“Lock all the barriers and pull all the door, now the Killer gonna defend the poor!” cries Bounty Killer at the outset of “Defend the Poor,” one of a clutch of bracingly aggressive political anthems to appear on Bounty Killer’s 1994 full-length Down in the Ghetto. On this seminal King Jammy–produced effort, Bounty Killer dons the garb of the avenging outlaw hero over a tough-minded set of songs depicting everything from Kingston’s gang-plagued drug trade to the everyday plights of the city’s most impoverished residents. On “How the West was Won,” Bounty Killer pays tribute to the recently deceased Ranking Toyan with a vivid re-imagining of his 1981 hit of the same name. Elsewhere, Bounty Killer crafts vivid first-person tales of crime and violence that have the same blend of impeccable storytelling and visceral immediacy that could be found on New York hip-hop albums of the same period. His recordings with MCs like AZ, Masta Killa, and Prodigy of Mobb Deep rank as some of the era's best hip-hop/dancehall crossover efforts.