Former rap star turns tech entrepreneur

MC Hammer hasn't topped the music charts since the early 1990s, but the former rap star says he has another hit in him, only this time around he'll produce it as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, an Associated Press report said.

Hammer, whose real name is Stanley Burrell, is choreographing a new career as co-founder and chief strategy officer of Menlo Park-based DanceJam.com, the Associated Press report said.

The web site, scheduled to debut in mid-January, will try to upstage YouTube and become the internet's hub for sharing and watching dance videos, the report said.

DanceJam then hopes to make money by grabbing a piece of the rapidly growing internet advertising market, which is expected to rake in $27.5 billion in 2008, according to eMarketer, it added.

If the business pans out, DanceJam could help Hammer compensate for losing his fortune when he went bankrupt in 1996 with nearly $14 million in debts, the report said.

Although Hammer isn't churning out best-selling records any longer, everyone still seems to know his name. Even children born after his downfall are familiar with his music because 'U Can't Touch This' still gets played in TV shows and movies, it added.

But Hammer's involvement in DanceJam has more to do with his technological savvy than his celebrity, according to Ron Conway, a longtime Silicon Valley investor who is part of a small group that provided DanceJam with $1 million in startup funds.

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