Hammer Explains the Financial Crisis

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hammerPundits be makin' a fuss about the global Financial Crisis. I seen it on my 50-inch flattie. People are losin' they money in the stock market, companies are goin' bankrupt, old folks are losin' the value of their 401(k)s and putting off their retirement or gettin' tossed outta their houses, and all that.

It's a mess. Legit.

So, as a man who has had his fair share of personal financial crises, I'd like to put in my two cents on this important matter, to break this financial crisis down, girl, and put it into simple language. Because if there's one thing that Hammer knows, it's that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I ain't foolin'.

It's Mysterious: So Economically Deliriouz

The financial crisis of 2008 was triggered by a whole mess o' factors both exogenous and endogenous to the US economy, including high oil prices, global inflation, the lingering effects of the credit crisis, several banks goin' bust, rising unemployment, and consumer and investor fears of a global recession.  Naturally, people be concerned. They're worried about all kinds 'a things, like a potential spike in crime, which typically occurs in tandem with widespread macroeconomic anxieties. I referenced these anxieties in rhyming couplets in one of my songs, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,"

 

The crime wave is high with muggings mysterious
Our police and detective are furious,
Cause they can't find the source
Of this lethally evil force.

 

Much like the "mysterious" muggings (e.g. bank losses) and "furious" detectives (here metaphorically referring to the IMF), it is unclear exactly why or how the crisis began ("the source"). However, one thing that is clear is that the 2008 financial crisis is "lethally evil." I stand by this sentiment.

 Valuez Droppin': Body Poppin'

Another whack aspect of this financial crisis is stock market losses. The Dow Jones Index is down over 40% for the year, something like 43%. Now, I have some first-hand experience with this phenomenon.

 In 1988, after the breakout success of my independently-produced LP, "Feel My Power," I was courted by a whole bunch of major labels, all of 'em singin' the same song and dancin' the same dance, actin' real legit, trying to get Hammer to sign, throwin' piles of money at Hammer. Anyway, I finally made a deal with Capitol Records and signed my first record contract. Word.

Problem was, see, at that time, I was just a young one. A myopic brother. I didn't see the fine print. Turns out that my manager, who ushered in this deal, was authorized to take a 44% cut of the profits from all MC Hammer records and forthcoming promotional contracts! I didn't know this at the time, you see.

As my second record, "Let's Get it Started," started tearing up the charts in 1988, powered by hits like "Turn this Motha' Out," and the money really started pouring in, I felt invincible. Much like the investment bankers at Lehman Brothers and those house speculators out in California circa 2006. But, unbeknownst to me, 44% of the money I was making immediately lost its value. To me. This continued for a few years, unabated.

But wouldn't you know it, I didn't even notice something was amiss, because that damn devilmoney just kept on coming! I guess you could say I was on a roll. All kinds of promotional deals started coming down the pipeline, for MC Hammer-brand parachute pants, Taco Bell TV commercials, a partnership with PepsiCo, and my own Saturday morning cartoon, Hammerman. You name it, they put my face on it and sold it.

By 1991, I was swimming in cash. Literally. I had a special pool built in my house for just this purpose. But wouldn't you know it? I wasn't the only one enjoying the fruits of my rap-labor. So was my agent, my tour manager, my producer, my recording engineer, the bigwigs at Capitol, my backup dance troupe, my cousins, my bodyguards, my gatekeeper, my dog groomer, my personal shopper, my dietician, my accountant, my dance instructor, my car detailer, my landscaper, my real estate agent, my tailor, my personal chef, my housekeeper, my nanny, my lawyer, and my podiatrist. Forget about Obama, baby, I was spreadin' the wealth around! Old school!

But, again, while the money kept comin', especially after the 1991 release of my triumphant third record, "Too Legit To Quit," which featured a star-studded music video and was followed by a wildly successful world tour, I didn't seem to notice that all those years ago, I had signed a bum deal, and just as much of my money was headed OUT of my bank account as it was headed IN. Once I got a whiff that something could be wrong in the bank account department, I didn't say nothin' at first, I just kept my head down, changed my name from "MC Hammer" to simply "Hammer," kept on dancing and rappin', and entertained the kids as I edified the masses with an incisive wit and bangin' lyrics. You can see my grasp of the zeitgeist on songs like the title track of my third LP, "Too Legit to Quit":

 

Step to the rhythm of a sho-nuff winner

I been here before, I ain't no beginner

But I been new, tried and true,

Survival of the fittest yo!

 

Looking back, I can catch a little cynicism in my lyrics from this time. Call it foreshadowing? Despite the multi-platinum sales of "Too Legit to Quit," bolstered by the runaway success of floorpounders like "Addam's Groove," which also featured heavily in the Addams Family movie, my record company considered my third record a commercial failure. Although the money kept coming in, from my promotional appearances and merchandising efforts, much like the success of Wall Street investment banks over the last 5 or so years, it all proved to be something of a house of cards.

The Hammer train kept steaming down the tracks as the early 90s became the mid-90s. I embarked on a radical rebranding effort in an attempt to stay fresh and relevant as the shiny parachute pants of 1990 morphed into the flannel-and-JNCOs of 1994, and released my fourth album, "The Funky Headhunter." On "TFH," I really branched out, even causing controversy with the video for the album's first single, "Pumps and a Bump," wherein I sported a pair of Speedos and what some prudish parents thought was a tumescence within said Speedos.

With a little hindsight, and a teaspoon of humility, I can now say that this erection really symbolizes my rap career - a little too hard and a little too much in the public eye. Overmerchandising. Much like the Wall Street investment banks, which overmerchandised their ability to gauge the market's future performance and invest accordingly.

Losin' da Crib: We Got to Pray

As my funds dwindled gradually throughout the 1990s, as my record sales failed to keep pace with my bravado and career reinventions, I, like millions of Americans, lost my marble-festooned house and downsized to a modest and cozy RV. I kept making records, self-financed of course, like 1996's "Inside Out," which unfortunately failed to reignite my fan base, and later that year I gave up the ghost and declared bankruptcy. It was at that point that I fell into a deep depression, much like many market observers fear the global economy will in the next two years.

So where's it all end? Well, if we continue to look at my recording career, although I had a string of semi-flops throughout the remainder of the 1990s, my comeback record, 2003's "Full Blast," and its follow-up, 2006's "Look Look Look," thrust me back into the spotlight and gave me a springboard from which I could pitch a reality show on VH1. They haven't picked it up, to date, but I'm still feeling pretty hopeful.

I also became a preacher, which seemed to help the whole depression thing a little. So, who knows? Maybe, following my lead, the stock market will go through a protracted period of recession, potential deflation or inflation, and eventually pull itself out of this hole. Or maybe its comeback will pale in comparison to its earlier heyday (see the sales figures for "Look Look Look" vs. "U Can't Touch This"). Either way, all I know is that the Hammer don't stop. And, much like the investment bankers I have referred to so many times in this piece, I pray that my rap career (and the stock market) gets back on track. And sometimes praying's all you can do. As I rapped in one of my chartbusting hits, "Pray,"

 

All my life I wanted to make it to the top
Some said I wouldn't
They told me no but I didn't stop
Working hard making those movies everyday
And on my knees every night,you know I pray

That's word,we pray
Ah, yeah, pray, we got to pray
Just to make it today
I said we pray, ah, yeah, pray
We got to pray
Just to make it today
That's word, we pray.

 

 

MC Hammer is a rap artist and skilled dancer. He is available for corporate functions, motivational luncheons, jiu-jitsu conventions, all-you-can-eat buffet performances, and church bingo parties.

3 Comments

  • 1

    Excellent use of tumescence

  • 2

    Sé exactamente cómo se siente Sr Hammer.

    Mi primo me robó camión y tuvo que un chop shop en Guadalajara. Ese hijo de puta ni siquiera me pagan para ello, o me dio un recorte de sus beneficios! Quiero decir, el camión fue robado de todos modos, pero eso no es el caso.

    Aquí en Mexico, la crisis financiera mundial no es realmente molestando a nadie. De mí, soy un secuestrador profesional, de modo que las empresas está en auge para mí! Ja Ja! Eso es el capitalismo, ¿verdad? ¡Verdad!

    Pero lo siento por Señor Hammer. Yo solía jugar con mi mismo en la ducha, pensando en la enorme martillo vestíbulo de mármol, su rosa jacuzzi, y su harén de chocolate y caramela novias. Un hombre puede soñar, ¿verdad? Que el derecho de!

    Con besos y sueños tequila,

    Jorge

  • 3

    Jorge,

    My translator widget informs me that you are a humorous man. Thanks for all the comments.

    -SW

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