Bounty's fed up! - Deejay looks at crime

Observer writer

Friday, February 09, 2018

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Bounty Killer is concerned about the crime wave that has Jamaicans from Kingston to Negril Point cowering. One of dancehall's elder statesmen, the deejay told Splash this week that he has never seen this level of disorder in the country.

The 45-year-old artiste shared his concerns on Tuesday as he donated 63 beds to the Kingston Public Hospital in west Kingston.

“The youths dem need to find back demselves, because they have lost demselves an' mi a wonder if dem have any soul. The things that they are doing, it's crazy,” he said.

He pointed to continued violence in sections of St James despite a state of Emergency imposed in that parish for nearly one month.

“Normally when man si soldier, dem run gone, dem naw stick around. These youths don't value life. I think it's the morals an' attitude of the people in general. Society has left dem on their own. Dem youths nowadays, don't listen to elders,” Bounty Killer stressed.

The lanky entertainer has seen his share of criminal activity and poverty, having grown up in Trench Town and Seaview Gardens. Some of his biggest hits like Fed Up and Look were inspired by ghetto life.

He offered a solution to the out-of-control crime that is responsible for more than 100 deaths since the start of the year.

“The youths need mentoring, but they have to get back demselves. They need to listen to the elders because dem nuh connect to God anymore. Wi a do our part an' a try set a good example,” he said.

Last year was not a good one for some dancehall acts. Alkaline was questioned by the police for alleged involvement in a homicide (he was cleared); Munga Honorable was arrested and charged for alleged murder, while Ninja Man was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for murder.

Asked if he believed entertainers had any moral authority to talk about crime solutions and youth mentorship, Bounty Killer was direct.

“Some of dem, but not every entertainer. Some have lost their morals an' defile themselves. Yuh have people like me who maintain our standard an' our philosophy an' beliefs, an' we are not gonna do anything to complicate dat. Most people might not see it fit for entertainers to tell dem what to do, but as you see, dancehall has become a flea market. Every man a come out with one bag a man behind dem. Artistes are acting as if they are enemies to the people. I stop walking with entourage an' dem ting deh, because wi nuh want to lose a fan,” he said.

Bounty Killer, whose given name is Rodney Price, has been a dancehall mainstay for over 25 years. He has had his brushes with the law as well as feuds with a number of artistes including Beenie Man, Merciless, Vybz Kartel and Mavado.

In recent years, he has toned down the rhetoric by acting as a mentor to younger acts as head of The Alliance, which he started in 2003. He has also formed an 'elders bond' with old rival Beenie Man, performing together at several high-profile shows.

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