Bounty Killer

SILVER FOX ARTIST PROFILE #15

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Bounty Killer (born Rodney Basil Price June 12, 1972 in Kingston, Jamaica) is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall deejay. He is the founder of a dancehall collective, known as The Alliance.

EARLY LIFE AND CAREER

Price moved to Kingston at an early age, along with his mother his 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.

1990s

During the early 1990s, Price was encouraged recorded 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; it became a hit in Jamaica and was heard by New York-based Johnny Wonder, who instantly recognized the potential of its appeal to the urban markets Stateside.

In 1993, Price performed at the annual hardcore festival Sting held in the days after Christmas. He and singer Merciless got into a fist fight on stage during the Sting festival in 1997, and Price made headlines throughout Jamaica for the rivalry with Beenie Man; both claim that the other has stolen his act. They settled their differences after both realized the negative effect their feud was having on the industry.

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 the mid-1990s, he began releasing albums, with four released in 1994. His 1996 album My Xperience was hugely successful, spending six months on the Billboard reggae chart.

In 1998, contributed the song “Deadly Zone” to the album Blade: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture.

Price has expressed disdain for popular rap, which he called “embarrassing to reggae,” even while collaborating with Wu Tang Clan, Mobb Deep and others he considers hardcore.

2000s

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 November 7, 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 that the homophobic content of his lyrics — including four songs about killing gays — would incite violence and harassment against the gay community.

PERSONAL LIFE

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 in February 3, 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.”

Bounty Killer was arrested on Monday, April 5, 2010 in relation to an alleged assault on a girlfriend. He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 7, 2010.

Discography
Albums

* 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)

EPs

* Raise Hell on Hellboy (PayDay Music Group) (2009)

Singles
US singles
Year Title Chart Positions Album
Hot 100 US R&B/Hip-Hop
2005 “P.S.A. B.K. 2004” (feat. Jay-Z) – 75 –
2002 “Guilty” (Swizz Beatz feat. Bounty Killer) – – Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories
2001 “Hey Baby” (No Doubt feat. Bounty Killer) 5 – Rock Steady
1997 “Hip-Hopera” (feat. Fugees) 81 54 My Xperience

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