Rodney P (born Rodney Panton in Battersea, London, 20th c.) is an English MC who entered the UK hip hop scene in the 1980s. He started out as a member of the London Posse, one of the UK’s first home grown hip hop acts who were highly influential in the development of the genre. Rodney P has had one of the longest and most respected careers in UK hip hop. Also known as da riddim killa, he cites the reggae he heard while growing up as a second-generation West Indian immigrant as an influence on his dub-heavy music.
In 1986, The London Posse were invited by Mick Jones of The Clash to support his new band Big Audio Dynamite on a UK tour. A recording contract with Big Life records followed, and Rodney P went on to support hip-hop heavyweights N.W.A and Soul II Soul in the early nineties.
The decision to guard his creative control led to the birth of his own label Riddim killa, a collaboration with Low Life Records, one of the leading labels of the rapidly growing scene. He was introduced to DJ Skitz by a mutual friend from the Deal Real workshop in the West End, and appears on Skitz’s albums Countryman and Homegrown volume 1. The pair went on to host a show on the BBC 1Xtra radio station, a leading black music network, which ran for five years until 2007. This development in his career led to involvement in radio documentaries, including a programme recorded in Johannesburg about the aftermath of Apartheid.
His other recordings include tracks with high-profile DJs and producers such as The Nextmen, One Mike, Mystro and Plus One, and alongside fellow MCs Roots Manuva, Skinnyman and Dynamite MC. His open-minded attitude to music is demonstrated in his collaborations with dance acts Roni Size and Freq Nasty, and even more surprisingly with Björk and Nitin Sawhney, as well as Greek hip hop crew Active Member. Notable live appearances include the MF Prince’s Trust Concert with Jay-Z and Alicia Keys and the United Nations Habitat Charity Concert alongside Jazzy Jeff, Dead Prez and Mos Def, as well as regular appearances at London’s legendary Fabric Live.
In 2011, he provided the voice of the animated rapper in a television advert for the Toyota Yaris.