MusicDish e-Journal - December 9, 2019
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Pink Panther of Blackat (The Kat That Has 9 Lives!)
By Lady Zimma & Miss Mention, Dainty Crew
(more articles from this author)
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When you think of the cartoon character Pink Panther, an image of a suave, but comical pink cat immediately springs to mind. Pink Panther (Panther) of Blackat is a far cry from this image, especially to those who are familiar with his chat when clashing with other sound systems. However, Panther received his alias whilst at school and as he puts it, "Me did dance disco you know, I used to break-dance and stuff and from the way me move frisky them just give me the name".

This 29 year old DJ better known to his family as Edward Johnson was raised in Kingston 13, Jamaica. When Panther is out of the limelight he enjoys reading, catching up on his night rest and believes he would have been in the field of banking if it wasn't for his overwhelming love of music.

Panther, along with Blackat have made a big name for themselves with regards to their fearlessness to compete against any big sound and it is not unusual for the sound members to be dressed in matching camouflage apparel in preparation for a lyrical war. Whilst other big sounds are running and hiding from big clashes, Blackat stay true to their name and are always willing to put one of their nine lives on the line.

Yunsi, Panther's mixing partner, is no stranger to the sound arena and previously played on Exodus 4 X 4. Along with Panther, Yunsi organises and comes up with ideas for dubs and most sounds are aware that the strength of a dub could be the making or breaking point in a clash, so this is a task not to be taken lightly.

Panther cites Captain Midnight of Super Saint as one of his early influences and he currently enjoys listening to other sounds including Killamanjaro, Bodyguard, Bass Odyssey and Amplex. Panther's clashing ability began at the early age of 12 whilst at school and he recalls, "me love music. Me use to clash with tapes a school. Me use to carry some big tape and clash to see who a play the better music". He never lost the passion for the music and went on to play with a sound called Russo and then eventually moved onto Blackat.

Blackat started it's life in Philadelphia around 1987 and a couple of years later Panther joined and they brought it to Jamaica were it buss in 1992. Blackat has been fortunate to play out in Japan, Canada, US, UK and Antigua and hope to visit the Cayman Islands in the future. Panther believes Blackat has received the best response while playing in New York but his dream is to visit Africa, "me really wan' go Africa even if just to look and turn back".

Although Panther won't deny he loves clashing he shows sportsmanship when he says, "them take it personal when you clashing sometime, you know. So them need fi know sey this is all about music and enjoyment, after we finish clash we are friends same way, some of them really don't take it that way they take it to a different dimension. Have it as sport so you have to take the losing, you can't win all the while".

Blackat's public image is one fronted by Panther and Yunsi but the Dainty Crew were surprised to hear that there are approximately 15 people making up Blackat. Panther is a jack of all trades as are the other members of Blackat and explains that he is capable of doing everything on the sound including the mixing although most of his fans don't see this side, they are too busy taking in his excellent MC skills.

Yunsi can not only select and mix but he can sing, evidence can be heard in his combination with Chronicle with 'She Goes Out to the Man in the Street...'. Panther mentioned this was one of his favourite tunes along with Singing Melody's ‘Want You Back'.

When asked how Blackat keeps the public's interest, Panther replies "Well you dun know we have to cut new tune. People always want to hear new tune".

While speaking to Panther there is a twinkle in his eye when he speaks about Blackat and while that is still there you can be sure that Panther is here to stay or as he puts it, "As long we inna it you know them can't get we out."

Booking Details - Papa Cat in Mandeville, Manchester, Jamaica (876) 964 98 90

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