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There's no doubt that MC Hammer, he of the super-shiny Hammer pants and the unbelievable dance moves, has left his mark on the fashion world. Would the harem pant revival of 2009, for example, gotten so much attention if not for the drop-crotched icon and years of his colorful, look-at-me trousers? We think not.
Despite various projects since his late ‘80s heyday, from reality TV to film to producing, fashion continues to be a huge part of MC Hammer's life, he tells Racked.
Here's what he had to say about his ‘90s style, the relationship between hip-hop and fashion, and a new partnership with a brand that makes sticky wall hanging strips so you can stop hammer time. (Get it?)
You're unique in that you basically have an entire garment that's all your own. Whenever someone thinks of parachute pants, they think of you.
I detest the term parachute pants. That's a new term. They're called Hammer pants. I have a pair of what we could call the Gucci version of Hammer pants. I have a pair of the Christian Dior version of Hammer pants. Probably five of your top European designers all have their version of Hammer pants. And that's pretty flattering.
Do you still wear Hammer pants?
Absolutely. If Justin Bieber's got a pair and I don't have a pair, something's wrong.
So you follow fashion?
Oh, absolutely. I posted a picture of my daughter with Anna Wintour a month ago. My daughter is heavily into fashion.
There's always been a strong correlation between fashion and hip-hop. Why do you think that is?
Hip-hop equates to artistic freedom. And the clothes, they have built-in aspiration. When you were first introduced to hip-hop and you saw the artists put a fly sweatsuit on, put a gold chain on or, in Run DMC's case, put a brim on... you knew that that was somebody who was uninhibited.
What do you think about the style of today's hip-hop artists?
I see artists out there who are embracing the culture of fashion — that's not to confuse it with the business of fashion. Let's take a young cat like A$AP Rocky. He's willing to try different looks and keep it fly. I dig that. At the other end of the spectrum, Kanye takes a different approach. Kanye's actually trying to dress you. At the same time, he has his own look, and I respect that as well.
Do you own a pair of Yeezy Boosts?
No. They fly off the shelves so fast, and I don't want a free pair. I don't want a gift. I want to buy mine. I support the artists. But they're so hot, they're on fire. You can't find them. Once they come out, they're gone. Before they come out, they're gone.
Why is this new partnership with Command a good fit for you?
It's just natural. It's about emphasizing that we don't want to put nails in the wall, but we want to keep the walls looking nice. Don't use a hammer. Stop hammer time.
Are you into home décor?
Oh, absolutely. And continuously. That's a part of creativity. That's part of who I am. In one of my homes, I repaint every few years to change it up.
Do you do the work yourself?
No, I can't say I do all the work. That's what we hire people for. But I can hang the pictures up on the wall.
It's kind of funny picturing MC Hammer hanging up watercolors in the living room.
Yeah, well. It depends... on your lens. And I did not mean to rhyme that.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.