Last month, the Conway Chamber of Commerce announced that MC Hammer would headline its 2014 Toad Suck Daze festival on May 3. In an important and fascinating development, the Chamber of Commerce has now added another Hammer appearance to the event’s itinerary: He’ll apparently help judge the “LaunchPad” start-up competition, which will award a $15,000 prize to one of ten eligible Arkansas entrepreneurs.

“When we chose Hammer to perform at Toad Suck Daze, we had this event in mind,” says Chamber President and CEO Brad Lacy, hilariously. “Most people know his music, but they don’t know that he is a major player in Silicon Valley.” In the past couple of years, as their press release notes, Hammer (whose real name is Stanley Burrell) has lectured at Stanford and Harvard. According to an article in the Harvard Crimson, his talk there focused on “how social media sites — such as micro-blogging service Twitter — can facilitate personal interaction in both business and music.”


The article quotes from Hammer’s lecture: “My biggest inspiration comes from God, my next inspiration comes from people, from engaging with people.” And later: “I’m building my social media ecosystem one peg at a time.”