Bounty Killer was born Rodney Price in the Kingston ghetto of Trenchtown on June 12, 1972. One of nine children, he spent much of his childhood in another ghetto, Riverton City, which was built on the former city dump; his family later moved to the rough Seaview Gardens area. His father owned a small sound system, and he first tried his hand at DJ chatting when he was only nine years old. At age 14, he nearly fell victim to the gun violence he would later document so thoroughly in his music; while walking home from school, he was hit by a stray bullet from a gun battle between rival political factions. Fortunately, he made a full recovery, and soon began performing under the name Bounty Hunter for area sound systems like Metromedia, Bodyguard, and Stereo Two. Meanwhile, he and his friends hung around King Jammy's recording studio, hoping to catch a break. Eventually, he met Jammy's brother Uncle T, who produced his first recordings in 1990.