One of first mainstream songs to address the trauma vets faced returning from war, it began when songwriter Andre Pessis paid a young Huey Lewis $20 to record a demo of this song for a documentary about the Vietnam War. The song never appeared in the movie, but Lewis did include it on his album Sports a few years later. "This song is about the Vietnam War," Lewis told one crowd. "Although none of us went, we had a lot of friends that did. A lot of people died over there, and a lot of people got real screwed up."
Aided by the video featuring MC Hammer's slinky dance moves and parachute pants, this self-aggrandizing hip-hop song had fans everywhere declaring, "Stop — Hammer time!" Yet, other well-known rappers criticized Hammer for poor rapping. And Rick James hated the song, which sampled his funk classic "Super Freak." "Hell, no, I wasn't impressed with that s--t," he said. James said he would have refused Hammer had he personally requested to use the song — even though it earned James huge royalties and his only Grammy. "After that, I told my people that I didn't want any more rappers using my stuff."