing on the fond memories of his youth.

Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage

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