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Elephant Man live at Reggae Sundance 2013
September 11, 1975 |
|Genres||Dancehall, reggae fusion, comedy rap, dirty rap|
|Labels||Bad Boy/Atlantic, VP, Greensleeves|
|Scare Dem Crew
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, he started out his musical career as a member of the Scare Dem Crew, later continuing as a solo artist. He was later characterised for several trademarks, such as his dyed yellow-orange hair, his unique low-key voice, and his stage performance, which included jumping and running, or even climbing on stage props and monitors. His acoustic trademark is a light lisp.
Bryan had his first international recognition when he and Puma settled a contract for using his single "All Out" for its Olympics commercial campaign in 2004.
His song "Willie Bounce" appeared on several mixtapes in early 2006. It used the first few bars from "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. "Willie Bounce" has been described as one of Elephant Man's most recognizable songs, with the corresponding dance still enjoying popularity as of 2015.
Bryan signed with New York-based label Bad Boy Records and released Let's Get Physical on 6 November 2007. The first single was called "Five-O" and featured Wyclef Jean. Another track on the album featured Diddy and Busta Rhymes, and it was produced by Cipha Sounds and Solitair.
Many of Elephant Man's songs are found on various Riddim Driven albums by VP Records and Greensleeves Records's Rhythm Album series. He performed on popular riddims such as "Diwali", "Coolie", "Stepz", and "Bubble Up".
The Gully Creeper dance, for which Bryan created a song, was danced by Usain Bolt at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing after winning the gold medal and breaking a world record in the 200 meter sprint. In 2009, Elephant Man released a cover of the song "We Are The World" in tribute to Michael Jackson. He also plays one of the following song "Ooo La La La" by Teena Marie. In 2013 he did a cover of Eminem's song "Berzerk". Also he first appeared on BET Awards where he sang with Beenie Man. He was invited to sing on the album Free the Universe by Major Lazer, where he collaborated for the song "Wind Up". On Jamaican Cribs, his house was featured, displaying its 20 rooms, 1 bar, 4 chefs, 1 jacuzzi, 1 shark, 15 dogs, 1 pool, 6 rabbits, and 1 disco club. It was named one of the largest houses in Jamaica.
Bryan has been criticised for his lyrics calling for violence against gay people. In 2003 British LGBT group OutRage! called for the arrest and prosecution of several dancehall stars including Elephant Man, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man for violation of hate crimes statutes. In 2004, he was dropped from the MOBO awards. Since then pressure from his record company and agreement with gay rights groups to avoid songs with lyrics deemed to incite homophobic violence have allowed him to perform in the UK. In 2009, his scheduled appearance at Toronto's Caribana festival was cancelled for similar reasons. A concert in Munich was cancelled in February 2015 after LGBT rights groups had asked the police to make sure he would not perform songs which call upon people to murder gays.
In January 2012, Bryan was arrested and charged with the rape and grievous sexual assault of a 31-year-old woman who accused him of assaulting her in his home in St. Andrew. In February 2016 the case was dropped due to the death of the complainant.
Elephant Man is a playable character in the video game Def Jam: Fight for NY.