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Warlord 'Def' with poetry

By GERMAINE SMITH, Staff Reporter

THE DUST OF excitement has not yet settled on deejay Bounty Killer's poetic love verses in the track 'It's Ok'. As the track continues to generate discussion about Killer's softer side, his poetic endeavours will go international when he lights up the HBO Cable network this year.

Bounty Killer is set to be a celebrity guest on Hip Hop Mogul Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam series. He was in New York last month where he shot scenes for the taped series, which will be aired later this year.

The show is a highly rated one which features the most popular and talented artistes in entertainment. It has featured acts like Kayne West, Alicia Keys, Smokey Robinson and other leading entertainment figures. Def Poetry Jam features themes which range from politics, to love and violence, which are all presented in brutally frank terms, giving viewers a graphic presentation where performers are free to express their thoughts without the words being edited.

Bounty Killer was unavailable for comment about his latest endeavour up to press time yesterday, but Rush Communications Vice President and Special Advisor to Russell Simmons Gary Foster said Bounty was a clear choice.

Rush Communications is the parent company of the businesses owned by Russell Simmons. They are also responsible for the production of the Def Poetry Jam series. Simmons told THE WEEKEND STAR that Bounty Killer was an obvious choice for the series because of what he represents.

"We have a series and what we try to do is give poets a chance to express themselves. There is no editing so their thoughts come across as real," he stated. "It's hard to think of poetry and not think of Jamaica. The series talks about the social issues of society and Bounty Killer, as you know, is known as the Poor People's Governor. Looking at what he went through and the message he carries for the forgotten people, it fits into what we are doing."

Bounty Killer is associated with hard-edged gritty lyrics which sometimes detail the gritty side of Kingston. More recently, he has been showing his softer side in several of his tracks, but for many fans it is a hard stretch of the imagination to see Bounty Killer standing before a microphone reciting poetry. Foster stated, however, that poetry is simply song verse without music.

"Last year, it was Buju Banton, and this year it was overwhelming that we wanted to have Bounty Killer as our celebrity guest ... Being as we are in music, if you take away the music from some of our songs that is poetry ... we give artistes a chance to show us their world as they see it."

According to Foster, the performance was a bellyful for the list of celebrities present as Bounty performed without music.

"Out of all our celebrity guests like Kayne West, Alicia Keys, Jay Z, Bounty Killer received an overwhelming response from the audience. He did two great pieces. They gave him a standing ovation and this shows the type of person Bounty Killer is to these people," stated Foster.

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April 1, 2005

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