He had the dance moves and he had the pants.
Stanley Kirk Burrell was well on his way from rags to riches when his third album, Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em, was released in 1990. The album’s second track is what made MC Hammer a household name.
“U Can’t Touch This” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also won the Grammys for Best R&B Song and a Best Rap Solo Performance in 1991, and was the first rap song to be nominated for Record of the Year.
Despite being his signature hit, “U Can’t Touch This” wasn’t truly an MC Hammer original. Due to the song’s heavy sampling of “Super Freak,” a songwriting credit was also awarded to Rick James.
However, the dance moves were all Hammer. In September of 1990, he won the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Rap Video and Best Dance Video. Of course, “The Running Man” and the “Hammer Dance” wouldn’t have looked half as good if he hadn’t been wearing his iconic Hammer Pants.