Hammer's latest effort moves in new directions

October 31, 1991|By Jimmie Mass | Jimmie Mass,Fort Worth Star-Telegram

This is the way we change, we change.

In 1988, M.C. Hammer climbed the charts by telling the world "Let's Get It Started."

Two years later, the world got hit hard with "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em."

The man who premiered his own Saturday morning cartoon series this fall -- as the super hero Hammerman -- is not about to stop kickin' it.

OK, OK, stop the music. Stooop!!! I can't be perpetratin' to my public.

Sorry to break the news, but Hammer's latest album, "Too Legit To Quit" is a little weak.

The old grand-slam Hammer just isn't the same. Maybe that's why he's dropped the "M.C." from his name.

Where Hammer's first two albums relied on sampling, this one features performances by live musicians and vocalists. That's right: music delivered by a real band, including a full horn section called the Horns of Fire.

But "Too Legit To Quit" is not just another party jam. The hard-driving, crisp beat of old isn't as dominant as it used to be.

In its place, though, is a new emotional depth. Hammer's new songs display a true concern for the ills of society: problems such as gangs, drugs, racism, poverty and a rising dropout rate.

With songs such as "Brothers Hang On," "Living in a World Like This" and "Street Soldiers (Reprise)" -- a jazzy tune -- Hammer paints a sense of the desperation of the streets.

And, of course, once again he creates a piece to honor God, "Don't Pass Me By."

This new style of Hammerization -- which includes touches of R&B, jazz, gospel and contemporary music -- will have to work even harder to control the charts.

Hammer and his posse also have an arsenal of new dances that would exhaust the average man. Try speed-dancing to the up-tempo power songs "This Is the Way We Roll," "Gaining Momentum" or the title track.

For seduction, try the pounding, emotional "Lovehold," which promises a never-ending love affair.

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