Western rap began to compete against Eastern rap thanks to
Oakland's MC Hammer (Stanley Kirk Burrell).
The popularity of his albums Let's Get It Started (1988) and especially the funk-tinged Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em (1990), the best-selling rap album of the era (it spent 32 weeks at number one or two of the charts), was due to his appropriation of other musicians' melodic patterns and to lighthearted lyrics.
MC Hammer tried to establish a more respectable artistic reputation with
Too Legit to Quit (1991) and to approach the
gangsta style with The Funky Headhunter (1994), but he never caught up
with the new generation.
V Inside Out (1995),
Family Affair (never released)
Active Duty (2001)
marked the decline of the old star.
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