In 1990 rap revolutionaries Public Enemy
released their third album, Fear Of a Black Planet
and former N.W.A. member Ice Cube released his solo effort,
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted.
At the other end of the spectrum
MC Hammer, who rose to fame as pop-rap exploded in popularity
with the masses.
By the 1990, the specter of pop-rap was every- where. Borrowing
a riff from the Queen David Bowie song "Under Pressure",
Miami-based rapper Vanilla Ice scored a NO. 1 hit with "Ice,
Ice Baby". The song propelled his album, To The Extreme,
to the top of the charts. Trough most hip-hop fans were horrified
by his rapid accent others quickly sought to capitalize on
it - as this action figure demonstrates.
MC Hammer rose to the top of the charts with 1990's Please
Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em
. Built on the groove fro Rick James
"Super Freak", the single "U Can't Touch This"
was a huge success. Hammer was an energetic performer employing
dancers, complex lighting and wildly colored clothing. With
his success came merchandizing - among the items was this
"MC Hammer" action figure.
Former N.W.A. member Ice Cube released AmeriKKKa's Most
Wanted in 1990.
Produced in collaboration with East Coast
crew (and Public Enemy producers) the Bomb Squad, Ice Cube's
solo debut went Platinum. While critics decried the album's
brutal and violent lyrics, fans celebrated and embraced its
harsh, in-your-face realism as a much-needed slap in the face
to privileged Americans.
In 1990, hardcore rappers Public Enemy released Fear of
a Black Planet
. With this release, the group continued
to preach pro-Black politics, encouraging social and political
activism on the part of the African-American community from
a perspective that some critics decried as too militant. Sonically,
the Bomb Squad was def as ever, producing dense, surging soundscapes
that were a perfect match for Chuck D's distinctive, booming
vocals. Controversial tracks like "Welcome to the Terrordome"
and "911 is a Joke" were immediate hits, and the
prominent appearance of "Fight The Power" in director
Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing
also helped fuel album