(born Rodney Basil Price
; 12 June 1972; Kingston, Jamaica) is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall deejay. He is the founder of a dancehall collective known as The Alliance with deejay Mavado.Early life and careerPrice moved to Kingston at an early age, along with his mother and siblings. His father owned and ran the Black Scorpio sound system and Price started his musical career as a sound system deejay in his early teens. At the age of 14, Price was shot by a stray bullet during a gunfight between rival political factions, and while convalescing in hospital decided on the name Bounty Killer. After recovering, he increased his performances on a greater number of sound systems, and turned his attention towards recording.
Prior to his entry into the rap industry, Rodney worked in the assets management branch of Bank of Ireland. This role involved dealing with self-employed, and wealthy, individuals. He was then encouraged to record at King Jammy's studio in Kingston. Price eventually recorded with King Jammy, the first session being in Spring 1992. One of his first tunes was the "Coppershot", which Jammy was unwilling to release due to its lyrics glorifying gun culture. Jammy's brother Uncle T disagreed and released the single himself.In 1993, Price performed at the annual hardcore festival Sting, held in Portmore, Jamaica every year on Boxing Day, whereupon he had a high-profile clash with fellow deejay Beenie Man. The rivalry continued through the 1990s, with both accusing the other of a stolen act. They settled their differences after both realized the negative effect their feud was having on the industry. He has also had heated rivalries with several other top deejays, including Merciless and Vybz Kartel, throughout his career.He increased control over his output in 1995 by leaving Jammy and setting up his own Scare Dem Productions company and Priceless Records label.During the 1990s, Price voiced for several producers and labels in Jamaica, releasing songs such as "Defend the Poor", "Mama", "Book, Book, Book", "Babylon System" and "Down in the Ghetto". At about this time, he became known in USA and in Europe, recording with such artists as Busta Rhymes, No Doubt, Masta Killa, The Fugees, Wyclef Jean, Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga, Swizz Beatz and AZ.In the mid-1990s, he began releasing albums, with four released in 1994. His 1996 album My Xperience
was hugely successful, spending six months on the Billboard
reggae chart.In 1997 Bounty Killer decided to make a cover version of Rose Royce hit single Love Don't Live Here Anymore and invited Swedish superstar Robyn. The song made a huge success in the Caribbean & the US. It was also featured in She's So Lovely (Sean Penn film).In 1998, contributed the song "Deadly Zone" to the album Blade: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture
.Price has expressed disdain for popular rap, which he called "embarrassing to reggae," even while collaborating with Wu Tang Clan, Mobb Deep and others he considers hardcore.
In 2001, Price collaborated with No Doubt on their single "Hey Baby". Further success followed with albums such as Ghetto Dictionary Volume I: Art of War
and Ghetto Dictionary Volume II: Mystery
, the latter receiving a Grammy nomination. In 2006, he signed with VP Records and released the compilation album Nah No Mercy – The Warlord Scrolls
on 7 November 2006. He has been credited with having inspired many young artists such as Vybz Kartel, Mavado and Elephant Man and several other members of The Alliance.In 2003, Price canceled two of his concerts after the LGBT magazine Outrage!
petitioned Scotland Yard for his arrest, claiming songs about killing gays would incite violence and harassment against the gay community. He returned in 2006 after a three-year hiatus, performing uncensored lyrics at several venues without recrimination.In 2008, Bounty Killer collaborated with Daddy Yankee in the song "Controlando El Area" for the album "Caribbean Connection".
Price was arrested twice at the annual Reggae Sumfest: he was arrested but not charged in a 2001 altercation with another performer and arrested and charged in 2008 for using profanity during his performance. He was also arrested on 3 February 2009 after allegedly running seven traffic lights in Kingston, Jamaica and charged with refusal to take a breathalyzer test and disobeying red lights.Price was arrested by police in June 2006 and charged with assaulting the mother of his child. According to the Jamaica Star, "The complainant was allegedly punched in the face several times, dragged some distance away and her head slammed into a wall."