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Bounty Killer

Bounty KillerAKA Rodney Basil Price

Born: 12-Jun-1972
Birthplace: Trenchtown, Kingston, Jamaica

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Rapper

Nationality: Jamaica
Executive summary: Dancehall rude boy, Copper Shot

Born into a family of nine in Kingston's Trenchtown ghetto, at a very young age Rodney Price moved with his family to Riverton City, a community built on top of the Kingston city dump. It was here that he began to take the microphone at public gatherings and talent shows, smack-talking the crowd or performing popular songs. Price eventually adopted the name "Bounty Hunter" and started to develop his own lyrics, which centered around his experience of poverty and violence -- an experience that, at the age of fourteen, extended to catching a bullet in a gang crossfire while walking home from school in the Seaview Gardens housing projects. His impoverished circumstances eventually forced him to drop out of school, at which time the then-teenager divided his energies between street hustling with his older brother to raise money for food and working to establish himself in the Jamaican music industry. Traveling with his crew to participate in shows that were increasingly farther away from his home base, Bounty's reputation gradually spread beyond Seaview into other areas of the island.

By the mid-80s Bounty had begun to establish himself on the regional sound system circuit, his song Dub Fi Dub having a particiularly strong impact. It was around this time that the vocalist and some of his Seaview co-horts hooked up with producer King Jammy, the man that had launched the "digital Dancehall" genre. Ultimately, Jammy shied away from Bounty's gun-oriented lyrics, but his brother "Uncle T" recognized the appeal the material would have in the increasingly hardcore-oriented climate of the U.S. music scene; this assessment proved to be accurate, and the track Copper Shot became a hit with the New York Dancehall underground in 1992 even before catching on in Jamaica. Now using the name "Bounty Killer", he continued to attract international attention throughout the remainder of the year with the aggressive themes of tracks such as Spy Fi Die, New Gun and Lodge. A debut full-length Jamaica's Most Wanted (later given a wider release under the title Roots, Reality and Culture) materialized in 1993, collecting all the popular tracks from this early part of his career.

The same year as his first album's release, Bounty Killer began a public feud with fellow Dancehall performer Beenie Man, whom Bounty accused of stealing his material and delivery. In the years that followed, the two made regular attacks on one another in their lyrics, and occasionally turned up on stage to disrupt each other's performances; this feud was (somewhat) laid to rest in the late 90s when the two recognized that their personal rivalry might erupt into real violence between their supporters. In 1995 Bounty left King Jammy and Uncle T to form his own Scare Dem production company (a collective that included other Seaview performers such as Elephant Man, Boom Dandimite and Nitty Kutchie) and create the Priceless Record label. He subsequently consolidated his popularity in his homeland with the releases Down in the Ghetto (1995) and No Argument (1996), but it was his fourth effort My Xperience (1996) that broke Bounty Killer into the American mainstream: featuring high-profile guests like The Fugees and Busta Rhymes, the album climbed into the U.S. R&B top 30 and dominated the reggae charts.

After the 1997 UK release Ghetto Gramma', Bounty Killer returned to the big production style of My Xperience with the album Next Millennium (1998), enlisting a roster of hardcore rap performers that included Noreaga, Killah Priest and Mobb Deep; this was followed by a return to his Dancehall roots with The 5th Element in 1999. His most high-profile mainstream exposure arrived in 2001 as a result of a guest appearance both on the No Doubt single Hey Baby and in its accompanying video, the collaboration later extending to include to his involvement in the band's 2002 pre-Super Bowl performance and their appearance on the UK's Top of the Pops program. That same year saw the simultaneous release of two well-received Bounty Killer collections: Ghetto Dictionary: The Art of War and Ghetto Dictionary: The Mystery.

Mother: Breezer
Mother: Miss Ivy
Brother: Ballie Ballie

    Bounty Hunter
    Bounty Killer
    Shot 1986
    Assault Jamaica 5-Apr-2010

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