When I Googled "MC Hammer," the first search term on "People Also Ask" was bleak: "Is MC Hammer still alive?"
It's a good question. The answer: Yes. He's playing Denver this summer.
For those who aren't old enough to remember when Hammer was the world's hottest rapper, here's the skinny. If NWA made hip-hop scandalous in 1988 with "Fuck Tha Police," MC Hammer saved the genre for middle-American Walmart shoppers looking for kid-friendly music. His hits "U Can't Touch This" and "2 Legit 2 Quit" blasted from boomboxes nationwide, bringing rap into the mainstream alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince and their predecessors the Beastie Boys.
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Elementary-school kids imitated Hammer's dance moves (coveting those baggy pants he wore) and knew every word to his songs. Somewhere along the way, he disappeared from public consciousness.
Still, MC Hammer makes occasional public appearances, including the throwback hip-hop show he's bringing to Denver this summer, with opening acts Sir Mix-a-Lot, Sisquo, Biz Markie, 2 Live Crew (the dirtiest rappers of the ’80s and ’90s who sent Congress into paroxysms during various battles over music-industry censorship) and Funky Bunch.
The concert, dubbed Hammer's House Party, will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 19, at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre. Tickets are $19.75 to $89.50 and available at AXS or by phone at 888-929-7849.