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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

MC Hammer Gives Jay-Z a Bap-Diss-’Em in WTF?! Retaliation Video

by Kenny Herzog

After Hova unnecessarily slammed formerly untouchable hip-hop icon-turned-Surreal Life cast member MC Hammer in Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Friday offering, “So Appalled” (the third(!) random Hammer reference this year, oddly, following Freeway and Rick Ross’ lead), Hammer pledged via Twitter that he’d avenge his honor on Halloween. And boy, was he not bluffing.

Over the past month, Hammer apparently set out to produce a five-minute video for a track titled “Better Run Run” in order to set a few things straight: 1. If he can afford such an indulgent conceptual clip, he must not be the “broke,” less “focused” has-been that Jay-Z’s diss asserted; 2. Because of the pastor/rapper’s own flirtation with ethically compromised success while on Death Row Records, it’s his sanctimonious and crowd-moving duty to warn Jay that Satan wants his soul, and will follow him for months in a cheap plastic devil mask until he gets what he’s after; and 3. the world has been needing a satirical diss video from a clearly less influential MC ever since Kool Moe Dee launched his ridiculous “Death Blow” comeback to LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out.”….

To the nearly 50-year-old Hammer’s (or his management’s, whichever) credit, it’s a shrewd move, and the song itself isn’t actually terrible, and he even gets a few cutting lyrics about Jigga’s boundless self-branding in there (“Naw, naw, I don’t Roc your wear/Your shoes, I don’t need a dark pair”).

But alas, the man who once assumed the role of his own audience when begging himself to Please… Don’t Hurt ‘Em takes pity on Jay in the end, managing to halt the devil’s chase (the purposeful casting of a doughy, man-boobed actor in a Yankee hat and white tee to represent a frightened, fleeing Jay is genuinely hilarious) with a simple “talk to the hand” gesture, before concluding the “Better Run” saga by giving Jay an actual baptism in the surrounding lake.

Obviously, Hammer’s emphatic response will do little to dent Jay’s momentum, and Hova himself will probably express some kind of genuine tribute to the MC’s legacy and admit to laughing along with the clip. And Hammer knows this. Jay picking a fight with the long-irrelevant rapper and dancer, particularly when the guy ultimately broke down mainstream doors for hip-hop that would have never been ajar, would be outright bullying. So ostensibly, it’s a win-win piece of viral reactionary genius.

Although for all those other rappers out there taking a jab at Hammer’s expense, bear in mind the guy largely squandered his millions employing virtually every person from his entire Oakland family and neighborhood. Last time I checked, Hova’s been acquiring portions of his fortune by spinning narratives about all the people he’s stepped on and over to get there.