Dancehall icons Bounty Killer and Baby Cham pulled out all the stops on Saturday as they unveiled their Time Bomb EP, a collaboration with super- producer Dave Kelly. The event was held at Di Lot on Constant Spring Road in St Andrew.
The Time Bomb EP was officially released on Friday, along with a documentary chronicling the remarkable influence Dave Kelly’s Madhouse Productions had on the world of dancehall.
The party began at a few minutes after 11 when Baby Cham ran on to the stage singing the first verse of Time Boom, and the crowd cheered with the first appearance of Bounty Killer.
"This is a bomb, not a bomb scare, we are in a bomb shelter!" Bounty Killer declared.
Both of them performed Time Bomb again, even opting to do the song a third time a capella.
Bounty Killer and Baby Cham are two of the industry’s elite deejays and this effort is a true test of their branding power.
They showed off their great chemistry together as they combined on songs like Vibe, Mad Eh Nuh, and Badman Ting, all songs from the EP.
Bad Man Ting (with a feature from actor Idris Elba) was among the crowd favourites. The crowd loved it so much, they did it several times, and finally in a capella style with minor accompaniment from the band.
Another crowd favourite was Vibe which had an interactive nature as the crowd chanted 'like dem a try bruk mi (expletive deleted) vibe' at appropriate times during the various scenarios both narrated in the song.
The Time Bomb set also features the already-released Slow Motion single with Dexta Daps, Don't Play and the title track.
As the event drew to a close, the temperature spiked again when Bounty Killer asked the band: 'Can we give them something special?'
Bounty Killer then paused to pay tribute to producer Dave Kelly.
"I don't think everyone understand the legacy and contribution of Dave Kelly and Madhouse Music to dancehall. If you people really understood what that man did, he wrote, composed, produced mixed and he sings too just true he doesn't appear on stage. A lot of producers doesn't have those five entity in music and he has been doing it for many years. Through the 90s, we have a lot of great producers who are not doing it anymore, he has contributed it and still contributing," Bounty Killer said in tribute to the producer.
"To a real legend, who is still living and giving, riddim up!"
The dynamic duo then took the crowd on a trip down memory lane as they did songs such as their smash hit, Another Level on the Bug rhythm. They kept the energy going, feeding off each other. On the Bug beat, Baby Cham wowed the crowd with Ghetto Pledge before Bounty Killer tore up the venue with Look Into My Eyes. On the Showtime rhythm, Cham did Galang Yah Gal, and the crowd almost lost its collective mind when Bounty Killer chimed in with Eagle and Hawk, earning one of biggest forwards of the night.
"One general! One general!" a male patron kept shouting during this segment of Bounty Killer's performance.
A triumphant Bounty Killer, pleased with himself, then asked the crowd : "Dem think we wouldn’t find it?". The crowd cheered. And both artistes flashed 100 megawatt grins.
The duo closed off their set by doing the title track, Time Bomb, again.
Cham and Bounty first met in the mid-90s at Arrows recording studio in East Kingston. At the time, Cham, a student of Calabar High School, soon became Bounty's protege. They started working with Kelly in 1996.
It has been almost 20 years since Bounty released an album. In fact, his last album was the Grammy-nominated Ghetto Dictionary, which was released by VP Records in 2002. He has released over 10 albums, including the critically acclaimed My Xperience in 1996, his best-selling album to date.
- Claude Mills