You might think Oakland rap legend and baggy pants pioneer MC Hammer is 2 legit 2 quit touring, having sold more than 15 million albums over his famously up-and-down career. But save for his former residency as the opening act at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Hammer has generally shied from performances and not done a U.S. tour since the peak of his popularity in 1991.
That all changes this summer, with the recent announcement of the Hammer’s House Party tour. The former phenom behind “U Can’t Touch This,” whose real name is Stanley Kirk Burrell, will do a 12-city tour with a rotating cast of early-’90s hip-hop nostalgia starts.
Despite Hammer’s Oakland roots and persistent hometown advocacy — he marched with striking Oakland teachers last month — there are no Oakland or San Francisco stops on the Hammer’s House Party tour. The closest Hammer will swing by the Bay Area on this tour is a Friday, June 7 date at Saratoga’s Mountain Winery, along with Tone Loc and En Vogue.
Hammer’s well-known bankruptcy in the mid-1990s was a running Bay Area joke, but since then he’s reinvented himself as a Christian preacher and lovable local celebrity. His seminal 1990 release Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em remains the fourth best-selling Bay Area album of all time.
Hammer also very curiously appeared in an Ed Lee for Mayor campaign video in 2011, which featured an inexplicable mix of cameos from then-Giants closer Brian Wilson, will.i.am, former Google executive Marissa Mayer, and of course, Hammer’s baggy pants.