[Editor's note: Why This Song Sucks determines why particular tracks blow using science. It appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday.]
Song: MC Hammer's "Too Legit To Quit"
History: It was no "You Can't Touch This," but lots of people remember "Too Legit To Quit" because it came with a nifty little 4-part hand gesture. Remember?
Too bad it was three moves too long. The amended version:
This song is ridiculous. Let's go.
Atmospherics: Mechanized claps; noodling bass lines; swells; "Too legit"s; cascading whomp-whomps; "Get buck, get buck"s.
Scientific Analysis: Isn't this song SO much fun?!?! It is, it is!! YAY!
You know what else is fun? Science, that's what. But the problem is that this song is fiction.
See, it posits that MC Hammer is so legitimate that it is literally impossible for him to quit. And that is a reasonable enough premise. Except that Hammer isn't legit enough to not quit. He's not even close.
Let's say that the Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em album was seminal enough that he begins this song with 100 percent legitness. (That's generous, maybe even delusional, but whatever.) After deducting points for his transgressions here, he's at, like, maybe 35 percent, and everyone knows you need a minimum of 85 percent legitness to not quit.
(1) Let's start with him materializing from flames at the beginning of the video. I guess maybe there's a thing called Spontaneous Combustion*, but there's sure as shit no such thing as Reverse Spontaneous Combustion. -15
*Debatable. I suspect the 200 or so cited cases of Spontaneous Combustion in human history instead have something to do with 2 Chainz, though I've not firmed up a proper hypothesis yet. More on this at a later date, for sure.
(2) Some actual words he says: "In the game, lame and insane, it's a shame I gotta do this"; "When I feel high, post, don't you play me close, I dig 'em smack"; "I like hot dogs, frogs, run to the store, Lincoln logs." WTF, right? I mean, I made that last one up and nobody would've ever known if I hadn't told you just right now, that's how ridiculous the ones before it are. That's -20, bro.
(3) He rides an elevator of flames down to what I guess is a boxing gym. And that's okay, I suppose, except that when he gets there, he doesn't train. No, because that's silly. Instead, he puts on his tights and dances. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING, HAMMER? When have you ever seen Floyd Mayweather do that shit? Never, that's when. -10
(4) After he emerges from Satan's 24 Hour Fitness, he commands a gang of ruffians in letterman jackets and slim fit athletic shorts. LETTERMAN JACKETS AND SLIM FIT SHORTS. That's not tough and that's not cool, that's the weakest street gang of all-time. That's weaker than the Orphans gang, and those guys were the biggest pussies in The Warriors. BTW, the Orphans broke my heart. It's like, dude, what the fuck kind of sad-sad requirement is "Did Your Parents Abandon You? Cool, You're In" for a gang initiation? They didn't need to be in a gang, they needed to be in a foster home. Jesus.
Anyway, the Letterman/Shorts gang: weak shit I actually did a bit of investigative reporting and dug up an application for Hammer's gang. Check it:
I mean, I guess Gang Lightning is pretty boss, and being organized is kind of legit, but still.
Also, I'm pretty sure this is just an Arby's application. -15
(5) He challenged Michael Jackson to a dance contest. To put that in perspective: Michael Jackson invented the Moonwalk, one of the greatest dance moves in the history of the universe. MC Hammer has been a spokesperson for Cash4Gold.com. -10
(6) He conducts a dance routine with a smaller version of himself. That's minu--actually, scratch that. That's pretty hot shit. And it's hard. I tried to teach my sons a dance routine once. I'd have had an easier time teaching my couch to speak Spanish. +15
(7) Cameos by Jose Canseco, Jerry Glanville and James Belushi? WTF is even going on anymore? Is this even life? -10
100 - 15 - 20 - 10 - 15 - 10 + 15 - 10 = 35.
35 percent legit? No go.
(I) If you didn't see the middle finger joke coming, you've not been reading this column long enough.
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(II) Sadly, Hammer is not legit enough to not quit. He is, however, legit enough to buy your unwanted gold for pennies on the dollar.
(III) Arby's will give an application to just any ol' guy that wanders in and asks for one.
(IV) 2 Chainz might be responsible for people bursting into flames.