MC Hammer Interview Pt 2|
Davey D:Your being a little coy about that as well. I was at a Sports Image dinner and they talked about a little bit more involvement. They said some people from Holyfield's camp sought you out.... in the mountains of South America somewhere to look for you to help them do something, so you got to elaborate on that and let us know what's up on that?
Hammer Hey, it's just a blessing when somebody respect you enough to say well, Hammers can help us with this on the business side. That was one of the things, that always bothered me about having file chapter 11...Bankruptcy. I knew that the public a lot of the time were uninformed. And they don't understand what bankruptcy meant. And even more so than filing the bankruptcy. I was worried as a person who prides himself upon handling business... that people would perceive this as Hammer don't know how to handle his business, when Donald Trumpjust 2 years ago files bankruptcy, because why? He's handling business. So how does that relate to Holyfield, Holyfield knew that MC hammer, the business man, would know how to step in here and help me out with this situation and his camp knew that and I came in and I thank god we did the job, and how won that title back and we moved forward, so.
Davey D: So what exactly did you do?
Hammer Hammer, first of all the contract, I called and I asked them to send me all your contracts. I wanted to see legally what everybody's position was... because there were people in the camp I felt as though had dual interests. They weren't acting in his best interest. But I wanted to see if that was written.. and low and behold I found what I needed to find in that contract. I called certain people involved in his life and I said 'Man your wearing 2 hats, how could you properly represent this man, when you getting paid from both sides, and its in the contract that you getting paid from both sides'?.. The gentlemen simply told me, 'Well Hammer if you allow me to just take a cut in pay, I will reduce my fees quietly and step back, but I don't want to be fired'...
. Davey D: Now at the end of the fight, he made a lot of references. He was definitely talking a lot about god.
Hammer That's a different fight. See I did the Bowe fight, the Bowe fight 2. The one your speaking of right now is the Tyson one.
Davey D: Right. You didn't have nothing to do with the Tyson one?
Hammer No. Not directly. I can't take propers for something I didn't do.
Davey D: Well, see it's what they were referring to. They said that Hammer had something to do with the Holyfield/Tyson fight. This is what came out at the Sports Image Awards. This guy stood there and thanked you profusely on stage for damn near 10 minutes.
Hammer Do you want me to clarify this?
Davey D: Yes. Clarify this.
Hammer Ok. That particular gentlemen is the legendary leader of the US boxing team, Emanuel Stuart. We had a problem with Holyfield technically speaking boxing wise. We wanted him to sit down on his punches more, so that the right would be heavier. When I came into the camp Holyfield had, whoever it was at that particular time was his trainer. Well, I'm a boxing fan, I've been a boxing for years, and I know how to box, so I felt like I know who Holyfield should have training him. So I took it upon myself to call Emanuel Stuart and said, if I could work something out man, could you come in and train Holyfield for the Bowe fight because what we were missing...
Davey D: Is this the Tyson fight or the Bowe fight?
Hammer The Bowe fight. This is the Bowe fight. And what we were missing was a heavy right hand. Holyfield would sting you, but we needed him to drop you. So I knew Emanuel could technically make this possible. What Emanuel was speaking of was that the techniques that was taught for the Bowe fight is what enabled him to bring it to Mike. You see now because Holyfield sits down on those punches and any fight fans who are listening knows that its true. Holyfield hits a lot harder now than he did 4 years ago. That's because, now I'm not trying to pat myself on the back, but I'm glad to be a part of it. That I saw fit to bring in Emanuel Stuart and teach him how to sit down, and don't get it wrong, cause Holyfield is a boxing genius, he knows things, but Emanuel definitely helped a lot and that enabled him to have a great fight against Tyson.
Davey D: So you brought Emanuel into the picture for Holyfield?
Davey D:Do you do amateur boxing, I know you have boxing stuff at your house?
Hammer Yeah, well you know its a thing we've always done on High street, we box. And everybody who knows,and knows us from High street we used to settle our differences in the old days, by meeting in Brookdale Park at 4pm and we were gonna put these gloves on and that's going all the way back when I was 12 years old. So I have always been a big boxing fan. Love the sport and continues that and carried that on in and when the opportunity came that I could help my friend with my boxing knowledge. I did that, and I was just glad to do that. To get that championship ring meant a lot.
Davey D: Now where is Hammer sitting at now in terms of your involvement in politics in other arenas. I mean there was a whole thing about you doing something with the Mayor of Fremont, where you live and there was also some talk for a little bit that you might actually start being involved on a political level or even run for an office or something? Some of the rumors going around. So clarify that. So what's the deal on that? Hammer and politics?
Hammer Well, people use to say that they don't want to be involved with politics and certainly I don't want to run for any office. But you have to be political. If your not political, your living beneath your privilege. Why am I saying that? Take for instance all my brothers that are incarcerated, in jail, and need help, but different situations and different cases and different laws that affect their ability to get out. If we become political at the right time, we can vote on the right things. We can help recall things, we can help get amendments pass and things like that. So we have to become political even if we don't want to. Also the fact that I know the people like Martin Luther King and other fought for us to have the ability to be political, so I take it upon myself to vote every year, I look forward to it. I take it upon myself to stand up in certain situations that are politically related, and so I am political Davey? I have to be. It's my right. A lot of people died for me to be political, so yeah I'm political. I always support certain situations when I think its appropriate.
Davey D: Earlier you talked about role models, and the type of responsibility rap artist or people that are very visible have. How do you see this now. I would like for you to explain it like you explained it on the air. In terms of putting everything in its proper perspective. In terms of when I hear a gangsta rapper talk about bang, bang, shoot em up. Is that how it should be? Is that what I should be striving for? Is there another way I should be looking at it?
Hammer Well, what you have to do and what I do is I respect all the artist for who they are. And I think that is very important that we keep everything in it proper perspective. If you look at a rapper who has chosen to use what we call gangsta style, one can say that is like an Arnold Schwarznegger movie, and we don't expect when we see this rapper for him to have a gun in his pocket and yelling bang, bang and shooting everybody, then the music is okay. But if you think that because you hear a person's music that should be the lifestyle that you choose to use or try to live, then it's wrong. It's not the music that wrong, it's your perception and how you take the music that's wrong. And the rap artist themselves know that..
Davey D: There's a perception of Hammer being bubble gum, pop, very soft. But in reality There's been a lot of involvement that you have, I mean you talk about before in the past that a lot of your partners have been employed who have come out of the pen. There are people that you are constantly dealing with who are in and out and I've also seen you take that activism and even though it hasn't been publicized you were probably the person who came up with the whole concept of the Street Soldiers program that is now aired nationwide and headed by Joe Marshall. Can you talk about that whole perspective and how you managed to both keep your foot and mind in the community, but at the same time manage to craft an image that is very different that the type of reality that you often times be engaged in?
Hammer Well in the streets we call it game. You see in business its just business. In other words, when I came up with the idea that I wanted to be a rap artist, why didn't I choose the gangsta style because that was my reality. All my partners all the friends that be around my community there's no secret, you go through High street and Lyon street. You know what was going on, so that was my reality. So I didn't need to fantasize about living in a gangsta life or living in a gangsta environment. It was real, so man I don't want to rap about that, I want to rap on how to get up out of here. I want to rap about a solution. I want to rap about living, I want to rap about having a good time. I want to rap about man I need to know god. I need to pray. So I wanted to try to balance off what I knew that which was a reality and a solution for getting out of that reality, so I choose a style that would help the kids and even the young adults see another side and have some hope I choose that because that's what I wanted to do and there was nobody in this rap game that could convince me to do otherwise.. I have to say simply I do what I want to do. I've always been my own man, not influenced by what the next man says. And that's very important, cause these youngsters today sometimes they are very influenced by what the next man say. And there image is shaped by somebody else instead of by their own minds. So I choose that image, the positive image. I'm glad I did. Some may have to call the persona of MC Hammer bubble gum, but they would never call Hammer the man bubble gum (laughs). And that's just real. And what was bubble gum? It meant his songs were fun. He wasn't talking about trying to kill somebody and all that. Well if that's bubble gum, then give me a pack. Because I'm not trying to kill anybody on records and what not. I'm not trying to kill anything at all. I'm trying to encourage you to be set free and live.
Davey D: The bankruptcy issue. Your money situation. What is the real deal on this. I mean is it something that is partial to being in your position? I mean are you really broke? Have you figured out some kind of elaborate scheme that you want to spit game about, that we should all follow, so that we can be bankrupt and still be successful. You know I don't know. What's the real deal with that? Clarify that please.
Hammer That's a good question. It's an appropriate question. Number one the bankruptcy was something I did because I looked at my business situation at the time and it was an accumulation of things that transpired al the way from 1990-91 if you could believe that. I had lawsuits facing me were people were suing me for $20 million dollars, for things I wasn't even there for, that's because they know MC Hammer had money, so they were suing hammer, and I had fought these cases for 2 and 3 years for 2 and 3 hundred thousand dollars a piece. Well in case you don't know, when an individual files bankruptcy that puts a stop to those particular cases. They can go no further. That's #1 they can go no further. #2 on the economic side that brings to a halt a lot of the legal fees that are involved with this particular case, because now we don't have to do as many answers. You have to wait and allow a person to re-group under the law of bankruptcy. That was the purpose for filing chapter 11. Not just the lawsuits, the overall business of people ran debts in the name of MC Hammer on my behalf through business. So Hammer was left with bills that he didn't generate. So again I said well how do I take control.
Davey D: How did somebody run up bills in your name?
Hammer Well you know in business, for instance Donald Trump filed bankruptcy to re-organize his business. It's always strange to me and I do not blame this on our selves. When somebody not of African American decent on a large level file a chapter 11, they say are you broke? I've never heard anyone say Donald Trump are you broke? They say, oh Donald Trump filed bankruptcy and you take it with a grain of salt. Why? Cause you know that he's gonna continue to handle his business and he's gonna make money. General public makes about 15,16 or 17 thousand a year. Well anybody who's listening know if I decide to take a band and go and do a show anywhere in this country, but before I take the stage, I'm gon get 50, 60 or 70 grand deposited in my account. What would you consider broke? At the risk of not insulting the people. You never want to insult the people, how could you even think that MC Hammer would that kind of broke. See not that kind of broke. Not that kind.
Davey D: Not the kind where you would be in the poor house.
Hammer Definitely not that kind. But not even that kind. Davey you are putting me in a position here. The position you put me in Davey, I don't know how much you make a year. To say not that kind. You understand what I am saying? I don't know how much money you make, but I ain't that kind of broke. So if you find yourself on a corner somewhere with your bag of potato chips and with your soda water getting in your car and you saying man you know MC Hammer's broke, you fooling yourself. You need that to elevate ones self, to make you feel better. You look in your pocket and you got $100, $200 or $300 left, but you say Hammer's broke. If that helps you, brother I don't mind, cause I know what my position is and I understand the mind set. I understand how a person gets in that particular position, but no by all means I'm in great shape. I'm healthier as you can see Davey. The guns are looking good, and we ain't talking about no 45, we talking about the left arm and the right arm. I'm in great physical condition, my mind is focused, I'm blessed. Money has never been an issue with me. I will make and continue to make plenty of money.
Davey D: So what's the deal with your house? We keep hearing it is suppose to be sold, but you still in the same house. Right?
Hammer Oh yeah, I still live in the same place. Been living there for 6 years, but I'll take the first person with 6 million dollars who wants to buy it and I'm taking a 3 million dollar loss on that cause I put 10 million in it. But if you got 6 million, I will sell you the house by all means. Because I want to relocate anyway understand I was 26, 27 years old when I started building the house so I was at that age when you running too fast. And I would not today put more money into my house than into like various businesses. I would diversify more, and so how being enlightened, slow down, focus, having god control more of my thoughts. I would first and foremost diversify. So I'm gonna diversify at this particular time, cause by the grace of god I have that opportunity.[editor's note.. Hammer has since sold his majestic house to a Japanese businessman... It was sold for 5 million dollars..He now lives in Tracy California..].
Davey D: Religion. You always had religious elements in your music. Coming from a gospel background, I've always seen that, but at the same time I know you do run with people that are affiliated with the Orthodox Muslims. What's the deal are you Muslim or Christian or Buddhist. What?
Hammer What I do is try to bridge the gap. You see if our goal is the same, clean up the community, then we are on the same page. Any religion that doesn't teach you to love your brother is not real. Any religion that doesn't teach you to be committed to the community is not real. So I can associate with the brothers in the Islamic religion, for the simple that I know that they are about brotherly love, that they are about community. But my religious affiliation is Christianity and I'm very proud to say so because I understand the history of Christianity. I understand the African, not the African American, origin of man. So when I understand these things, when I say that I'm proud to be a Christian, I am truly proud to be Christian like. The characteristics of Christ which is the very essence of love.
Davey D: For people hearing this or reading this interview. What are the 1 or 2 things that you would like to leave with them so that they have a better understanding of hammer? What would be the last words, last thought, last comments?
Hammer Well my last comments would be life is too precious and Too Short for us not to appreciate it. Let's not let music, something we all grew up on, everything from Marvin Gaye to the Temptations, control us. We use to use the music to cherish the moment. If something meant something to us, we would go get the record and reminisce. Let's not let the music of today mean anything thing else than something we listen to for enjoyment. And let that uplift you and be a blessing to your life versus something that is pulling you down.
Davey D: Cool.
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