Bounty Killer turns 48 yesterday.
Bounty Killer has established many aliases during his long and illustrious career. However, it can be argued that his most impactful moniker has been “The Poor People’s Governor.” A huge chunk of his catalog is dedicated to the struggles of the Jamaican inner cities where he was brought up. Killer is always voicing his concerns and suggestions for solutions to the various problems the Jamaican people face. His concern is expressed in classics such as “Poor People Fed Up”, “Look Into My Eyes,” and “Anytime,” which accurately accessed the socioeconomic landscape of Jamaica at the time.
As Bounty Killer matured, he has been giving back to Jamaica beyond the scope of music. In 2018 he started the Bounty Killer Foundation, which is geared towards tackling poverty and uplifting the youth. He has since undertaken many additional projects, including helping out reggae icon Junior Byles with medical bills while also being a major force in his community of Seaview Gardens.
Since the global pandemic, the Bounty Killer Foundation has been launched into overdrive, taking on numerous projects with several partners for the good of the community. Rodney Price has matured into a full-blown philanthropist.
In May, Bounty Killer made donations to the Kingston Public Hospital for the second year running – the very hospital that treated him for a gunshot wound at the age of 16. This year the dancehall icon chipped in with 80 gallons of paint, two air-conditioning units, 20 cases of water, 10 cases of diapers, and 300 lunches for the volunteers and staff at both the KP and Victoria Jubilee hospitals.
Grunggaadzilla, as he is affectionately known on social media, had help from the entertainment industry also, which included recording artiste and reality TV star Safaree and dancehall artiste Stacious. Bounty said his foundation’s Labour Day donation to the hospital is to become an annual affair.
17-year-old Ashley Watson was also a beneficiary of the Bounty Killer Foundation. As a single mother, Ashley seemed to be having a hard time with her living space. The foundation provided her with a $100,000 and material to complete a one bedroom and one bathroom home. Ashley found it difficult to hold in her tears as she showered Bounty with praise. “I would love to express my deep gratitude to the donors for this tremendous support. I just want to say a big thank you. I am honored and grateful.”
After stating that “Digicel a fimi cell” in the high profile Verzuz battle between himself and Beenie Man it seemed ordained that Bounty partners with the telecommunications giant for charity. The scene this time was Majesty Gardens, a place Bounty calls home. Care packages were handed out to members of the community as part of Digicel’s $42 million ongoing Operation SAFE Mode project (Sanitization. Advocacy. Feeding. Enabling). Bounty was again on the frontline, exercising care both as an influential entertainer and a concerned citizen.
Bounty Killer didn’t stop there as he was visible in the recent protest that took place in front of the United States Embassy in Jamaica. The cause this time was the “Black Lives Matter” movement with the world’s sympathy going out to the victims of police brutality in the U.S. On this occasion, the Poor People’s Governor became an advocate for social justice as the people chanted “No justice, no peace,” a phrase that echoes Bounty’s own sentiments in his lyric: “When you show us hope, we will show you peace” from his song “Look Into My Eyes.”
Bounty Killer is now one of the first dancehall moguls to come of age right in front of our eyes and has grown into a model citizen. Much like his hip-hop peers Jay-Z and Master-P, he has now ventured into helping the communities that helped to make him the star he is today, showing no matter how far the tree grows, it stays rooted.