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, an all time dub classic. Another for Glen was Tel Aviv Skank.
Before adopting the ‘Prince Hammer’ name when he began producing his own recordings on labels that he owned such as Gold Cup and Belva, sold through his own record shop on Orange Street. He released several singles in the late 1970s for a variety of producers. He made a cameo appearance in the film Rockers, and found a wider audience via his Blacka Morwell-produced 1978 album Bible, released on Virgin Records’ Front Line label. This was followed by the album Roots and Roots, released on Adrian Sherwood’s Hitrun label in 1979.
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 explained to Paul Bradshaw that name change came about after a youth named Willy Nilly persuaded him it would be better, and it was.
Within a couple of years, Prince Hammer was on the Front line 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.
Hammer toured the UK with Bim Sherman and Prince Far I in 1979 and later with punk rock bands such as The Clash and The Slits. A second album for Hit Run, Dancehall Style, was released in 1981, and they worked again on his 1985 album Vengeance. He appeared on the track “The Heat” on Suns of Arqa’s 1983 album Wadada Magic, he features on their live album with Prince Far I entitled Musical Revue which was recorded in 1982, and he provides vocals on “Libera Me” on their 1987 album Seven. He also worked with Roy Cousins on the Respect I Man album (1989).
Hammer also worked as a producer, and produced Rod Taylor’s If Jah Should Come Now album. Other artists that he produced included Echo Minott, Jennifer Lara, Toyan, Trinity, and George Nooks, and several of his productions were compiled on the Africa Iron Gate Showcase album, released on his own Berris label in 1982.
Bible (1978), Front Line
Roots and Roots (1979), Hitrun/Miss Pat Walker
Roots Me Roots (1980), Little Luke
World War Dub Part 1 (1980), Baby Mother/Hitrun
Dancehall Style (1981), Hitrun
World War Dub Part 2 (1981), Baby Mother
Vengeance (1985), Melinda
Respect I Man (1989), Tamoki Wambesi
Back For More (2005), KSJ Productions