Tag: BountyKiller

0

From Archrivals to Legendary Dancehall Idols, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man Traded Amicable Lyrical Barbs at Reggae Sumfest 2019

In was at the 1993 stage show at Jamworld in Portmore, Jamaica known as ‘Sting’, which used be held annually on December 26th—commonly referred to as Boxing Day—where the entire country was seemingly overwhelmed by pandemonium as, dancehall entertainer, Beenie Man was in the midst of his performance when it was rudely interrupted by a menacing chant ‘People Dead’….‘People Deadd’….‘Deaaddd!!’  A startled Beenie Man quickly realized what was afoot.  That is, the figurative yet sorrowful exclamation which was heard throughout the Jamworld venue was echoing from the microphone of his fierce archrival, Bounty Killer, who had barged on stage as if he was a gladiator to challenge Beenie Man to a lyrical clash live, direct and unannounced at what has become known simply as ‘Sting 1993’.   Well, at Reggae Sumfest 2019 these same two dancehall icons met again on stage, only thing is that this time they were on much friendlier terms—to the delight of the massive audience that was on hand.

Bounty Killer on stage at Reggae Sumfest 2019 – Montego Bay, Jamaica

Born under the name of Rodney Pryce, Bounty Killer, was raised in the gritty inner-city West Kingston community of Seaview Gardens—which lies in the often violence torn area of Riverton City.   Not too far from there is Waterhouse—yet another hard scrabble neighborhood in West Kingston, Jamaica.  Moses Davis, who is popularly known as Beenie Man in Jamaica’s vibrant dancehall scene, hailed from Waterhouse.  Going beyond music and entertainment, it is also noteworthy that Shelly Ann-Fraser-Pryce, Jamaica’s world renowned sprinter and Olympic Champion (as well as World Champion) in the sport of track and field is also from that community.   In switching back to the musical genealogy of Waterhouse, King Jammy, who was a magician where producing reggae and dancehall music is concerned, also has his recording studio based in Waterhouse.  It was King Jammy’s brother, Uncle T, who first noticed a youngster who would always be hanging around outside Jammy’s studio and putting his talents on display for all to see—oftentimes challenging and putting down his competition in quick order.   The young lad who was creating such an impression outside Jammy’s studio went by the name of ‘Bounty Hunter’ at that time.  An audition platform in many ways, there was also an area within Seaview called ‘Superstar Corner’, which was where ‘Bounty Hunter’ had been honing his microphone skills for purposes of deejaying his lyrics in the dancehalls of Jamaica.   In those days, Seaview was no stranger  to spawning big time dancehall acts.  After all, dancehalls first bonafide international superstar, Shabba Ranks, came from Seaview.  And so as a result of Shabba’s rise to fame, ‘Superstar Corner’ was where Bounty Hunter and other dancehall deejays were afforded the chance to prove their worth to producers in the Jamaican music industry.  It became apparent that Uncle T ceded his control over Bounty Hunter to the studio’s owner, King Jammy, once Jammy was impressed and inquired about Rodney Pryce. At some point in that shuffle, ‘Bounty Hunter’ changed his name to ‘Bounty Killer’ in that his competition in the dancehall were not simply going to be hunted, but actually lyrically eliminated.  As it happened, Bounty Killer’s first major studio gem to hit the airwaves was titled, ‘Coppershot’ which was released in 1993 on King Jammy’s 5 Star General Riddim.  Fittingly, as a result Bounty donned the moniker, ‘5 Star General’—among many others that he’d pick up over the course of his much storied career. From then onwards, Bounty Killer’s hit parade then just rolled on and on with songs like:  ‘Down in the Ghetto’, ‘Poor People Fed Up’‘Suspense’, Eagle and Di Hawk’‘Living Dangerously’(recorded with Barrington Levy), ‘Sufferer’‘Benz and Bimma’‘Can’t Believe Mi Eyes’, and ‘Hey Baby’ (recorded with the international pop group, No Doubt).

Meanwhile, another young star in dancehall was on the rise in the Waterhouse community just the same.  Born under the name of Moses Davis, Beenie Man was a musical prodigy in that at the tender age of nine years old he recorded with the famous Bunny Lee.  And so then, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer proceeded to release hit after hit from the studios.  But according to Bounty Killer, it was King Jammy alone who he used as a vehicle to propel his career to the top of the heap of dancehall deejays in not only Kingston, but the world over.  Where Beenie was concerned, arguably his biggest crossover-style hit on the international scene was the infectious ‘Who Am I ?’ (Sim Simma…Who Got the Keys to Mi Bimma?).  That song seemingly took the world by storm.  But before Beenie had risen to those heights, Bounty Killer was convinced that Beenie had imitated his style in many ways—without any acknowledgement.  Well, while that is certainly up for debate it is arguable that Bounty’s belief in Beenie’s thievery of his style and pattern, consequently touched off a multi-decade lyrical war between him and Beenie Man.  All the while, Beenie Man just kept piling up the hits in his own right:   ‘Romie’‘Slam’‘Rum & Redbull’‘Ole Dog’‘Girls Dem Sugar’‘World Dance’‘Memories’‘Dengue Fever’‘King of the Dancehall’, and so many more.

Beenie Man on stage at Reggae Sumfest 2019 – Montego Bay, Jamaica

As an aside, it is worthy of note that Bounty Killer also has an eye for spotting talent and nurturing up-and-coming artists on their way to stardom.  In this respect, it was Bounty Killer who brought up Elephant Man, Mavado, and Vybz Kartel—all of whom had reached mega stardom in Jamaica and beyond courtesy of Bounty’s assistance and tutelage.  And along the way, Bounty Killer also has been referred to as ‘Di Poor Peoples’ Governor’ after the release of his politically laced recordings such as:  ‘Down in the Ghetto’ and ‘Poor People Fed Up’ where Bounty lashed out at the Jamaican government for what he viewed as transgressions against poor people and ‘ghetto yutes’ throughout the Kingston inner-city landscape.  What’s more, Bounty has always been steadfast in giving back to Kingston’s inner-city community by distributing school supplies to the underprivileged as well as lending a hand in painting over the Kingston Public Hospital (which treated him for a gunshot wound he suffered as a 16 year old youngster).  And for that reason, Bounty Killer says he’s forever indebted to the hospital.

Bounty Killer – Reggae Sumfest 2019 – Montego Bay, Jamaica

Against this backdrop, these two dancehall icons, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, treated the masses that gathered to revel in Festival Night I (a.k.a. Dancehall Night) at Reggae Sumfest 2019 in Montego Bay to a performance segment for the ages as both legends strutted their stuff and traded lyrics to many of their songs live and direct against each other—which ignited the Sumfest crowd since the segment was reminiscent of ‘Sting 1993’.  However, this time around Bounty exclaimed during their set that this was not about Beenie vs. Bounty, but rather it was about Moses and Rodney.   And during their joint performance, Beenie Man humorously quipped, “mi a war wid Bounty Killer for over 25 years.”  And so it was, the Bounty and Beenie saga captured in one sentence, but yet their dominance in dancehall endured for over two decades while each artist shall surely forever remain in the annuls of Jamaica’s musical history and folklore in recognition of their sheer dominance.  In the eyes of many, the musical feud between Bounty Killer and Beenie Man served to nourish both of their remarkable careers—which many artists in the industry nowadays can only envy—in terms of the consistency and creativity that they both were able to sustain for so long.  Not to say that it’s not possible, but it is doubtful that Jamaica will ever see such a dynamic duo that went at each other’s throats, and yet became so magnificent after the dust from their many skirmishes has finally settled.   In a recent interview, Bounty Killer stated that it was never personal where the feud between him and Beenie was concerned.  Rather, it was a constant competition and quest that they both undertook in order to show Jamaica and the world at large which one of them was ‘di baddest’!  Now folks, that is another debate, in and of itself, that can easily go on for another two decades.

Bounty Killer and Beenie Man together on stage at Reggae Sumfest 2019 – Montego Bay, Jamaica

Photography by Nick Ford, who lives and works in South Florida.

 

Read More

0

A Letter To Reggae Sumfest – Job Well Done
by J.D. Smith  July 27, 2019

Dear Sumfest,

It was a pleasure to have seen you again after a year of your absence. How we longed to see you, and when you finally arrived what joy you brought to us. Dancehall Night brought us the Spice, The Koffee and even a little Chronixx to get us by. Beenie Manand Bounty Killer had us rocking through the night with their legendary friendly fight. Govana did the most, Aidonia brought it over the top, Jahvillani was flagrant, Agent Sasco once again proved he was top notch!

Dexta Daps, as usual, had the ladies magic, Elephant Man and Munga Honorableproved they still have it. I didn’t even blink in an effort not to miss, despite that even at 8 am I didn’t see the 6IX. Just like that dancehall night was over leaving thrilling memories on which to reminisce, but wait, there was one night to go still.

Night two, aka Reggae Night, was an upgrade from the beautiful night before. Chris Martin sang his “Cheaters Prayer,” Romain “Bellowed,” and Beres “Roared” with the ladies hanging to his every note. Protoje was a master, Lila Ike’s introduction seemingly assured she belonged in front of the crowd. Jah 9 was mystical, Dalton Harris thrilled us with his range and sought clarity, and Etana “The Strong One” echoed her quality. Buju Banton was left for last, and the Gargamel blasted his vocals across the venue as fans craved more of the songs on the legends musical menu, needless to say, he delivered.

Then there was nothing to look forward to, and our short time together has again passed, no more sound clash, or Sumfest Street Dance no more standing aghast at talented Jamaicans taking the stage apart. Thank you Downsound and Joe Bogdanovich for investing in our Jamaican talents.

So it’s until next year again and no doubt I will miss you. See you again soon.

Yours Sincerely.

J.D. Smith
Read More

0

Bounty Killer is really feeling himself right now and rightfully so.
The dancehall kingpin says he is proud of the fact that three years shy of 50, and after more than 27 years in Jamaica’s music industry, he is aging like fine wine. “Gyal dem say mi aging gracefully; handsome dem wah hold mi ransom and 47 fit me better than 27,” the Killa declared recently in an Instagram post, which attracted more than 10,000 and hundreds of comments from adoring female fans.

Bounty Killer, born Rodney Pryce in Kingston in 1972, grew up in the battle-hardened community of Seaview Gardens in Jamaica’s capital, Kingston. He celebrated his 47th birthday two weeks ago on June 12, 2019.

The artiste, who stands at six feet two inches tall, has credited the practicing of good eating habits learned from his late mother Miss Ivy, as well as doing push-ups, for his sleek form and youthful appearance.

His tendency to spend copious amounts of time with his own children, as well as chilling with, and mentoring other youngsters through his foundation, may also be having some impact on the Killer maintaining his youthful looks.

Less than two weeks ago, he was in the company of several at-risk boys in Kingston, providing motivational talks as a part of #OurSons – an interactive session for boys and young men under the Bounty Killer Foundation.

The doting dad was also recently captured in a photo, sitting in the stands at one of his younger daughter’s school’s sports day where he took time out to give her his undivided support.

The self-proclaimed Poor People Governor shot to prominence in 1992 and became a household name following the legendary clash with arch-rival Dancehall artiste Beenie Man a year later at the Sting 1993 show, at Jamworld in St. Catherine.

This year at Reggae Sumfest, Bounty will square off with Beenie Man, in a much-anticipated friendly musical rivalry stint on Friday night, July 19, at the Catherine Hall venue in a segment dubbed ‘One night, one stage, two legends,’ a performance the artiste has predicted will be explosive.

His almost three-decade musical span has seen the release of iconic tracks such as the sound-system clash classic, Dub Fi Dub, Copper Shot and Spy Fi Die in his early Dancehall days, appearances on Multi-platinum discs, recording with some of the biggest names in world music, a joint Grammy and a plethora of other accolades.

Read More

0

Reggae Sumfest seeks to boost festival experience

May 27, 2019
Reggae Sumfest CEO Joe Bogdanovich (left) and director Robert Russell hanging out at the festival’s Montego Bay launch party.
Reggae Sumfest CEO Joe Bogdanovich (left) and director Robert Russell hanging out at the festival’s Montego Bay launch party.

With less than two months to go, Reggae Sumfest principal Joe Bogdanovich is upping the promotional ante for the 27-year old event. Speaking to The STAR, the promoter said the capacity for its new section, the Golden Triangle, is being increased to host more than 50 patrons.

“It’s providing probably the best seats in the house, and will be offered for maybe US$100 ($J13,422)a night, available for Friday and Saturday,” he said. “We’re also increasing the capacity for the ultra VIP section and we’re working on another section that we’ll tell people about later. That is gonna be an experience for everyone that is affordable for every type of patron.

He attributed this expansion to a high demand for tickets, stating patrons from across the Diaspora have expressed their interest in attending the event. He noted that the most purchased ticket thus far is for festival night one (formerly known as Dancehall Night) which unfolds on July 19, featuring acts like Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Govana and Dovey Magnum.

INTERNATIONAL CROWD

“Tickets are going very well, we’re actually getting good sales on Friday night and weekends,” he said. “Weekends are very popular tickets, people are liking what they are seeing there so it’s becoming a festival where you really have a weekend event. We’re expecting a big international crowd from Tallahassee, New York, Connecticut, Philadelphia, London, southern Florida. Fans and patrons have been saying they are coming in and we’ve been having our ads on radio stations across America, so we’re seeing the results.”

The festival will kick off with Mawnin Medz beach party, headlined by Stylo G and Skinny Fabulous at Tropical Beach, followed by the Street Dance at the Old Hospital Park on Jimmy Cliff Boulevard on Monday. An all-white party ensues on the 16th at Pier One, followed by the Blitz all-black birthday bash for soca star Bunji Garlin at the Hard Rock Cafe. The much-anticipated Global Sound Clash unfolds on Thursday at Pier One car park and precedes the two-day festival nights which closes with acts like Protoje, Buju Banton and Etana.

“Starting today we’re modifying our promotions and I think it’ll be very exciting and dynamic, you’ll see something new happening every day, on social media and other platforms,” Bogdanovich said.

Read More

0
May 10, 2019
Buju Banton (right) performs with the legendary Beres Hammond at the Long Walk to Freedom concert in March.
Buju Banton (right) performs with the legendary Beres Hammond at the Long Walk to Freedom concert in March.

When it was announced that Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and Chronixx were the headliners for this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest, the reaction from the public spoke volumes as to the amount of support the festival would receive this year.

With just over two months to go before the event gets under way, checks with several hotels in the parish of St James have revealed that most of the rooms have been fully booked until the end of July.

Reggae Sumfest’s chief organiser, Joe Bogdanovich, believes there is a direct link between the festival’s line-up and the sold-out hotels.

Pointing out that ticket sales have been going well, Bogdanovich said that he thinks the Beres, Buju and Chronixx combination is one of the main reasons hotels have been booked out this early in the season.

“Reggae Sumfest is usually a sold-out show. Hotels in the Montego Bay area usually see an increase in bookings around the period the show is being held, but this year, I know for sure the demand has been greater,” he said.

“I am not surprised some people can’t get hotel rooms right now, because based on the ticket sales, the demand for the show this year has been overwhelming. It is the best I’ve seen it since I took over the festival. I think the B.B.C line-up has a lot to do with it. Beres, Buju and Chronixx are three of the biggest artistes on the local music scene, and I think people really want to see them in action,” he said, adding that Beenie Man and Bounty Killer are expected to give legendary performances on the Friday night.

TICKETS GOING

According to Bogdanovich, tickets for this year’s festival are going so well that he and his team are thinking of adding another section to the grounds to meet demands.

“I am now thinking of building a whole new seating area, and it’s gonna be called the Golden Triangle. It will be for the more luxurious crowd. But all that will be discussed in another week or less because we are in the designing phase right now. I think we’re attracting more people this year than any other year, and we want to be prepared for that.”

Bogdanovich’s points are supported by statistics presented by Delano Seiveright, senior adviser/strategist in the Ministry of Tourism.

Seiveright told THE WEEKEND STAR that he has already seen increases in the number of hotel bookings for this year compared to the same period last year. He also said there has been an increase in the number of tourists who have booked flights to the island this summer.

“It is important to note that seat capacity for the destination this summer is 1,400,371 which is 108,872 or 8.4% more than 2018. The biggest growth is from the United States, which shows an increase of over 100,000 seats for the summer period (May through August 2019), compared with the same period in 2018,” he said.

“Jamaica has been experiencing very strong growth in tourist arrivals in recent times. This as a result of the multiple strategies pursued by the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies. Sumfest this year is mega, and already many hotels and other accommodations are reporting very high bookings, some of which is attributed to Reggae Sumfest.”

And for those who are yet to book hotel rooms, Seiveright is encouraging them to explore the Airbnb option and look beyond Montego Bay for accommodation.

Read More

0

The dancehall legends are set to perform together on the Sumfest stage on Festival Night 1 on July 19th.
Yakira Young
Apr. 24, 2019

Ladies and gentleman get your bug spray and lighters ready for this one, because this is a legendary showcase that you do NOT want to miss…

Downside Entertainment, organizers of Reggae Sumfest, revealed that icons Bennie and Bounty will be gracing the stage for a tune for tune – 90’s recall! Known for their undeniably high energy, witty lyrics, and outstanding stage presence, the pair is expected to sing songs from different genres through all ages.

Bennie and Bounty will show off their skills and talent that has allowed them to stay at the top of the dancehall scene for more than two decades, according to Cordell “Skatta” Burrell, of Downside Entertainment.

Some other great acts set to hit the stage are Spice, Spragga Benz, Elephant Man, and Squash during Festival night one on July 19th, and Buju Banton, Tarrus Riley, and Chris Martin at Festival night two on July 20th.

Find tickets and the full line up here.

Read More