MC Hammer wants people to know some things about him. First of all, he's a staunch Christian that doesn't take light anybody taking shots at the religion. He also wants people know that he's more than a rapper that sold a bunch of records, made millions and lost it in a bankruptcy 14 years ago. There's more.
In the midst of his squabble with Jay-Z, Hammer was meeting or in cahoots with Tony Blair (the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and Michael Arrington of acclaimed blog TechCrunch. These connections may or may not be significant to some people, but it does speak volumes to Hammer's penetration into a world with no apparent relation to Hip-Hop.
In this exclusive interview, MC Hammer explains why he responded to Jay-Z with "Better Run Run," the new video that depicts the Devil chasing the Roc Nation mogul. He also chronicles in detail why he didn't appreciate Jay-Z's verse on Kanye West's "So Appalled" and he retort to his naysayers. And lastly why, despite Jays repeated denial, he feels his counterpart romances the Devil.
AllHipHop.com: You are the talk of the town, with what is going on with the video Better Run Run and everything. First of all, how do you feel about things?
MC Hammer : You know you can't even drop a song like that from my perspective and not expect it to be conversational. So I wanted to spark conversation around the issues that I raised within the song. Without a doubt across all platforms, all mediums, global, broadcast radio and television all the way to ESPN sports - the conversation has been sparked and that was my goal.
MC Hammer - "Better Run Run"
AllHipHop.com: What was the response that you got? Ive seen stuff from different angles, you retweet things. What have you been feeling generally the consensus is?
MC Hammer : Well as you see it, I retweet a ton of responses definitely that everybody can see. Therefore one person has got a perspective, there's a ton of people that got a whole different perspective and it baffles the guy who has the other perspective.
That's consistent with life. You might start cheer for the Yankees...but enthusiastic as you is about your man in his position, there is one person on the other side who is just as enthusiastic about their man in their position. That's why you see me retweeting the other position.. so they have a voice like the other person on the other side. There's a ton of people saying this is our position as well and we got you a hundred percent.
Then you have the other side as well, who are saying nobody should be talking back to Jay. Which to me is absolutely hilarious. At the end of the day he's just another rapper.
AllHipHop.com: So youre saying Jay Z's just another rapper? Like a lot of people would gasp; C'mon Hammer he's Jay Z. I mean do you really feel that way about Jay Z - he's just another rapper? Being that hes a considerable mogul of businesses.
MC Hammer : Let me frame it for you, he's just another man. I think that phrase is better. At the end of the day he's just another man. Men still gotta be men. He's not above being addressed.
AllHipHop.com: I feel you. You said that in the interview too, it was regarding T-Pain and the death of auto tune, you definitely made that pretty clear that you needed to address what issues you needed to address in your career too.
MC Hammer : Yeah, I started to ask you for the link to repost it because I looked at that interview in the middle of this current and did everything I said would. I handled exactly in the way I said I would in your interview on a certain auto tune issue.
AllHipHop.com: Definitely. Now, you have proclaimed victory. Can you explain that a little bit, how you feel victorious in this situation?
MC Hammer: Yeah, I feel victorious because my point was awareness of the issues. In anything that you are doing, the messaging is important, at least if that's what your goal is. My goal was - two main issues. One - in the last five/six years however many it has been, you have taken the position that my faith is joke. That my faith is something that you can use in my videos and something that you just wanna dress the walls up with. Run a quick photo by it of Jesus with bullet holes on the side of it.
AllHipHop.com: What video is that?
MC Hammer : That's "On To The Next One."
Jay-Z - "On To The Next One"
MC Hammer : Let me get you some words, and y'all figure out if I'm dissing your faith or not.
'Life begins when the church ends and Jesus can't save you'. (From 'Empire State of Mind').
So, since you constantly bashing my faith, let's bring it on. You opened up the door by saying my name So let's get it all out there. So that's why I am declaring victory, because it was a whole lot of people who was not aware that that's how you are getting down. If you are Hip Hop head and you are into his music, you already knew this. Its nothing to you. But there's a whole lot of people who had no idea. Since you getting down like this and its funny to you, let's put it on the table and that's one of the main reasons. Its a dance beat on the record. Because I wanted a type of rhythm on the record that you can nod and listen to the melody and rhythm and drive on the record and nod your head. If your not a fan and its not a territorial supporting of him, the music itself will make you nod your head cause its slapping real hard.
Its something you can dance to as I continue to push my dance record, your gonna see even more dancing to it. The first thing I can do is make sure it is a song I can dance to. I am declaring victory because with this dance record I have raised the awareness of the issues that I wanted to deal with.
AllHipHop.com: Some people will just say Hammer got mad at Jay Z's verse on "So Appalled," now what do you feel about that and Jay Z said he was never dissing you - he was referencing your life, your past experience with your finances? What do you say to that? That this is just a response, but it's really Hammer's ego, I'm mad or whatever and then the other side is Jay, he wasn't even feeling he was dissing you from the get go?
MC Hammer : Let's deal with it from his perspective. I have heard it a lot of people say; "Why would Hammer get mad about the truth right Jay didn't diss him, he said something that is true?" The same argument applies, why would you get mad if your a fan of his? Did he not say - "life begins when the church ends?" Did he not say - "Jesus can't save you"? Why you getting mad, have I said something that is not true? Did I put the video with bullets around the cross round Jesus in his video? Have I said something that is not true? I haven't said something that is not true. Where have I made up something. Any of the videos that you wanna put up, where I have said that he got satanic references to, I ain't saying nothing that isnt true either. So that logic applies across the board.
AllHipHop.com: Now do you feel, now there's a second part of it. He did an interview where he was like Hammer is gonna be embarrassed, I am bigging him up in my new book. What are your thoughts on that?
MC Hammer : Chuck, you a business man. I want you to tell me how you feel about this. We walk into one of these business deals and we working on the deal. Here's my introduction, they know me already. (hypothetical scenario) "Good to see y'all, I want to introduce you to my man Chuck. Fourteen years ago, Chuck filed for bankruptcy y'all, he's a good dude and he is working hard on his business. Y'all meet Chuck. Now let's get up on this deal gentleman."
Chuck, you tell me what that is and I'm a come back the next day and tell the same dudes, "I (Jay-Z) got a book coming out in 2 months and I said some really nice things about Chuck. He got mad at what I said yesterday, he's gonna be embarrassed." What?
MC Hammer : Chuck, please frame it that way. I'm gonna be embarrassed that you introduce me to your friends or to your fans and re-iterate to them that Hammer filed for bankruptcy 14 years ago, so I (Jay-Z) am saying this about him in September 2010. But I (Jay-Z) am saying some nice things about him in December so he's (Hammer) gonna be embarrassed.
AllHipHop.com: Look, I have reserved my comments and kept them to myself. I have said things and people get crazy in this convo. I was on twitter last night and this is getting out of control I am out of here. I mean, I definitely understand exactly where you are coming from, from that stand point.
MC Hammer : I noticed that people get aggressive with each other. I see it. People getting aggressive on both sides. As far as the social media go, that is the kinda platform it is. You have 10-year-olds banging hard on the keys like they 30. Anyway, so in a situation where they trying to be passionate.Does MC Hammer really feel Jay-Z worships the Devil? Where did all of this start? Hammer answers in Part 2.