‘Verzuz’: It’s Bounty Killer vs. Beenie Man; Here’s What to Know About the Dancehall Legends

Verzuz has evolved into a phenomenal online event that celebrates music, culture, and various eras. On May 23, the event welcomes two reggae-dancehall icons: Beenie Man and Bounty Killer.

It is the first time two artists from this musical genre are appearing on Verzuz, and not only is all of Jamaica excited, but so is the rest of dancehall-loving world.

For the uninitiated, dancehall
—called deejays—essentially rap over riddims (beats) in patois about
any topic they choose. Much like hip-hop, some songs are socially conscious, and
some are about sex, faith, the streets, or taking out one’s enemies.

Back in the day, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man had a rivalry that
makes the energy of Verzuz all the more worthwhile. If you don’t know who they
are or are unfamiliar with their track records of hits, here’s a little about
their backgrounds.

Beenie Man | JMEnternational/Redferns/Getty Images; Bounty Killer | Scott Gries/Getty ImagesBounty Killer is a dancehall king

As an up-and-coming deejay in his youth, Rodney “Bounty Killer” Price worked under the name “Bounty Hunter” and did some of his first songs with Jamaican sound systems such as Metromedia and Bodyguard.

He began recording singles around 1990 and at the same time, built became popular in Jamaica for the dubplates he made with the famous sound systems.

By 1992, things really started to pop with the release of tracks “Coppershot,” “New Gun,” the eternally loved “Spy Fi Die,” and more.

His debut album Jamaica’s Most Wanted (aka Roots Reality & Culture) was hard, and featured the aforementioned classics as well as “Gun Thirsty,” “Girl Say Yes,” and “Dub Fi Dub.” Throughout the early ‘90s, his albums made him hot in Jamaica, the US, and internationally.

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Bounty Killer linked up with some of hip-hop’s finest for his 1998 album, Next Millennium, which included songs with Mobb Deep, Smif-N-Wessun, and Killah Priest.

He’s dropped more than one dozen albums and collaborated with reggae (e.g. Richie Stephens, Dawn Penn, Junior Reid), dancehall, and hip-hop artists. He and “nemesis” Beenie Man even joined forces to make music.

From ’92 to 2005, he’s dropped a number of classics with lyrics about street life, social issues, and of course, his competition. And he’s still making music.

In 2002, he was nominated for a Grammy for Bounty Killer has a voice that’s unmistakable and style that makes him one of dancehall’s most recognizable stars.

Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet


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