For over 30 years, Beres Hammond and Wickerman have been 'bredrin' who hung out at recording studios, and participated in recreational games like pool and ludo. But they never recorded a song together, until last year.
That song, Me Deh ya Again, was released on Hammond's Harmony House label. It has been number one on the South Florida Reggae Charts for several weeks.
According to Wickerman, he has hounded the lovers' rock king to do a collaboration with him for years.
“Mi always a tell him seh, 'Father Beres, yuh know sey one a dem day ya mi want a combination with yuh.' An' him seh, 'Yes, Wickerman, dat a guh happen but it a guh happen di right time,'” Wickerman told the Jamaica Observer. “Beres Hammond is a man who don't rush music, father, an' anything him seh it going to happen because him know music.”
Hammond actually cut Me Deh ya Again solo eight years ago but it was never released. Last year, the engineer at his Harmony House studio in Kingston unearthed the original recording and played it while Wickerman was there.
The veteran deejay was so struck by the uptempo beat that he came up with the lyrics in the studio. He went home, fine-tuned his delivery, then returned the following day with a final part that was enthusiastically endorsed by Hammond.
“ Me Deh ya Again is for everybody. Yuh can fly in from foreign an' tell everybody sey, 'Mi deh ya again.' Yuh can come from prison an' tell everybody sey, 'Mi deh ya again.' Is regular talk on di streets,” said Wickerman.
From Linstead, Wickerman (given name David Taylor) first came to national prominence as a recording artiste in the early 1990s alongside fellow deejay Captain Barkey. He started his career as a Yellowman sound-alike on Spanish Town sound systems during the 1980s, but at one stage he gave up music for a more fast-paced pursuit.
“I went to Caymanas Park because I wanted to be a jockey 'cause mi love racing. I used to be at [trainers] like Paul Newman, Howard McKenzie and E [Errol] Subratie, but after a time mi find seh mi a get tall an' mi jus' decide it wasn't for me,” he said.
Back in Spanish Town, he began making craft items from wicker, which earned him his moniker. At the same time, Wickerman tuned into the hottest acts in “Spain” including Papa San, Dirtsman, Lady G and Chronicle.
It was while working with Spanish Town sound system Stereo One, alongside Lieutenant Stitchie, Ricky Stereo and Jonathan Wolfman, that he met Captain Barkey, a soldier in the Jamaica Defence Force.
They recorded several songs before splitting in the mid-1990s. Wickerman said he and Captain Barkey had several shows lined up in Europe when the latter was murdered in New York in 2012.