Black celebrities are investing in tech and some are using their art and their platform to talk about it. This is Part 2 in a Moguldom series where we shine a light on celebrities who are investing in tech and in the process, helping turn Silicon Valley stereotypes on their head.
For many hip-hop fans, MC Hammer’s spectacular crash and burn in the ’90s made him a has-been pop rapper who squandered a fortune but lived on as a figure of speech — “can’t touch this!”
MC Hammer’s comeback took place, not in Hollywood but as a super geek in Silicon Valley, where he is considered by some to be a tech visionary.
In the process, Hammer said he’s learned that musicians don’t need labels, and he’s using tech to deal with what he has described as “the broken promise of America.”
Stanley Kirk Burrell — his real name — is a rapper, dancer and entrepreneur. His top earning year was 1991, when earned $31 million, according to AlphaLife. His second album, “Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em,” become the best-selling rap album of all time and he was the first rap artist to achieve diamond status for an album. Bankruptcy followed in 1996, thanks in part to excessive spending on his home, airplanes, luxury cars and a huge touring entourage. Aan ordained preacher, he has been a TV show host and a dance competition judge. In 2017, The Richest put his net worth at $1.5 million.
Now a respected entrepreneur, investor and adviser, Hammer has a reputation as a savvy early adopter of new technology
He founded two tech companies, advised and invested in a dozen or so startups, and is actively