The financial misadventures of MC Hammer at the peak of his fame and success in the early 90s is a widely known piece of pop culture lore. The rapper blew up big time with the release of smash hit singles (most notably “U Can’t Touch This” in 1990), and his meteoric rise to fame carried all the big houses and expensive cars you might imagine. Hammer was also supposedly a little too generous with his money during that time, which reportedly put him in somewhat dire financial straits once his time as a top-earning pop artist came to an end.
Of all the stuff Hammer spent money on during his heyday and contributed to his eventual bankruptcy, the biggest was probably an insane, 12.55-acre property in Fremont, California. Fremont is not one of California’s ritziest areas, but Hammer in 1990 made the decision to spend some $5 million (or the equivalent of $11 million today) on the lavish estate, an unheard of sum for property outside the most expensive and affluent parts of CA.
There was a mansion already on the property when Hammer purchased it, but he tore it down and replaced it with a 40,000 square-foot custom designed palace and spared no expense in outfitting it with Italian marble floors, multiple swimming pools and tennis courts, a recording studio, a bowling alley, and much more. He reportedly spent another $12 million to $20 million building up this dream home to his own specifications, which in today’s dollars would be like sending somewhere between $25 million and $45 million. Those building costs, plus the enormous maintenance expenses associated with such a mansion, continued to drain Hammer’s finances, and because of the home’s unusual location its value didn’t appreciate as it might have otherwise – after he declared bankruptcy in 1996, he listed the mansion for just $6.8 million, and when it finally sold the following year it was for $5.3 million.
Still, the former House of Hammer, now known as the Vista Del Sol Estate, is an impressive piece of property, and there’s nothing else quite like it in the world of real estate. You can check it out in the video below from Omar Murillo: