Flashback: Hammer – ‘2 Legit 2 Quit’ [VIDEO]
I tried to retrace the steps that led me to think of, then seek out, this video. It was probably some throwaway joke I heard somewhere. So, I searched, I found, and OH MY! What in the name of Behind the Music is going on in this video? Let's examine it.
The song was part of Hammer's follow-up to Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em which included the hits Have You Seen Her and Superfreak (Joke form 1990 alert!). The video was made at the time of the crazy, big, over the top videos and MTV excess.
"They're like little movies, man."
Michel Jackson made epic videos enlisting Johns Landis and Singleton to direct Black or White and Remember the Time respectively. Those videos had plots and big stars .And they were long.
So when it was time for Hammer to unleash new music it needed to be a big, colossal event. There had to be stars, a story and eventually the song. So that's what Hammer did. He got the director of Blank Check, Rupert Wainwright, he'd worked with him before, to create a mammoth short film that delves into the question of weather Hammer is indeed too legit to quit or not.
It starts with veteran newsman Jim Belushi telling the world about the disappearance of Hammer...or is it Em Sea Hammer? We also get the reactions of the stars of stage and screen like Ralph Tresvant and Freedom.
Then we find our hero. He has sought the wisdom of The Godfather, James Brown. Who shoots him with fire Liu Kang style and tells him to get Michal Jackson's glove or something.
While The Hams is on fire, there is a crowd waiting for him to come to a show. The old squares in charge are freaked because according to Jim, Hammer is gone (see what I did there?). Back at the house 80s movie trailers built, The Godfather feels good and dresses Stanley. He brings forth a gaggle of 90s haired dancers and sends them off to maybe, actually sing a song. We are seven minutes into the video at this point and have had no music, not even an Addams Family Grove.
Yes, the song starts after an extended Friday Night Videos type animation of the Earth flying over The Bay Area. There is dancing, singing, rapping and an elevator on fire. Then we are on a factory floor where the workers are building the set for the California Love video. Then they are on a street with more fire.
You can't deny it though, Hammer can dance, his moves are fast and fun. Way better than Michal Jackson. I always thought MJ had about three dance moves and just hit repeat. Hammer has a distinct style here with enough variety to make it interesting.
Near the end we get a montage of sports folk making the 2 Legit had signs and lip syncing the chorus. There's that guy from a shoe commercial and those people from a fast food commercial! After the song ends we cut to a TV control room where a yes man is reassuring an unseen figure that they have nothing to worry about. Who is this shadowy figure?
SPOILER ALERT! A hand in a bejeweled glove comes into view and gives the hand signs, the 2 legit 2 Quit finger dance! Hammer has something, something Michael Jackson! And James Brown laughs. The End.
Watch it, be amazed, then...go to lunch I guess?