Bounty Killer Shares How Getting Shot At Age 16 Change His Life

Bounty Killer says getting shot as a teenager altered his thinking about being involved in badness

Bounty Killer
Bounty Killer

Dancehall artiste Bounty Killer has been an advocate for young people, especially men, to take charge of their lives and make good choices, but this position was fueled by a life-changing event that turned his life around.

Bounty Killer is well-known for his music that speaks out for the poor and vulnerable since he took on a public platform as a singer. His fan base was mainly from the inner-city areas as they, more than anyone else, could relate to the pain and suffering he sang about.

Before he took on his dancehall advocacy role as the “Poor People’s Governor,” Bounty Killer says he was drawn into ‘badness’ but he quickly realized that life was not for him after he was shot at 16 years old.

“I mostly do it to get attention from the girls because all the girls liked the bad boys. Back in the day, it wasn’t like now, them never really ah extort people and dem supp’n deh and dem never really did famous so I didn’t see it as fame just as a likkle respect in the community, people kinda look up to you and them rate you and the girls like you,” Bounty said as he explained his reasons for being a rude boy.

“When me get gunshot when me a 16, uhm uhm, you nuh bad,” the artiste says as he vigorously shakes his head. “Yuh nuh bad, nuh bodda wan’ bad. If so badness feels inna my ribs, mi nuh bodda want bad.”

The artist recalled that he started going to parties at 12 years old and once wore his ‘dressing’ shoes reserved only for special occasions, which resulted in a beating from his father.

Beenie Man and Bounty Killer at Rebel Salute 2023

That was the moment the artist said he resolved to himself to hustling by going down by the Riverton community to look for copper and other items taken to the dump. That’s when he bought his first shoe- the iconic Clarks.

That led to him disliking his father and beginning to “par” with badman, Bounty said.

“So mi done wid my father when me a 12 bredda cause mi say the man tek mi fi eediat, the man buy me shoes and a beat me, ah nuh my bredda shoes, ah my shoes and if you tell me nuh wear it again, weh yah kill me for my shoes… so mi stop talk to my father and say nuh bodda buy me no more shoes and go par with the bad man dem now and feel say mi ah man and go run back a man and get gunshot,” Bounty said.

The artist also recalled how bad he felt when he was shot because the incident affected his parents, who had been warning him about the consequences of the life he was taking on.

That’s when he decided to go back to making figurines and listening to his parents.

Bounty Killer speak on mental illness and crime

Meanwhile, Bounty Killer also spoke about mental illness being part of the crime problem Jamaica is facing, particularly in inner-city communities.

“I think it plays a lot and then people never think that people have mental problem. Then the gruesome crimes that happen in Jamaica, we have to think mental problems involved. The man that killed his four nieces and dem madda, dat deh man coulda sane? I strongly believe mental problems involved in these killings,” Bounty added.

The artist added that Jamaicans did not take mental health issues seriously, and he also lamented that citizens were selfish and callous and had an “each man look out fi dem own, the strong will survive,” mentality and did not support the weak and vulnerable, disabled, and sick.

Bounty Killer also spoke about growing older and becoming mature. He also warned other artists not to make the same mistakes as he did.

“Pride and ego are dangerous things. Ambition is the thing, not pride. And that used to make me a certain way, I was too prideful,” he said as he mentioned that his fan’s love and support helped him to want to change and be better.

Bounty Killer also shared some wisdom that he had to fight for his spot, which might have been the reason for his angry personality in his younger years. However, he says once you are at the time, you aren’t concerned about those things, and if you embrace maturity, things will work out.