Born in the Maxfield Park area of Kingston in 1960, Palmer began his career performing with sound systems such as Stereophonic Sound with General Echo in the late 1970s, taking inspiration from the success of his neighbour Leroy Smart. The shooting death of Echo and Stereophonic's owner Big John in 1980 was a blow to Palmer's career. His debut single, "Mr Landlord", recorded for producer Oswald Thomas was not successful, and it was not until a couple of years later when he found success with "Smoke the Weed", recorded at Channel One, and with producer Jah Thomas on tracks such as "Ghetto Dance" and "Different Love". He went on to work with a variety of producers including George Phang, Sugar Minott, Prince Jammy, and Joseph Hoo Kim, and enjoyed a number one single in Jamaica in 1984 with "Lick Shot". He also performed at the Reggae Sunsplash festival that year. His recordings led to a series of mid-1980s albums, including split albums with Frankie Jones, Frankie Paul, Johnny Osbourne, and Kelly Ranks. Palmer moved into production, achieving success with Neville Brown's "Haul and Pull Up", and returned to recording himself in the early 1990s, with singles such as "Juggling" and "Everyone Makes Love".