Album: Let's Get It Started
Label: Capitol, EMI
Producer: MC Hammer

"Two years ago," John Leland wrote in the July 1989 issue of Spin, "Ice-T was about the only credible rapper on the West Coast, and he was a transplanted New Yorker. By the spring of 1989, we're in a whole new ball game." The biggest name of that initial L.A. wave wasn't N.W.A or Tone-Loc, but MC Hammer, whose second album would move 10 million units before the rapper's overspending caught up with him.

"Turn This Mutha Out," whose video helped push Hammer into the pop spotlight, has some of the cheesiest synths of any late-'80s record (no easy task) on its chorus; the "Apache" break is utilized during the verses, probably to establish him as a serious microphone contender. Even in retrospect, it's hard to argue with Leland's original assessment: "When he isn't dancing he seems to be shouting too much."