Bounty Killer was his usual brash self when he spoke with THE STAR recently. Never reluctant to speak his mind, the ‘Warlord’ addressed upcoming artiste Flippa Mafia’s song Unfinished House, which comes over as an indirect insult to Bounty Killer. But there were other pressing issues on his mind, such as the “dancers them (in scarf and tight pants) weh need fi change up dem sum’n” and the Mavado/Vybz Kartel rivalry.
A dancehall veteran of two decades, Bounty Killer, born Rodney Price, has been credited for launching the career of several deejays (“All the yutes dem need a Killer a back dem and dem gone”), chief among them, Mavado and Vybz Kartel, who are now bitter lyrical rivals vying for the top spot in dancehall. One, Mavado, is a ‘gangster crooner’ with impeccable melody, and the other, a revered lyricist with the gall to challenge anyone, including his former mentor, Bounty. When asked about the two, not surprisingly, Bounty credited Mavado, who is still a member of his Alliance crew, as the better artiste.
In a controversial move in late 2006, Kartel stepped out of his ‘father’s house’ and into his own, leaving the Alliance to form Portmore Empire. Since then, Kartel has been at odds with Alliance members.
According to Bounty, Kartel would have reached a lot further in his career had he remained loyal to the Alliance that launched his career and might even be as far internationally as Mavado currently is.
wickedest genius lyrically
“Kartel a di wickedest genius, lyrically, but him still can’t throw Mavado. Kartel buss 10 years now and Mavado bigger than yuh and richer than yuh and him have at least three points ahead of Kartel. Some of these niggaz are stupid and just want to run di clubs and the streets,” he said with his usual strong intonations.
The usually miserable Bounty wasn’t hard-pressed to pour on the praises for his musical sons, Mavado and Serani, who have been stirring the Billboard charts and have gained recognition from international media. Bounty believes the Kartel-led Portmore Empire, which was formed in late 2007, will not reach far and his Alliance is still the strongest dancehall conglomerate around. Bounty drew parallels between the Empire and Alliance, going as far as renaming the Portmore Empire the Ungrateful Alliance.
He elaborated, “Look pon MTV Jams, yu si nobody from Gaaa-zer? Nuh Mavado yuh si? Mavado deh pon Hot 97 in a New York an’ a tour the whole a di US. Yuh never did know seh a suh Mavado bad till him start clash with Kartel, don’t? When Kartel leave Alliance him a do him thing and Mavado come replace him as a general. Who in a Portmore Empire can step up and be a leader? Jah Vinci? Blak Ryno? Dem a follower.
“Serani and Mavado are mashing up big time on BET and MTV. Alliance is going on strong and is the strongest ting out deh now,” he said.
Bounty Killer posited that recent altercations between him and Kartel and the Monster Hemp Higher, are as a result of a lack of respect for the elders.
“Monster Hemp Higher use to par wid we and Scare Dem. A me sing bout dem an’ mek dem bus as a crew,” said Bounty. “These yutes don’t have any moral or loyalty or response for where dem a come from – dats the problem with society.”