Chrysalis 2014: Hammer Time


MC Hammer added a new twist to the typical throwback Chrysalis performance with a rap/hip-hop genre switch-up. The notorious one-hit wonder gave a high energy performance complete with his iconic “Hammer Time” dancing.  He performed crowd favorites like “Too Legit to Quit” and “U Can’t Touch This,” inviting audience members to join him on stage for the closing of the show.  MC Hammer danced in his famous Hammer pants alongside a full entourage of back-up dancers.  While he relied on his old hits, the performance seemed to show MC Hammer’s attempt to return to a position of relevance within the music world. While the performance was a fun glimpse into musical history, I did not get the feeling that students or faculty members in attendance were extremely interested in MC Hammer as a performer.  The height of MC Hammer’s career was in 1990 following the success of “U Can’t Touch This”.  The vast majority of Bucknell students were not even born yet, making knowledge of MC Hammer a result of pop culture references.  Additionally, Chrysalis appeals to Bucknell faculty and administration and given the average age of these individuals, MC Hammer does not seem like their artist of choice.  Previous performers like Pat Benetar appealed to a wider range of audience members because her main decade of popularity was the 80’s.  Her pop genre is also more interesting for a larger audience.  Rap and hip-hop are more niche genres in comparison.

Overall, I enjoyed the attempt at variety for choice of Chrysalis performer.  I will be interested to see if the trend continues and more unconventional artists are chosen in the future.  MC Hammer gave a fun performance that was an entertaining blast from the past.