MC Hammer Is Not Pleased By “The Breaks” Film. He Fires Back At His Critics

On Monday night (January 4), Vh1 premiered film, The Breaks. An adaptation of Dan Charnas’ The Big Payback, the dramatic work follows three Hip-Hop hopefuls living in 1990 New York City. With executive music producer DJ Premier, the film colored the era with music by Ultramagnetic MCs, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, D-Nice, and much more. Additionally, the work starred a multitude of artists and personalities who lived through the era. This included DJ Chuck Chillout, A&R Faith Newman, and Grammy Award-winning producer/DJ Prince Paul.


Within the film’s dialogue, the subject of MC Hammer comes up several times. In February of 1990, Hammer released his third album, Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em. The Capitol Records release would raise the overall standard for commercial viability in Hip-Hop. The Oakland, California MC/producer  would spend 21 weeks at #1 on the charts, and subsequently become the first Hip-Hop album to be certified diamond (10 million copies scanned). While Stanley Burrell was undoubtedly Hip-Hop’s biggest star in 1990, that does not mean his gravitas was reflected by all. In the film, one of the leads refers to Hammer as “wack.” Another exchange takes place between a bootlegger (played by Prince Paul) and another film star, surrounding MC Hammer’s validity.

Related: Watch Phonte & Antoine Harris Perform Their Battle Raps From The Breaks (Videos)

Following the airing of The Breaks, MC Hammer took to social media to call out the portrayal of his image. Not only defending himself through sales, the “U Can’t Touch This” superstar stood by the quality of his music and videos. He called his detractors “cowards.”

Hammer would release two more platinum albums after 1990, 1991’s Too Legit To Quit and 1994’s The Funky Headhunter. Later, the Oaktown MC would notably sign with reigning Rap label Death Row Records later in the decade. He has remained active in music making into the 2000s.

Related: DJ Chuck Chillout Has The Breaks To Revisit 1990 In Style (Mix)

Prince Paul frequently alluded to Hammer in his career, both as a producer and a DJ. De La Soul Is Dead‘s skit series features Paul saying, “Let’s go play Hammer.” The Stetsasonic member would also work closely with 3rd Bass at the time, who famously dissed Hammer (and Vanilla Ice) on hit video single “Pop Goes The Weasel.”

Especially with 26 years of hindsight, is MC Hammer justified to be upset at his portrayal? By 2016’s standards, would MC Hammer be ostracized or heralded?

Related: The Breaks Film Captures The Essence of 90s Hip-Hop Down to the DJ Premier Soundtrack (Video)