I am deeply saddened by the passing of Wycliffe 'Steely' Johnson. His passing is a tremendous loss to the Dancehall industry, and a tremendous loss to me personally -- Steely is the man who sparked my love of music and inspired me to be a selector.
Talk to anyone who grew up with me, and they'll tell you that I idolized Steely from Silver Hawk Sound. When I struggling to establish myself as a selector in the early days, I adopted the name 'Steelie' with the goal to one day have my own sound and be at the top of the game -- like Steely.
As part of the legendary production team Steely & Clevie, Steely gave us those signature sounds like the Punanny Rhythm, the Street Sweeper Rhythm, Skettel...Nine Night...Sniper...Sleepy Dog...I could go on and on and on. He was part of the genius behind Dancehall classics like Shabba's "Ting-A-Ling," and "Twice My Age;" "Sorry" by Foxy Brown; "Double Trouble" by Beres Hammond; "Boops" by Supercat; "Murder Dem" by Ninja Man; "Ram Dancehall" by Tiger; "Hot Gyal Today" by Sean Paul & Vegas...and that's not even the half.
I met Steely about 10-12 years ago in Studio 2000. He said he had heard about me; I told him I named myself after him because I respected him and what he did with Silver Hawk--and that was it. It was all of ten seconds and I never saw him again. However, I will always be greatful that I took that one moment to let him know how much he inspired me.
His contribution to Dancehall music is immeasurable.
His impact on my life is unforgettable.
Music without him is inconceivable.
My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.
Rest in Peace.