Prince Hammer originally recorded under his real name Berris Simpson or Berry Simpson. One of his first records was ›Daughter A Whole Lotta Sugar Down Deh‹ produced by Glen Brown and M.Miller. This was the B.Side of Glen Brown's ›Two Wedden Skank‹ [Downtown DT507] an all time dub classic. Another for Glen was ›Tel Aviv Skank‹.
When Berris changed his recording name to Prince Hammer, it was Glen who paid for Hammer's first productions - ›King Of King‹, ›Addis Ababa‹ and ›Lord Of Lords‹.
Hammer explaine to Paul Bradshaw that name change came about after a youth named Willy Nilly persuaded him it would be better, it was.
Within a couple of years, Prince Hammer was on the Front Label label with an album produced by Blacka Morwell. When the Front Line label closed down, Hammer moved on to Adrian Sherwood's Hit Run label, and took part in the label's highly successful ›Roots Encounter‹ tour of the UK and Europe.

What Happened then Hammer!

»Well I kinda ger myself tied up with some little things. Where er, the producers ... and I tried to get things sorted out.«

I heard that you had a album with Joe Gibbs called ›Trial And Crosses‹?
»Well that's my album still right. ›Brixton Trail And Crosses‹. I have an album for Joe Gibbs, I did 17 tracks for him before I came to England. They released on called ›Them A Model Over Me‹.«
Your own label was successful over here. You had ›W.W.1. Dub Part One‹.
»I did an album with Rod Taylor - ›If Jah Should Come Now‹ that was on Hit Run. and then we had the ›Roots And Roots‹ LP.«

You had an hit with Rod Taylor's ›10,000 Lions‹.
»No that was me singing ›10,000 Lions‹!«

The Roots Encounter shows were very successful.

»Yeah, me Prince Far I and Bim Sherman. I did some smashing shows. I really get some stage write up. I had some serious stage act in a Dracula suit!!!«

At some of the shows someone told me you sang John Holt's ›Anyway‹ very well.
»Well not a special tune, but you see I had ›10,000 Lions‹ as an hit tune. so I usually sing that tune, but mostly I always do in my show is sing-dj, sing-dj. That's my style. That's my thing doing some dancing, some skanking - false split. Keep the aduience going.
□□□Just the other night, this lady turn to me and say boy Hammer, the way your been acting on stage, I have never seen anyone act like that come from Jamaica. You should not be singing, you should be in a movie! Your a movie star, you've got the potential. So we've having a good chat, and she invites me out for some tea and some fish.«

People wondered what happened, you had your label Baby Mother, then all of a sudden you disappear?
»Well what really happened, when I leave out of this country I was supposed to go to the States - Dallas, Texas, and Washington, but when I reach Washington I lose my passport with my visa and everything. I try to get it back. I go get a substitute passport. Then when I reach Jamaica they take the substitute passport at the airport. So I have to get an original passport. So when I get the forms together, to get my things going the country have election. And you can't really come out of the country. So it take me three months to get back my passport, cause most people want to leave the country because of the vibes.«
What have you been doing recently, any producing?
»I have a tune with my brethren called Mikey - Lord Koos son you know. My new label is Berris. I have a showcase album. With four tracks from myself, 1 from Lee Van Cliff, 1 from Enos McCloud. 1, from George Nooks and 2 with Trinity - 1 singing, 1 toasting. The album's called ›African Iron Gate Showcase‹ that's the title track, I'm doing the title track. I have an whole heap of artist on tape. Jubba Tate, Jennifer Lara, Toyan, Little John, Captain Sinbad and Anthony Johnson. When I go back to Jamaica I will up some good tracks down there on pre.
□□□I tried to finish them before I come up, I tried to finish my album, before I came, but I couldn't finish it in time. I leave most of my tracks at King Tubby's. So when I go back to Jamaica I'll start to do some mixing«

More recently Prince Hammer's productions have included the now classic ›Letter To Mandela‹ by Sugar Minott, which is one of Sugar best tunes in recent years.
  Around the same time, it was heard that Prince Hammer had cut an album for veteren producer Roy Cousins. Roy who now owns a record shop in Liverpool built a studio over the shop. At the moment it is not known if its a singing LP or a DJ album, or even if its yet gained released.●



© Small Axe 1982
© Muzik Tree 1992
All Rights Reserved


In short what happened was that between the Jamaican government and the British and American embassies, Hammer got well delayed. Or as Hammer puts it - »An whole heap of going and coming business.«
Plenty to do then?
»Well right now there's an whole heap of thing I intend to do. I was in the movie ›Rockers‹ second on the left in the posters.«
 

While you were in Jamaica, have you been toasting any sound systems?
»I used to chat with Romantic, Kilamanjaro, one or two sounds - Tipatone. I used to chat with Rulertone all them sound, a longer time, but more I just cool out of the sound system business. Just meditate and give thanks. Drink up roots and eat up fish and whole heap of Ital food.«