Album review
Ghetto Dictionary ~ The Art Of War
Bounty Killer
VP Records-Walboomers Music
CD / 2LP
16 - 06 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Bring On The War (Intro) featuring DJ Khaled
  2. Blood Bath
  3. Killa Is A Killa
  4. Warlord Nuh Business
  5. Man Ah Bad Man The Sequel featuring T.O.K.
  6. Stainless
  7. Look Good
  8. Which One
  9. Death Bound
  10. Likkle Dread Bwoy
  11. Smile Up
  12. Top Ah Top
  13. Gunz On The Run
  14. Just Dead
  15. Gun Mouth
  16. Sumfest
  17. All Out War
  18. After All
  19. W.A.R.R.
  20. War Lady
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

Jamaican deejays Brigadier Jerry and Ranking Joe were the early influences of one Rodney Price a.k.a. Bounty Killer, who made his recording debut in 1990 when he voiced his first single for King Jammy's brother Uncle T and continued to record for Jammy & family until 1995 when he founded his own Priceless label. Right from the start of his recording career Bounty Killer has played a prominent role in reggae dancehall music. Furthermore he has enjoyed some success with releases that geared equally for fans of hip-hop and dancehall often featuring collaborations with artists from the US hip-hop scene, but it was his contribution to No Doubt’s huge pop hit "Hey Baby" that has exposed a whole new audience to Bounty Killer and dancehall influenced music. Bounty Killer is so large these days and carries such a deep arsenal of tunes that not one, but two albums have been released by VP Records.
Bounty Killer's long awaited "Ghetto Dictionary" project consists of two separate and distinct albums: "The Mystery" and "The Art Of War". The latter is a compilation of recent Bounty Killer offensives aimed at those who dare to take him on lyric for lyric. The so-called "war lyrics" have been a stage-show phenomenon in Jamaican dancehall: a tradition of delivering pointed lyrics and digs at competitive deejays. Legend of these incendiary verses is passed along by word of mouth. In the process, reputations and sometimes careers are built or destroyed. Notable examples include Prince Jazzbo vs. I Roy, Ninjaman vs. Shabba Ranks and Bounty Killer vs Beenie Man. "Warlord nuh business, everybody dead!" intones The Killer on this "The Art Of War" set, which fully displays the Warlord's skill in "killing his opponents dead" with lyrics in a "deejay battle". Having heard the tracks featured on this set one simply has to admit that Bounty Killer clearly demonstrates that he has no fear to speak out against those in the music industry who aggravate or oppose him.
The album begins with a nice, somewhat bombastic introduction by Miami's DJ Khaled, which is followed by a real tough tune entitled "Blood Bath". From here there's no lack of vital matching cuts. "Killa Is A Killa" and "Warlord Nuh Business" are two more tough deliveries, before "Man Ah Bad Man The Sequel", an entertaining combination tune by Bounty Killer and Jamaica's ultra hot quartet T.O.K. across Richard "Shams" Browne’s infectious "Glue" riddim, drops in. Also the next five pieces showcase Bounty Killer's strength to the max, with especially the outrageous "Look Good" and "Which One" belonging to our favorite picks. "Smile Up" is another tough delivery, which is followed by the killer tune "Top A Top" and the awesome, Steely & Clevie produced "Gunz On The Run" and the solid "Just Dead" over the hot "X5" riddim. Then one is treated to the self-produced Gun Mouth", a nice effort that is followed by a wicked version over Massive B's "The Rock" riddim called "Sumfest". Also worth hearing is the remixed version of All Out War", initially delivered over the "Trilogy" riddim, and the wicked "After All". "The Art of War" keeps the art of counteraction very much alive and secures Bounty Killer's status as the toughest competitor in the dancehall game. Not to be missed!!

Teacher & Mr. T.