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Saturday, 11 February 2012


"U Can't Touch This" is MC Hammer's 1990 super hit signature song, from his album Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em. The album sold more than 10 million copies,[1] due primarily to this single, and gaining multi-platinum certifications from the RIAA, and other Recording Industries.

Rick James sued Hammer for infringement of copyright, as the song basically consists of the prominent openingriff of "Super Freak", which is constantly repeated throughout. The suit was settled out of court when Hammer agreed to credit James as co-composer, effectively cutting James in on the millions of dollars the record was earning. James was accordingly credited as a co-author.

The song received its debut live performance on a late 1989 episode of The Arsenio Hall Show.[2] The lyrics describe the rapper as having "toured around the world, from London to the Bay" and as being "magic on the mic", which Hammer says combines with Rick James' "beat that you can't touch". It secured the Grammy Awards forBest R&B Song and Best Rap Solo Performance in 1991, a brand new category at the time. The song was a huge success chart wise: it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] The single was also a big success in other parts of the world, peaking at #1 in Australia, the Netherlands and Sweden, and #3 on the UK singles chart.[4]

A 1990 compilation album of then-current chart hits was released in Australia by EMI under this title, which also featured the song as the first track. The German translation Halt! Hammerzeit is a known internet meme.[5] "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody of the song, "I Can't Watch This", overlaid lyrics about bad TV-watching over the song's music track.

The song's lyrics and catchphrases became common pop culture references, making sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle appearances on TV, movies, and pop culture generally. "You can't touch this" and "Stop... Hammer time!" in particular, were widely used. Hammertime, from a lyric in the song, became the title of a reality show, featuring M.C. Hammer, on the A&E Network in the summer of 2009.[6]

During 2008, the song ranked as number 26 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop and number 16 on their list of 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s.[7]
Most recently, in 2010, the song ranked as #6 on AOL Radio's list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever, with Matthew Wilkening telling the late Rick James in spirit: "If someone did this to your wonderful work of music, you might choose crack, too."

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