Rap Icon MC Hammer to Receive Social Media Award
MC Hammer may be “too legit to quit” when it comes to social media.
On Feb. 22, 2011, Hammer will receive the first-ever Gravity Summit Social Media Marketer of the Year Award. Social media marketer, you say? It’s true. Hammer attributes his career resurgence to savvy use of social media tools; he boasts nearly 2 million followers on Twitter.
Rap hits during Hammer’s 1980s and ’90s entertainment apex included “Too Legit to Quit” and “U Can’t Touch This.” However, his popularity subsequently tumbled; one of the low points was his bankruptcy filing in 1996. Since then, he has rebounded as CEO of a record label, a TV producer, co-creator of the DanceJam website, a mixed martial arts entrepreneur and a clothing mogul.
In a news release from Gravity Summit, Hammer said his attraction to emerging technology like Twitter comes from “being located in Silicon Valley, wanting to see video on the Internet and being connected, and getting an early understanding of the applications and the solutions.”
Hammer was an early adopter of Twitter. Here’s his first tweet, posted in April 2008: “boring night...my controller must have been broken...every channel had some preacher named Rev. Wright..I think he's running for President??”
At an event on the UCLA campus, Jeremy Blacklow, managing editor of AccessHollywood.com, is set to hand the Gravity Summit award to Hammer. It won’t be Hammer’s first time in the social media spotlight.
In August 2009, for instance, Hammer spoke at Gravity Summit’s Social Media Marketing for Business conference on the Harvard University campus; among the other speakers was social media star Gary Vaynerchuk. In February 2010, Hammer spoke about social media marketing to students at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
On Twitter, social media strategist Justin Goldsborough recently praised Hammer (real name: Stanley Kirk Burrell) for doing “some awesome work using social media to connect with people, fans.”
Another Hammer fan, blogger Jim Tobin, had a similar assessment. One of the reasons for Hammer’s social media success? “He’s human,” Tobin wrote.
“People were surprised when MC Hammer started showing up online, but they gave him a chance and found out he’s a real guy trying to make it through the day. It’s easy to make fun of a caricature, but hard to pick on a real guy. The lesson for corporations in this should not be lost,” Tobin wrote.
You just can’t touch this.