b. Beresford Simpson, c.1962, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Simpson began his recording career with Glen Brown, who produced ‘Daughter A Whole Lotta Sugar Down Deh’, which surfaced in the UK as the b-side to ‘2 Wedden Skank’. Other singles appeared, notably ‘Tel Aviv Skank’. His early recordings were in his own name but he chose the pseudonym Prince Hammer for his own production, ‘King Of Kings’. The film Rockers included cameo appearances from nearly all of Jamaica’s top performers including Prince Hammer, although he did not contribute to the soundtrack. He gained international notoriety when produced by Maurice ‘Blacka’ Wellington (of the Morwells), who licensed his work to Virgin Records in the UK. The result, Bible, was a popular compilation with liner notes from dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, who stated, ‘There is no doubt in my mind that Bible will win a large following for the Prince and we will be hearing a lot more from him’. His success led to a visit to the UK and a move to the forerunner of On U Sound, Hit Run. In 1979 he was featured in a reggae showcase called Roots Encounter, although some of the gigs were cancelled at the last minute. Those lucky enough to witness the events were able to enjoy performances from Prince Hammer along with Bim Sherman and Prince Far I. While in the UK, he released his production of Rod Taylor’s ‘If Jah Should Come Now’ and enjoyed a big hit, although the album of the same name did not achieve similar success. He also released ‘10, 000 Lions’, which featured his singing and DJ style on the same discomix. He continued producing other artists, enjoying moderate success with Echo Minott, Jennifer Lara, Toyan and George Nooks, and he was one of the first producers to record DJ Trinity singing. Many of Prince Hammer’s early productions surfaced on the compilation Africa Iron Gate Showcase.
Share this page