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Bounty Killer

Bounty Killer was one of the most aggressive dancehall stars of the '90s, a street-tough rude boy with an unrepentant flair for gun talk. There were many other facets to his music -- condemnations of corrupt authority, collaborations with hardcore hip-hop artists, tributes to his mother, an ongoing DJ rivalry with Beenie Man -- but his main persona was so dominant that many fans instantly associated him with his more violent material. With such seeming contradictions in his personality, his image in Jamaica was not unlike that of 2Pac in America, though of course he was a far less tragic figure. Making his name in Jamaica during the early '90s, Bounty Killer was working extensively in hip-hop crossover territory by the end of the decade, but retained his hard edge no matter what the musical context.

Bounty Killer was born Rodney Price in the Kingston ghetto of Trenchtown on June 12, 1972. One of nine children, he spent much of his childhood in another ghetto, Riverton City, which was built on the former city dump; his family later moved to the rough Seaview Gardens area. His father owned a small sound system, and he first tried his hand at DJ chatting when he was only nine years old. At age 14, he nearly fell victim to the gun violence he would later document so thoroughly in his music; while walking home from school, he was hit by a stray bullet from a gun battle between rival political factions. Fortunately, he made a full recovery, and soon began performing under the name Bounty Hunter for area sound systems like Metromedia, Bodyguard, and Stereo Two. Meanwhile, he and his friends hung around King Jammy's recording studio, hoping to catch a break. Eventually, he met Jammy's brother Uncle T, who produced his first recordings in 1990.

Still working under the name Bounty Hunter, one of his early tunes, "Dub Fi Dub," became a huge dancehall hit as a sound system dubplate. He subsequently changed his name to the fiercer and less common Bounty Killer, and accordingly ratcheted up the confrontational tone of his lyrics. He had a breakout year in 1992 with several major hit singles, the biggest of which were "Copper Shot" (also an underground hit in New York) and the anti-informant "Spy Fi Die." Other songs from this era included "Guns Out," "New Gun," "Kill Fe Fun," "Gunshot Fi Informer," and "Lodge." Many of them appeared on Bounty Killer's debut album, Jamaica's Most Wanted, which was released in 1993 and later issued internationally under the somewhat deceptive title Roots, Reality and Culture (after a socially conscious hit from 1994). Also in 1993, Bounty Killer's lyrical feud with rival Beenie Man first flared up in an on-stage DJ clash; possessed of similar vocal deliveries, each claimed the other as an imitator, and they took their battle to record on the 1994 clash album Guns Out.

With the Jamaican government starting to crack down on violent lyrics in live performances, Bounty Killer began to broaden his subject matter into streetwise social commentary, most notably on the perceptive drug-trade chronicle "Down in the Ghetto." That became the title track of his next album, issued in early 1995. Over the next year, he enjoyed one of his hottest streaks as a hitmaker in Jamaica, as he released one popular song after another: a smash duet with Sanchez called "Searching," the hip-hop-flavored chart-topper "Cellular Phone," "Smoke the Herb," the anti-censorship "Not Another Word," the maternal tributes "Mama" and "Miss Ivy Last Son," "Action Speak Louder Than Words," "Book, Book, Book," and "No Argument," the last of which was the title track of another album. By the end of 1995, in order to set a positive example, a prominent radio DJ had effected a truce between Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, although it would continue to flare up periodically at concerts and on record over the next few years.

In 1996, Bounty Killer released his defining statement, the 20-track double album My Xperience. Featuring several past hits as well as a plethora of new material, My Xperience also boasted guest spots by American hip-hop stars like the Fugees, Raekwon, Busta Rhymes, and Jeru the Damaja, as well as veteran reggae stars like Barrington Levy and Dennis Brown. The single "Hip-Hopera" made the American charts, and the album sold well amid strong reviews, reaching the Top 30 of the R&B chart and ranking as one of the best-selling reggae albums of the year in the U.S. Bounty Killer followed it with the British release Ghetto Gramma' (as in "grammar") in 1997, and spent some time recording with producer Jazzwad.

In 1998, Bounty Killer returned with a high-profile, guest-laden follow-up to My Xperience, titled Next Millennium. This time around, it was issued in America by the generally non-reggae label TVT. Next Millennium heavily featured the new generation of hardcore New York hip-hoppers, including Noreaga, Mobb Deep, Killah Priest, and the Cocoa Brovaz. "Deadly Zone" was featured on the soundtrack of Blade and made the Top Ten on the rap singles chart in America, and the album again sold respectably well among R&B audiences. The follow-up, 1999's The 5th Element, marked a return to a purer dancehall style.

In late 2001, Bounty Killer made a prominent guest appearance on No Doubt's international smash "Hey Baby," appearing in the video and performing with the group during the 2002 Super Bowl pregame show. The video inadvertently caused some embarrassment for him back in Jamaica, however: the intensely homophobic dancehall community picked up on the fact that one of its nightclub scenes showed a nude man, and his rivals had a field day. The whole episode notwithstanding, Bounty Killer returned to the sprawling ambitions of My Xperience for his next project, the two-volume Ghetto Dictionary set. Issued separately and simultaneously in early 2002, Ghetto Dictionary: The Art of War and Ghetto Dictionary: The Mystery mixed mostly new material with a few past singles, and were firmly in the raw, hardcore dancehall style that had made his name. Both sold well among reggae audiences, and The Mystery was nominated for a Grammy for Best Reggae Album. Later in 2002, Bounty Killer guested on hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz' solo debut, G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories, specifically on the single "Guilty." ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Nah No Mercy

Disc 1

1. Dem Deh

2. Spy Fi Die

3. Coppershot

4. Statement

5. Long Or Tall

6. If A War

7. Lodge

8. Gun Thirsty

9. New Gun

10. Dead This Time

11. War

12. Suspence

13. Twenty One

14. East Indian

15. No Interview

16. Bounty's Nitro Mix

17. Fed Up

18. My Experience

19. Sufferer

20. Look

Disc 2

1. Cellular Phone

2. Intimate Waman

3. More Gal

4. Gal

5. Benz And Bimma

6. Living Dangerrously

7. Waorthless Bwoy

8. Arrow

9. Stucky

10. Fitness

11. Smoke Clears

12. Warlord

13. Miss Ivy Last Son

14. Bwoy Nuh Run

15. Not Another Word

16. Smoke Herb

17. Down In The Ghetto

18. Roots, Reality, And Culture

19. Seek Good

20. The Lord Is My Light And My Salavation

21. King Addies Multi Mega Death Mix

x

Track List: Ghetto Dictionary: The Mystery

1. Ghetto Dictionary

2. Sufferrah

3. Fed Up (Remix)

4. Mystery

5. Outcry

6. Bakardi Slang Refix

7. Liberty

8. Restaurant

9. 100 Rounds

10. High Grade Forever

11. Gunz In The Ghetto

12. We Need A Leader

13. Eyewater

14. Petty Thief

15. Evils Of The Mind

16. No Other Like Me

17. Party 2 The End Of Time

18. Supastarz

19. Arrow

20. Pot Of Gold

x

Track List: My Xperience

1. Fed Up

2. The Lord Is My Light & Salvation

3. Hip-Hopera ("Mr. Punk")

4. Guns & Roses

5. Mama (Scare Dem Version)

6. Change Like The Weather

7. War Beyond The Stars

8. Living Dangerously

9. War Face (Ask Fi War) Remix

10. Marathon ('To Chicago')

11. Revolution III

12. Gun Down

13. Mi Nature

14. Virgin Island

15. Who Send Dem

16. Seek God (Remix)

17. Maniac

18. Suicide Or Murder

19. Benz & The Bimma

20. My Experience

x

Track List: Mint (Single) (Explicit)

1. Mint

x

Track List: Seasons Of The Year (Single)

1. Seasons Of The Year

Comments

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kikovazquez2 9
Man these are the song that I use to go to the clubs I have too say his songs are very good and I love the beats on his songs !! Keep it coming bounty killer great songs !!!!!!!!!
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Still loving this song
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itzmedez
Bounty!
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natashawrigh t 6 1
This song bring back memories
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jt0983
MI HAVE A 45 ASKEL>>> TUNEEEE!!!!!
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Bow your head to the inventor ,the untouchable god Bounty killer
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I luv this song
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R kelly
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War lord for Eva !!! Scare dem --ANG always Mi DJ nottin change Mi same 1 young don fr jam 1
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Yes "Bounty Killer" I Man like this song it really sound good keep up the good work that you are doing ,!!!!!!
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Yes ,Bounty Killer, tell them One love big up, #!!
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TRENCH TOWN Rock ,Kingston 12 JAMAICA W I , !!!!!!!
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Bounty Killer for life go my, D, J,!!!!!
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Nice tune...
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One general
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etheridge910
Big up killer
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One of the best.
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Man a bad man big up to the war lord
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BAD MAN from long time, from G ,T,& T,T,!!,#from ,!!#D,
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Hail to the War Lord...
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Ok
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Big ups
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Love Always
Bunnyhug
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jamilarudder
Hi Jamila. Rudder. Love you like and from lil
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vincyhoney
To dangerous
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Wonderful guy!!!! Killer :*
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This man will never be forgotten killer for life
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Bounty killa if life
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Bulletproof skin!!! You can't beat that.
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FIRE
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War Lord!!!!!
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Bounty killa rah rah rah!
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Bounty Killer!!!!!! ! ! !
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One of best in danchall karatel is the man
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dr.r71
Po po po
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Jah live.
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DI REAL BOSS
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janaym7
& I'll neva believe a single word u say Ouwwww this my song
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That's da jam
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Bad bad artist lyrical but miserable ...respect to di bounty.
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long live da Killa!!!
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Sometimes u love sometimes u love its all about balance
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Me general inna him prime
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LUV LUV U
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rivy68
War Lord! Bounty a badman
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BOUNTY WAS ALWAYS THE TRUTH......E V E R Y BAD MAN KNOW DAT
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Love Bounty forever
Report as inappropriate
BOUNTY IS A VERBAL ASSASIN A LYRICAL ANNIHILATOR NO ARTIST CAN TOUCH HIM THE BLOODCLOT HERE DIS FULL CLIPPPPPPPPP P P P
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bumborass seit dey
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well a it dis di gal dem a bawl fi di fitness, big bloodclot chune dat
Show more

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