[In respect to the 17th anniversary of Biggie Smalls’ passing, my Oldies Sunday selection features a song he sampled on his first album.]
Today’s Oldies Sunday selection comes from Deejay Pan Head. Titled “Gunman Tune” with production by Lloyd “John John” James Jr. on the “Soap Riddim” and distribution by Father & Son Records in 1991, we hear Pan Head paying tribute to all the gun men in Jamaica while showing disrespect to informants (or snitches). He also speaks on the different communities that the gunmen reside in, the types of weaponry they have in their artillery, how they use them and the type of friends gunmen and informants should have.
“Gunman Tune” was a popular song in Jamaica as it was a regular in the street dances. The single was featured on the movie “Shottas” soundtrack that starred Kymani Marley and Spragga Benz in 2002. It was also sampled by the late Notorious B.I.G. for his single “Respect“, which featured singer Diana King on his 1994 debut album “Ready To Die“. Pan Head’s popularity grew since his emergence in 1985 after being a member of the “Love Vibration” and “Scorpio” sound systems. His subject matters in songs, which included violence and homophobia, caused great controversy as he rose to prominence. He later down changed his tone to more mature songs and has also collaborated with Buju Banton, Capelton, and has sparred with Ninjaman.
With promises to be a great in the Jamaican music industry, Pan Head’s life was cut short in October 1993 after leaving a street dance in Spanish Town, Jamaica. With the nation and music fraternity in shock of this tragedy, many Dancehall/Reggae artists released tribute songs for Pan Head including Buju Banton, Beenie Man, and Capelton. Posthumous albums were also released for Pan Head through VP Records and IMP. “Gunman Tune” went on to be his most successful song since being used as a sample on “Ready To Die“.
Thank You Pan Head for this song! R.I.P. Pan Head and Biggie Smalls.