Bounty Killer (born Rodney Basil Price; 12 June 1972; Kingston, Jamaica) is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall deejay. He is the founder of a dancehall collective known as The Alliance with deejay Mavado.
Bounty Killer performing in December 2006
|Birth name||Rodney Basil Price|
|Also known as||Warlord, Five Star General, Ghetto Gladiator, Poor People’s Governor|
|Born||(1972-06-12) 12 June 1972 (age 42)|
|Labels||VP Records TVT Records|
|Associated acts||The Alliance, Angel Doolas, Nitty Kutchie, Beenie Man, Junior Reid, No Doubt, Baby Cham, Elephant Man, Vybz Kartel, Tommy Lee Sparta, Mavado, Kardinal Offishall, I-Octane|
Early life and career
Price moved to Kingston at an early age, along with his mother and siblings. His father owned and ran the Black Scorpio sound system and Price started his musical career as a sound system deejay in his early teens. At the age of 14, Price was shot by a stray bullet during a gunfight between rival political factions, and while convalescing in hospital decided on the name Bounty Killer. After recovering, he increased his performances on a greater number of sound systems, and turned his attention towards recording.
Prior to his entry into the rap industry, Rodney worked in the assets management branch of Bank of Ireland. This role involved dealing with self-employed, and wealthy, individuals. He was then encouraged to record at King Jammy’s studio in Kingston. Price eventually recorded with King Jammy, the first session being in Spring 1992. One of his first tunes was the “Coppershot”, which Jammy was unwilling to release due to its lyrics glorifying gun culture. Jammy’s brother Uncle T disagreed and released the single himself.
In 1993, Price performed at the annual hardcore festival Sting, held in Portmore, Jamaica every year on Boxing Day, whereupon he had a high-profile clash with fellow deejay Beenie Man. The rivalry continued through the 1990s, with both accusing the other of a stolen act. They settled their differences after both realized the negative effect their feud was having on the industry. He has also had heated rivalries with several other top deejays, including Merciless and Vybz Kartel, throughout his career.
He increased control over his output in 1995 by leaving Jammy and setting up his own Scare Dem Productions company and Priceless Records label.
During the 1990s, Price voiced for several producers and labels in Jamaica, releasing songs such as “Defend the Poor”, “Mama”, “Book, Book, Book”, “Babylon System” and “Down in the Ghetto”. At about this time, he became known in USA and in Europe, recording with such artists as Busta Rhymes, No Doubt, Masta Killa, The Fugees, Wyclef Jean, Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga, Swizz Beatz and AZ.
In 1997 Bounty Killer decided to make a cover version of Rose Royce hit single Love Don’t Live Here Anymore and invited Swedish superstar Robyn. The song made a huge success in the Caribbean & the US. It was also featured in She’s So Lovely (Sean Penn film).
In 1998, contributed the song “Deadly Zone” to the album Blade: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture.
In 2001, Price collaborated with No Doubt on their single “Hey Baby“. Further success followed with albums such as Ghetto Dictionary Volume I: Art of War and Ghetto Dictionary Volume II: Mystery, the latter receiving a Grammy nomination. In 2006, he signed with VP Records and released the compilation album Nah No Mercy – The Warlord Scrolls on 7 November 2006. He has been credited with having inspired many young artists such as Vybz Kartel, Mavado and Elephant Man and several other members of The Alliance.
In 2003, Price canceled two of his concerts after the LGBT magazine Outrage! petitioned Scotland Yard for his arrest, claiming songs about killing gays would incite violence and harassment against the gay community. He returned in 2006 after a three-year hiatus, performing uncensored lyrics at several venues without recrimination.
In 2008, Bounty Killer collaborated with Daddy Yankee in the song “Controlando El Area” for the album “Caribbean Connection”.
In 2014 Bounty Killer and long-term rival Beenie Man put aside their differences and recorded a single together, “Legendary”.
Price was arrested twice at the annual Reggae Sumfest: he was arrested but not charged in a 2001 altercation with another performer and arrested and charged in 2008 for using profanity during his performance. He was also arrested on 3 February 2009 after allegedly running seven traffic lights in Kingston, Jamaica and charged with refusal to take a breathalyzer test and disobeying red lights.
Price was arrested by police in June 2006 and charged with assaulting the mother of his child. According to the Jamaica Star, “The complainant was allegedly punched in the face several times, dragged some distance away and her head slammed into a wall.”
- Roots, Reality & Culture (VP Records) (1994)
- Jamaica’s Most Wanted (Greensleeves Records) (1994)
- Guns Out (Greensleeves Records) (1994)
- Face to Face (VP Records) (1994)
- Down in the Ghetto (Greensleeves Records) (1994)
- No Argument (Greensleeves Records) (1995)
- My Xperience (VP Records/TVT Records) (1996)
- Ghetto Gramma (Greensleeves Records) (1997)
- Next Millennium (VP Records/TVT Records) (1998)
- 5th Element (VP Records) (1999)
- Ghetto Dictionary – The Mystery (VP Records) (2002)
- Ghetto Dictionary – The Art of War (VP Records) (2002)
- Nah No Mercy – The Warlord Scrolls (VP Records) (2006)
- Raise Hell on Hellboy (PayDay Music Group) (2009)
- Summertime – Bounty Killer (Feat. Patexx) (Syndicate Records) (2010)
- Summertime – Buss Out Remix (Bounty Killer Feat. Busta Rhymes & Patexx) (Syndicate Records) (2011)
|Hot 100||US R&B/Hip-Hop|
|1994||“You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No) (World of Respect ’94 Mix)” (featuring Dawn Penn, Dennis Brown and Ken Boothe)||58||42||Come Again|
|1997||“Hip-Hopera” (feat. Fugees)||81||54||My Xperience|
|1998||“Deadly Zone” (feat. Mobb Deep and Rappin’ Noyd)||–||–||Next Millennium and Blade soundtrack|
|2001||“Hey Baby” (No Doubt feat. Bounty Killer)||5||–||Rock Steady|
|2002||“Guilty” (Swizz Beatz feat. Bounty Killer)||–||104||Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories|
|2005||“P.S.A. B.K. 2004” (feat. Jay-Z)||–||75||N/A|
- ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k Moskowitz, David V. (2006) Caribbean Popular Music: an Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, and Dancehall, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33158-8, p. 39-40
- Jump up ^ Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p. 35
- Jump up ^ Max, James. Beenie Man and Bounty Killer Tune for Tune on Sting 2010 Video. 20 December 2010.
- Jump up ^ Kenner, Rob (1999). The Vibe History of Hip Hop. New York: Three Rivers Press. pp. 350–7.
- Jump up ^ Peter Tatchell
- Jump up ^ Further On IN The News #22. Reggae Cyrus. March 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- Jump up ^ Morgan, Simone (2014) “Legendary Collab“, Jamaica Observer, 4 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014
- Jump up ^ Bounty Killer Accused of Running Red Lights Yahoo News, 3 February 2009
- Jump up ^ “News :: Bounty Killer’s assault trial postponed :: July 25, 2006”. The Jamaica Star. 2006-07-25. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
- Bounty Killer website
- Greensleeves Records’ Biography of Bounty Killer
- Reggae Reviews’ Bounty Killer page
- More about Bounty Killer