Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throw Back - 20 Years Since Bounty Killer's Powerful 'Down In The Ghetto' Single

Words of beatmaker Echo Slim who was recently highlighted for his reworks of the classic Bob Marley and Super Cat remix on LargeUp dot com, takes us back to 1994 when he first encountered Bounty Killer and his impression of the powerful single, "Down In The Ghetto."

Its the fall of 1994.....relocating from the outskirts of usually chilly Toronto to the tropical climate of Miami.  I immediately immerse myself in the local sound system culture. Already being familiar with iconic deejays such as Super Cat, Shabba Ranks, Ninja Man, Tiger, Papa San and other greats, I almost flipped when I first heard one of the most unique voices in the history of music

"Well, dis one called Down Inna Di Ghetto, none otha den the mighty Bounty Killa...."

Ms Ivy's son, aka the Warlord, aka Rodney Price instantly earned my respect when I heard the classic 'Down In The Ghetto' or as Killer actually says it, 'Down Inna Di Ghetto.'

Bounty was straight dropping knowledge behind the mesmerizing horns and sick bass line of the Shank I Sheck riddim.  It's sad that many of my friends and I could relate to this song living in America, the suppposed land of equality - whether that be racial equality, socio economic equality or just overall, equal opportunity for all citizens.  I can only imagine what Bounty saw happening in Jamaica at the time with his own eyes.  This song along with many other classic gens, solidified his legacy as the defender of the poor, and earned him the title, "poor people's govenor."

Bounty never shot a music video for "Down Inna The Ghetto" and quite frankly, a music video could never really portray the realness of such a powerful song.  However, if you wish to see what inspired the song, you can't do better than this documentary segment from Jamaican TV show Entertainment Report which follows Bounty Back to Callaloo Bed in Riverton City, one of the impoverished areas where he grew up.  The segment gave me even more of an appreciation for this classic song, and Bounty's entire catalog.  

Excerpts:
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