As Chicago braces itself for Hammer's set at North Avenue Beach for Chicago Sport and Social Club's 20th Anniversary Volleywood Bash Saturday, we sat down with the pope of parachute pants to rap about Tupac, flash mobs, and Corey Feldman, just to prove we're 2 Legit 2 -- well, you know.
How are you adjusting to life as a reality television star?
"I've been doing this for 25 years ... almost 25 now. For me it's just an extension of being a public figure, there's no real adjustment."
You used to be a batboy with the Oakland Athletics. Is it true that's where the Hammer nickname first came from?
Yes, very true. Reggie Jackson thought I resembled home run champ, Hank Aaron. Hank Aaron's nickname was The Hammer, so he started calling me "Little Hammer" and it stuck.
You spent some time working with Tupac at Death Row. What was your favorite memory of that period?
One day I was in the studio making this one track and the record was aggressive. I was addressing a few people that I wanted to address that had taken a quote-unquote verbal shot indirectly or directly at me. So I made this aggressive record and Pac came in and he heard the record and he said "Hammer, erase that." I said "Erase what?." He said "I need you to make me happy. Let me make the aggressive records, you make the records that keep me happy, man."
Do you still keep in touch with anybody from The Surreal Life? Any chance we might see Corey Feldman on Hammertime?
I mean the door is always open. Certainly for Corey, I haven't seen him in a while, but I consider Corey, you know, always a friend. I like Corey.
Have you seen these Hammer Pants flash mobs, from LA, the YouTube clips with people going into shopping malls?
It's very flattering. It's fantastic. I like the execution of the dance moves. The dancing is fantastic. It's right in line with the resurgence of Hammer fashion.
Out of any of today's younger stars, who do you think would be most fit to wear the Hammer Pants?
In 20 years you haven't seen a young artist come along who can do the style that I created, the unique dancing style that's very complex and requires a lot of sensibilities. I incorporate so many eras in my dance style that it's very difficult. So there's none yet, but I'm grooming some in my own house.
What would you say is a better movie track: "The Addams Groove" or Vanilla's "Go Ninja Go"?
I won't even do a competitive comparison of the two. I can only tell you that "Addams Groove" sold over three million singles.
This might just be our fuzzy memory, but was there an MC Hammer cereal?
No, not a cereal.
We couldn't remember if we'd made that up in our head or it really happened. There was a Saturday morning cartoon right?
Saturday morning cartoon, of course a Hammer man doll and a host of other things. Not a cereal, but we still got time.