‘Time Bomb’ an explosive show of Jamaican culture
Bounty Killer and Cham have long been friends and musical collaborators.
With their myriad of projects now cult classics in the dancehall community, the pair have re-solidified their sonic union through the release of their joint EP Time Bomb. Released last Friday, the seven-track project ambitiously tackles issues from all corners of the dancehall space. While the kick-off for this era of their musical collaboration arguably began with their August 2022 single Blood Clxxt, this extended project pulls no punches, brazenly declaring the titular swear amid a myriad of other Jamaican curse words, declaring with each one their dedication to Jamaican free speech. Though each track has a clean version for play on the radio, the pair are making it clear that self-expression is paramount for them.
"Every song have it's own version for radio play," Cham explained. "If you notice Time Bomb is very radio play friendly. But when we are coming to our fans, it's different."
Ever the instigator the 'Warlord', Bounty Killer, declared, "A nuh every song mek fi radio. Some song made for the radio, some doesn't. Certain expression is just certain expression."
"So for instance, Vibe wasn't made for radio," Cham began singing lyrics from the curse-word riddled track that jests about bribing the police.
"That's our expression, it's Jamaican and we can't run from our culture and we been fighting that since Blood Clxxt. So we had to have one of those songs, but if you listen to Badman Ting, everything is clean," he added.
Drawing the comparison, Bounty Killer explained that the EP also has songs that deal with sensitive topics in a radio-friendly way.
"Is a badman song and it still nuh have no profanity. So is not like we nah consider radio, but sometimes certain expression don't fit for air play," he said.
The Dave Kelly produced EP is but a drop in the bucket of the contribution that the famously elusive producer has made to the industry. Praising his involvement in both this body of work and others dropped by the pair, both together and separately, Bounty Killer said, "He is our legend".
"He is the one that really create our whole chemistry because he is the one that wrote most of the songs, make the rhythm, produce them, mix them. He is one of our musical peers that teaches us a lot about music. He is our scientist. So every time Baby Cham and Bounty Killer come together, Dave Kelly has to come to mind, cause he is the master behind all our projects," said Bounty Killer.
Grateful for the reception of the project, the deejays said that there is no end in sight for their collaborations.
"Never! Yuh mad! We are just starting," Cham said when asked if this would be their last joint project.
In his usual cadence, Bounty Killer added, "We and Madhouse a work from 1998, that's 25 years ago, and you a say it ago done? We have 25 more to go."