Bounty Killer

Next Millennium

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Next Millennium Review

by Alex Henderson

In the '90s, Bounty Killer was a prime example of someone who illustrated reggae's generation gap. Many 35-and-over Jamaicans expressed their disdain for his controversial gun talk and wondered why their kids didn't embrace "real" reggae like Desmond Dekker or Jimmy Cliff (just as many African-American baby boomers didn't understand why their kids would choose Ice Cube and Snoop Doggy Dogg over Smokey Robinson). But among younger Jamaicans (as well as post-baby boomers in the U.S. and Europe), he became an icon. Not as consistently hardcore as some of Bounty's previous releases, Next Millennium finds him liberally incorporating urban contemporary elements while continuing to bring a passion for hip-hop to his dancehall reggae foundation. Slick, urban contemporary-flavored tunes like "Reggae Party" (which features Third World and Shaggy), "It's a Party" and "A Love That's Real" are fairly commercial by Bounty's standards, but grittier, more hardcore offerings such as "Scare Dem Way," "Can't Believe Mi Eyes" and "Deadly Zone" (which features Queens rappers Mobb Deep) should dispel any notions that Bounty was trying to become a pop star. A varied and decent CD, Next Millennium allows Bounty to branch out without forgetting his dancehall roots. [The CD was also released with a bonus track.]

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