MC Hammer gets political…

I have contradictory views about MC Hammer.  Being a lover of Hip-Hop, I found his pop-hop far too cheesy at the time and still do, at least when I’m not overcome by nostalgia.  On the other hand I respect the very open way in which he discusses his faith in a popular music culture that doesn’t deal very well with issues of meaning and honesty.

His blog is here and well worth a look.  Interestingly, he has recorded an anti-war track and posted the video up online – check it out by scrolling down his posts or by watching the youtube video below:

I’m more than willing to suspend my pop-hop cynycism for a rapper who is prepared to take on pro-war popular culture in the US.   I’m not sure whether that would translate into buying a re-release of ‘Please Hammer don’t hurt ’em!’ , but I’d support this single with my cash.

5 comments

  1. Laudable anti-war sentiment, but it’s interesting that in the video we see Saddam Hussein’s statue being pulled down just moments after the fall of the twin towers to the accompanying lyrics “Sure, we brought it to ’em, hit ‘m where it hurts”. What exactly did Iraq have to do with 9-11? Last time I checked, nothing whatsoever.

    Isn’t the reason pro-war culture is so prevalent in the US that its exponents have managed to decontextualise the attack on the twin towers to the point that any point on Bush’s ‘axis of evil’ represents a viable target for retaliation for the actions of an Afghanistani man who may or may not be living in a cave somewhere?

    When even the anti-war lobbyists consider the war in Iraq to be an understandable, if not appropriate, response to a terrorist attack perpetrated by agents of an unconnected regime, the question ceases to be whether the war is/was justified, but rather how an entire nation can have such a tenuous grasp on the events on which they are basing their opinions.

  2. Good point. What I think is starting to happen, and what I think this video is a part of, is a post-axis-of-evil movement that has either glossed over or accepted the bush rhetoric on the reason for war and is now coming together around the idea that the war can never be ‘won’.

    I agree with you that the publicly accepted (by some) in the US link between 9/11 and Iraq is dangerous and wrong, but it is interesting that the majority of the anti-vietnam protests weren’t concentrating on the ‘domino effect’ logic of US cold war generals, but on the human rights issues abroad and the effect on the US at home.

    Of course, as Patrick Cockburn points out in this month’s NLR, “the imminent possibility that they might be compulsorily conscripted into the army or the marines and find themselves in the Mekong Delta in six months concentrated the minds of middle class 18 year olds on the monstrosity and injustice of war with marvellous speed, just as it concentrated the minds of their parents.”, but in the absence of the draft, I wonder if the way that images and videos now so easily represent the war might help to engender another generally mass movement in the US?

  3. oh god. I also heard that tours in Iraq are being offered as an alternative to prison sentences and as a way to get green cards.

  4. Never knew MC Hammer was still making tunes. Does he still wear those baggy trousers? Not a serious response I know. I have left that to the comment I’ve made in your immediately preceeding post.

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