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Meaning of the song ‘Pray’ by ‘MC Hammer’

Released: 1990

“Pray” by MC Hammer is a rhythmic sermon, a call to prayer as a solution to life’s hardships and a means to achieve personal ambition. Through his lyrics, Hammer motivates listeners to believe in prayer as a tool for overcoming obstacles, preaching the power of faith and persistence.

In the first verse, Hammer reveals his own journey, subtly describing how his belief in prayer fuelled his ambition and aided his success against naysayers who doubted him. Lines like “All my life I wanted to make it to the top / Some said I wouldn’t / They told me no, but I didn’t stop” are a testament to his determination and resilience. He’s firm in his belief, as he repeats “We got to pray / Just to make it today”, hammering (no pun intended) the idea that prayer is a necessary part of striving for one’s ambitions.

Proceeding to the second verse, Hammer doesn’t lose sight of his roots and recognizes the role his community played in his success. The lyrics “I’m bustin’ these rhymes / Making this money and I won’t / Forget my people or my town or my ways” bring attention to the fact that he stays grounded, remembering where he came from even as he climbs the ladder of success. He uses his personal story to emphasize the importance of gratitude and community, again circling back to the power of prayer.

Things get real in the third verse. Hammer touches on rejection stating, “Time and time and time and time again / I kept on knocking, but / These people wouldn’t let me in”. But rather than giving up, he turned to prayer and persistence, suggesting it was his faith that ultimately opened the doors for him.

In the fourth verse, Hammer brings to light disturbing societal issues like drug addiction and violence among youth, hence intensifying the urgency and need for prayer. His lyrics, “Childrem dying, oh, so fast from this or that / Needing that money / Smoking that dope and doing that crack” showcase the raw reality of living in certain communities and the pressures that young people face.

As the song progresses, Hammer reiterates the need for prayer, but also emphasizes the power within oneself to make change occur. In the latter verses, he alludes to the idea that prayer isn’t just about asking for things, it’s also a moment of reflection and a reminder to maintain a high moral ground, as the lyrics “Living high, living good, living long / Take a minute, bust a prayer / And you’re good to go” suggest.

To wrap up, the lyrics of “Pray” by MC Hammer are not just about prayer, but also about using prayer as a tool for self-improvement, perseverance, remembering one’s roots, and handling societal issues. Hammer is using his platform to preach the power of prayer in the hope of inciting positive change in his listeners. That’s word, y’all, so remember to pray!

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