Thursday, February 21, 2008


Here's my favorite MC Hammer video. Man, Hammer could dance! All that jumping...surely even professionals had their lungs jumping out of their chests after a number like this! You'd swear the background dancers were defying gravity.

This one's very far from James Brown's best video but I include it because it gives us a sustained look at his unique dancing style. If the weirdness of the video bums you out, you can clean your eyes with "Night Train," also on YouTube.

Here's Eddie Murphy making fun of the way James Brown talks.


Trevor Thompson said...


No way, I was just watching Eddie the other day (not you, Mr. Murphy), and this weekend I listened to 'Doin' It To Death'... where he talks to the band all throughout.

"RED!.... RED!.....RED?"

- trevor.

ps: HEH!

Unknown said...

Cool compilation

You and my dozen cats will be waitin for me when my ten years prison sentense ends outside the gates?

Careful uncle Eddie that's how I meet my first husband.

Vincent Waller said...

Funny thing, my x-wife is one of those background dancers. Hard to tell with the internet resolution but I believe she is the gal on the far left.

Anonymous said...

Hammer's special low crotch helped him defy earth gravity.

Trevor Thompson said...

Please, Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em.

The weird thing is there was a cartoon about Hammer, and whenever he danced, they NEVER took advantage of the opportunity to do some great animation.

It was literally, pose to pose, with very little inbetweening. I also was not a fan of the art style, cuz it was ripping off ( poorly ) Bakshi's Mouse.

- trevor.

Vincent Waller said...

Yes, and I heard over and over that The Hammer Show was in the John K style.
What they saw in that, that they thought was the John K style is a mystery to me, and anyone unfortunate enough to have seen the Hammer cartoon, with his talking shoes.
Yes, I am King of the run on sentence.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Vincent: Your ex was one of the dancers!? Wow! I wonder what it was like to film that. It looked like each set-up had it's own unique choreography.

Editing this must have been a nightmare, but what a terrific result!

David Germain said...

Aw, man! That Eddie Murphy clips ends just as he about to talk about Stevie Wonder. Oh well, the stuff he said about James Brown is funny though.

Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir, have you seen the Screamin' Jay Hawkins videos available on YouTube? They include:

"I Put A Spell On You"
"Constipation Blues" - with Serge Gainsbourg
"Ol' Man River"
"Alligator Wine" (still photo)

Shawn Dickinson said...

I always loved how James Brown says "nah" instead of the word "now".

"Everybody dance NAH! ...Clap your hands NAH!"

Anonymous said...

Screamin' Jay delivered a knockout version of "I Put A Spell On You" that would've topped everything else in the late 1970's Paramount turkey "American Hot Wax", and that was the trouble: the powers that were didn't want Screamin' Jay stealing the show. That great number got left on the cutting room floor. I personally recommend his immortal "Constipation Blues" as the most important song of the twentieth century.

Julián Höek said...

hey eddie, check this brake dancer out! i never new the human body could move that way!

Anonymous said...

I've always hated MC Hammer and his suspect "rhymes" but I suppose he was an entertaining and talented dancer.

But compare:

Fresh new kicks and pants/
You got it like that now you know you wanna dance /
So move out of your seat /
And get a fly girl and catch this beat


My pen and paper cause a chain reaction/
To get your brain relaxing/
A zany acting maniac in action/
A brainiac, in fact son/
you mainly lack attraction/
You looking insanely whack/
With just a fraction of my tracks spun

Forgive me but I think it takes less talent to rhyme "beat" with "seat" than "maniac in action" with "brainiac in fact son" must less perform it quickly without running out of breath.

Ian Merch! said...

What I love about James Brown's dancing is that most of the time, while he's singing it seems almost like he's unaware that his lower half is dancing, and then when the song starts heating up he puts his entire body into it.

Trevor Thompson said...

Hammer wasn't supposed to be a good rapper. He was an entertainer, and a performer.

When it comes to rhymes, simple and to the point, no one beats Muhammed Ali, and his threats he would make before a fight.

But an M.C. only has his rhyme ( which is why it made more sense when he stopped being MC Hammer and started just being Hammer ), and you're not gonna top the greatest MC's anyway.

"I start to think,
And then I sink
Into the paper, like I was ink
When I'm writing, I'm trapped
in between the lines,
I escape when I finish the rhyme...
I got soul"

- Eric B. and Rakim "I Know You Got Soul"

Now, THAT'S rhyming.

- trevor.

5 said...

I always loved how James Brown says "nah" instead of the word "now".

"Everybody dance NAH! ...Clap your hands NAH!"

Shawn, that's actually pretty common in Georgia/South Carolina where James Brown's roots are. A lot of people (black and white) down here say "nah" all the time for now. If you slowed the word down and sounded it out phonetically it would be more like "nayuh". :)

Anonymous said...

You are lucky that your site works, Uncle Eddie. Jerry Beck's Cartoon Brew has been in the toilet for the past couple of days.

SlashHalen said...

Well I just saw James Brown dancing to Night Train for the first time.

Holl E Crap!!!

It's as if he's being possessed by demons. Look at him move!

Anonymous said...

boo: I LOVE that line! Rakim was a genius!

Raff said...

James Brown is one of my biggest heroes; he died right before he was scheduled to come to Montreal where I might have met him if I was lucky.

This is a guy who built up himself and his empire from nothing - from a situation worse than nothing. He somehow saw a way out and was brave enough to take it.

So many people make noise about the conflict between art and business, the nobility of the bohemian and the whole "selling out" thing, and here's a guy who thought and functioned like a businessman yet he had more soul and creativity than anyone who could ever get behind the starving-artist arguement. And he didn't lose his edge when the money came in.

Favorite quote:

"[Whatever happens], Don't get angry, don't get mad, get smart." I think of him in tough times and keep going.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to know.