JAMAICAN Dancehall DJ, Bounty Killer, who was one of the main acts in last night’s “Cease Fire” concert at the King George V Park in Port-of-Spain, failed to show, as he was denied entry into the country on Friday night by Immigration officers at Piarco International Airport.
Sunday Newsday was reliably informed that the artiste, whose real name is Rodney Price, arrived at Piarco at 8.07 pm on Friday onboard flight BW 415. However, when he disembarked the aircraft and made his way to the Immigration section he was told by officers that he was not granted permission to enter the country and that he would have to leave for Jamaica on the next available flight.
After spending almost 12 hours at the gate under the watchful eyes of security personnel, Bounty Killer departed for Kingston, Jamaica at about 7.55 am yesterday morning on flight BW 416. A source close to the concert promoter, Jacho Entertainment, claimed that they were given no logical explanation as to why Bounty Killer was denied entry. The source said initially they were told that Bounty Killer failed to produce a work permit and then they were told that he was given no permission to enter Trinidad. Local artiste Ken Charles, also known as KMC, slammed the authorities for denying Bounty Killer entry to the country and said that the promoter should sue the State.
“The promoter should sue the State because that is just, no doubt, disrespectful. After they spent all that money in advertising, it is unfair for Bounty Killer, when he actually reached into the country, should be told that he will have to return to Jamaica. The authorities could have told the promoters that he was not allowed into the country from the very beginning, don’t wait till last minute,” KMC said.
“There was no reason given. The concert was geared towards bringing peace again in the country, to show the young men and women that violence is not the way and that what they sing was just on an entertainment basis and not a lifestyle but the authorities prevented this from happening. ‘Fire bun’ the man behind this, who call the shot on Bounty Killer,” KMC added.
Shortly after midnight on Friday, there was a “breaking news” article posted on the website “Dancehall.Mobi” which stated: “Rival dancehall deejays Bounty Killer and Vybz Kartel were to headline the “Cease Fire” concert tonight at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, but we’ve just received word that upon his arrival in the twin island republic yesterday evening, the “Warlord” Bounty Killer was denied entry by Trinidad and Tobago immigration officials. It was not immediately clear why Bounty Killer was denied entry, however his former protégé now arch-nemesis – Vybz Kartel – did not suffer the same fate and was reportedly allowed to enter the country. He will perform later tonight (last night) at Cease Fire. More on this soon.”
In 2004, Bounty Killer was taken off the stage at Summerfest 2004, a concert staged at the Queen’s Park Savannah for using obscene language during his performance. He was arrested and charged under Section 51 of Trinidad’s Summary Offences Act, which makes it a crime to use language considered profane, indecent or obscene in a song. He appeared before a Port-of-Spain magistrate who granted him bail in the sum of TT$25,000. His passport was subsequently seized by the authorities, preventing him from leaving the island.
On September 17, Jacho Entertainment hosted a press conference at House of Angostura, Laventille, to assure prospective patrons that although the Jamaican entertainers Bounty Killer and Vybz Kartel have long been in a “musical war”, they were coming to TT as a symbol of unity. The artistes are best known for their lead roles in the ongoing Gully versus Gaza dancehall feud where they have been waging lyrical battles that have been blamed for fuelling gang wars among their fans.
“The idea of bringing these artistes for a concert in Trinidad is to show the youths that at the end of the day, the artistes are entertainers. They have agreed to put aside their differences to promote peace,”concert organiser, Vern Extavour of 99.1FM, said, during that press conference.
Extavour pointed out that the feud between the artistes is purely a lyrical one, so there was no need for concert goers to be concerned. He added that lyrical battles have always been a part of Jamaica’s reggae culture as well as other genres of music, including hip hop, rap, and our very own calypso, soca and extempo.
The Gaza versus Gully feud started off with Bounty Killer taking the first “punch” at Vybz Kartel in a song called “Chatter Box”. A few days later Vybz Kartel released “Bownty’s Killa”. Bounty then replied suggesting that Vybz Kartel’s song was a “Wata Chune”. Vybz Kartel, born Adidja Azim Palmer on January 7, 1976 in Kingston, is well known for his hard hitting ghetto lyrics and rival showdowns with Bounty Killer and other popular Jamaican artistes, including Movado.