STAR of the Month : From Matlock to Bounty Killer
In dancehall and reggae culture, prominent figures choose monikers of popular Hollywood film characters for their own alternate personas.
Josey Wales, Charlie Chaplin and Bounty Hunter are a few examples. The final of the three was the first stage name of a mature Rodney Price, now internationally known as Bounty Killer.
Originally based on Clint Eastwood's character in the 1954 western, Killer's musical career began with the use of Bounty Hunter, but years prior, the dancehall star was once called Matlock.
"We used to have this thing name 'drama', where we mek up story about each other," Bounty Killer told THE STAR, estimating that he was about 11 or 12 years old at the time.
"My fren dem call me Matlock because me one would win most of the drama. Every time you seh sup'm, I have sup'm fi contradict it or fi counteract it."
The artiste recalled making treks over to Riverton to hang out around the big sound system. There, Bounty discovered his quick and creative thinking skills. Proud of his discovered witticisms, Killer recognised that his skills of 'counteraction' could develop into a career in performance.
"One night, we a drama, and me a win all a di drama dem, an' a man seh 'Since yuh have suh much argument, we a go give yuh di mic!' Mi neva know wah fi sing because I never really have myself as a deejay. Mi hold di mic fi deejay and mi end up a sing," Bounty told THE STAR, noting that he sang a Junior Reid song.
Bounty said the good reaction he got from that performance led to him writing his first set of bars that later propelled him into starting a music career.