STAR of the Month : Bounty recalls first int'l dubplate, 'Dub Fi Dub'
One of the motivations for Bounty Killer to record music stemmed from a pastime of making dubplates for sound systems.
For him, it was not only his knack for 'counteractions' and intense rhymes that propelled his career, but his attention to topical community events and his eagerness to record dubplates and be heard on a big sound system.
Coming from a culture where dubplates were available based on proximal access rather than ability to compensate, Bounty recalls recording his first dubplates free of cost.
He told THE STAR that he followed sound systems in Kingston in his younger days, and spent much time hanging around King Jammys and Uncle T's studio.
It was in the early '90s that the artiste came to realise that one way to break into dancehall could be recording dubplates.
Inspired by an unfortunate incident of incest in a local inner city community, Bounty told THE STAR that he was invited to take up the microphone during a sound clash, at the behest of his friend and owner of Arabic sound system, Crack Skull.
"Big tings, 2004, dem catch a man a give him daughter hardcore," he sang out during the interview, rhyming his first impromptu dub.
Bounty recalled being invited to Crack Skull's makeshift studio and recording on his component set.
"We never tink 'bout radio or studio. Dem ting deh was too big. A Michael Jackson ting dat," he said. "Mi jus ah rhyme inna mi head. You know how di deejay ting work. That was a community topic, so it get a good response."
Still, Bounty's voice was not yet heard on a 'big sound'. He said Prento, a studio engineer with King Jammys, told the two 'hang-around yutes', (himself and Harry Toddler) to fill a special pre-release record for the popular Metro Media with one dub each.
Bounty already recorded Dip Him and Wash Mi Gun, released by Uncle T, and was convinced that his dubplate, aptly titled Dub Fi Dub (1993), would be the one that broke big.
"Dem ah talk 'bout dem have di most dub. Dem ah brag 'bout dem have di best set a dub. Mi nuh care, mi nuh response fi man dub," he recalled again in rhythmic rhyme. "Dem a talk 'bout dub fi dub. Dem fi guh dub dem modda. Every clash man a talk 'bout dub fi dub."
According to Bounty, veteran selector Sky Juice pulled for Dub Fi Dub at an event in Woodford Park on South Camp Road, which elicited a good response.
However, Bounty explained that at the time, there was no greater accomplishment than being heard on a big sound, especially if the dub was played abroad.
"Sky Juice go a one clash a Canada, and dem guh seh Dub Fi Dub, an' Sky Juice guh draw di song. Sound dead. Dem time deh when your dub kill a sound a foreign, a Grammy dat yuh get innuh," he said.
Bounty said back in the days, selectors had their 'specials' (precursors to dubplates). So each sound system wanted specials they could premiere.
"It was skills back inna di day. A man wah guh get anodda one weh hotta dan da one deh, fi seh fi mi own exclusive more dan your own," he said. "Now a hype. Everybody just want wah everybody have. Wagonists. Nuh man nuh wah buss anodda Bounty. Creativity a di best dem time deh."