During his guest verse on Kanye West’s “So Appalled,” Jay-Z made a disparaging reference to MC Hammer’s money troubles, a riff that has been made many times before, but which stung the most coming from one of Hammer’s crown-stealing “impostors,” which is how Hammer apparently regards Jay-Z. As he has so many times recently, Hammer (who claimed in a late-’90s interview that the “MC” now stood for “Man of Christ”) responded on Twitter, calling Jay-Z “Hellboy” and shaking his head at Jay-Z supporters who came by to stand up for “the dude who made the #Lucifer song.” He then promised to offer retaliation on Halloween night—and indeed he did, as the just-released video for “Better Run Run” will testify.
Rather than attack Jay-Z on his own lyrical skills, counter his claims about Hammer’s financial status (although the video’s establishing shots are of the newly christened King Hammer taking a meeting as CEO of mixed martial-arts company Alchemist Management, and also look at his suit!), or call Jay-Z out for picking on a guy whose rise to fame as one of the first mainstream rappers enabled guys like Jay-Z to get famous in the first place, Hammer takes an even harder-to-argue-with-logically tack, proclaiming that Jay-Z is in league with the devil. His video bears this out by having a pendulous-man-boobed Jay-Z sort-of-lookalike being chased through a forest by a jeans-wearing, plastic-masked devil—although the two eventually come to a mutual agreement thanks to Satan’s offering of Jay-Z’s signature “Roc” hand gesture (“That’s one of mine,” the Devil says), and his assistance with lyrical duties in the recording studio. The evidence is irrefutable.
Of course, even though all he wants to do in the video is baptize Jay-Z, Hammer—who, again, is the head of a mixed martial arts promotion company now, as the frequent shots of Hammer sparring with fighters from his MMA stable remind us—isn’t above a little non-Christian violence, threatening to bust Jay-Z (or any rapper, for that matter) in the mouth unless they “back up what they say.” Ironically, Jay-Z only has to point to Too Legit: The MC Hammer Story; we’re not sure how Hammer plans on “backing up” his claims that Jay-Z essentially “stole my swag / His fingerprints are all over the bag,” or, you know, that he sold his soul to the devil. (Our guess: He won’t have to.)