MC Hammer went big with his 1990 breakthrough album Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em
, touring with a huge entourage that had too many hype men and not enough accountants. His profligate productions and lavish lifestyle (he bought a $20 million mansion) were funded by huge sales of the album, which sold an astounding 10 million copies in America, led by the hit single "U Can't Touch This
." Ever the showman, Hammer was everywhere, making regular TV appearances, pitching for Pepsi, and in hot rotation on MTV. He had his own action figure and his own cartoon (Hammerman
). He had race horses, including one (Dance Floor) that ran in the Kentucky Derby.
But Hammer fatigue started to set in when the fourth single from the album, "Here Comes The Hammer," stalled at #54. Undeterred, he went bigger than ever for his next album, Too Legit To Quit
, spending $2.5 million on the video for the lead single, "2 Legit 2 Quit." He hit the road with an even bigger entourage that gobbled up even more expenses. This time, album sales couldn't support it. Too Legit To Quit
sold 3 million, but the single faded fast and ticket sales tapered off. Hemorrhaging money, Hammer couldn't complete the tour, and he was beset with financial problems. His next two albums didn't do much damage, and in 1996 he filed for bankruptcy.