STAR of the Month : Shabba's stardom inspired me - Bounty Killer

March 15, 2017
Bounty Killer
Shabba poses onstage after being honoured at Reggae Sumfest in 2012.

STAR of the Month Bounty Killer says he started to take his career in music seriously after seeing Shabba Ranks break on to the international scene.

Selling figurines on the streets of Seaview Gardens was how the dancehall veteran made a living before Shabba's super stardom gave him the push he needed to pursue music as more than just a hobby.

"Mi move to Seaview bout 1983/84, and mi start do figurine. Mi never a pay attention to no deejaying. Mi never even memba say mi coulda deejay," he said.

"When Shabba come live a Seaview now, that's when the whole reflection come back now. You see the super stardom now cause Shabba win Grammy and the deejay thing just seem like it taking off. The biggest thing we ever see in the 80s was a Ninja Man and a Super Cat then Buju come. Shabba come and Grammy get inna it now, and we start say, 'yes we can make it outta deejaying'. Shabba live a Seaview, and when we see di Benz dem drive in and see Rolex pan Shabba hand, me believe inna dis now. That's how me wah be like Shabba."

Superstar corner, an audition spot of sorts, was birthed in Seaview following Shabba's rise to fame. That spot, Bounty Killer explained, was where he and other deejays were given the chance to prove their worth.

"Di whole a di likkle yute dem now, use to come deejay. Me, Elephant Man and couple others. Dem start sing, and Shabba start come out deh once a while come sing and crowd start build cause Shabba come out a sing inna di community. A big sup'm dat, and di place ram, and the thing turn into a good likkle platform. Every likkle artiste wah go round deh go get a likkle piece," he said.


Rising deejay


"Big Things was the song he penned and performed at Superstar Corner, and that song turned out to be the song that elevated him as a rising deejay within the community.

"Mi go round a Superstar Corner, and it get a good forward cause it was a community topic, a hot topic," he recalled. "Singing that and getting that good response make me see say dat skill still deh deh, and mi start go round a Superstar Corner a evening time go sing and practise until we get a link fi go do some dubplates."

From dubplates to full-length songs to a Grammy award of his own, Bounty Killer used Shabba's success as his own measuring stick and has built for himself a successful career and a right to be listed among the legends of dancehall music.

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