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The 64th Annual Grammy Awards - Arrivals

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The Grammy Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop celebrating the genre’s milestone was an unqualified success. It brought together some of the pioneering figures who have contributed to the music’s worldwide appeal over the last half-century.

But one of rap’s biggest hitmakers declined to participate. MC Hammer is known for bringing dance, showmanship and mainstream success to hip-hop with hits like “U Can’t Touch This,” “2 Legit 2 Quit,” “Pray” and “Pumps and a Bump.” He’s the first rapper to reach diamond status with his 1990 album Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em.

The special’s curator, Questlove, says despite all the artists that did perform, including Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Queen Latifah, Nelly, Public Enemy, Rick Ross, Chance the Rapper and more, he was truly hurt that Hammer didn’t want to participate.

“Of all the ‘No’s’….Hammer hurt the most. We really wanted him to have his flowers,” Quest posted on X.

But Hammer said he made a conscious choice not to participate in any 50th anniversary celebrations. At a Tupac Shakur street naming ceremony in Oakland recently, he said, “You ain’t hear me go to none of these Hip-Hop 50 — and just for the record, I got invited to every one.”

He added, “But I really don’t have the patience for the fakeness. I’m really 60 years old. I can’t get with the fakeness of it all. I could do it with a young cat, but I can’t go around old cats and still be pretending.”

Hammer seems to be referencing some of the rappers who made millions writing and rapping about the gangster life they weren’t actually living.

“What you want me to call you? Six Shooter? Come on, man,” he continued. “Ain’t none of your bodies turned up yet!”

Other rap stars who were asked to perform at the Grammy tribute but declined, according to Quest, were Wu-Tang Clan, Ice Cube, 50 Cent and Run DMC. None have made a public statement about why.

But there could be good news on the way for fans of Hammer’s electric performances. He is active on X, showcasing what appears to be AI-generated artwork and the accomplishments of his extended family.

A few days ago, he announced that he was going on tour.

Although he responded affirmatively to several people asking him to include their cities once he hits the road, he provided no specifics about when or where it might happen. But Hammer did add in another post, “I’m going to do it fr. Let God be the truth and another man a liar.”

Just in case you’re not familiar with Hammer’s greatness and the heights of pop culture stardom he reached in his ’90s heyday, he shared a video recently on his IG page.