Pan Head

About Pan Head

b. Anthony Johnson, 1966, St. Mary, Jamaica, West Indies, d. October 1993, Spanish Town, Jamaica, West Indies. Pan Head was a dancehall DJ who made his initial impact in 1990. Complying with the dancehall fascination for guns, rude-boy lyrics and homophobia, he associated himself with all the current trends. His initial releases, ‘Respect Gunman’, ‘Punny Printer’ and ‘Gunman Tune’, proved especially popular. His notoriety grew, leading to performances alongside Buju Banton, Capleton, Beenie Man and the Mad Cobra. By 1993 his recorded output revealed a more conscientious stance with the release of ‘African Princess’, which utilized the ‘full up’ rhythm, ‘Under Bondage’, a lucid condemnation of servitude, and, in combination with Yoruba, ‘Teaser’. It was evident that he was fighting hard to establish his own style, and there were media predictions that his career would flourish. However, his potential success was ended by a gunman in October 1993, when he was leaving a dance; Pan Head left a widow, two children and a stunned community. The dancehall DJs were united in their condemnation of the event, as demonstrated on their vinyl outpourings: Capleton released ‘Cold Blooded Murderer’, Beenie Man’s denunciation of the homicide resulted in ‘No Mama No Cry’ with Luciano, while Buju Banton responded with ‘Murderer’. Pan Head’s untimely demise signalled a depressing era in the history of dancehall, as numerous DJs met with a similar fate, including Early B and Dirtsman.

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