Mavado's Gospel

Posted 9/13/2008 by CtotheB in Labels: , , , , ,

The above clip is just one example of the many songs from one of reggae's most popular stars currently, (and my favorite dancehall artist of the year) Mavado. David Constantine Brooks is Reggae music's answer to Tupac. Not since Bounty Killer (Mavado's mentor and fellow "Alliance" member) invited listeners to "Look" and declared that poor people were "Fed Up!", have the struggles of the poor been so wondrously illustrated through the music. Like any artist of his ilk, controversy surrounds him as he is viewed as both a voice of the sufferers and an enabler for violent elements.

When I first listened to his debut, "Gangsta 4 Life: The Symphony of David Brooks", I felt very confused. When you hear the title track, you don't know if you're suppose to Willy Bounce or dodge bullets. The album has some of the most ferocious "gun tunes" and gives plenty reason for the nations (St. Vincent, Guyana, USA, Canada, Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica) that have barred him from traveling or have called for local radio stations to stop playing his music. His name is in the midst of many conversations (similar to those we've had about artists in the States) drawing a correlation between the violence in lyrics and in the streets.

Take a look at his video for "Last Night":

You can't help but understand where his critics are coming from. Video is straight savage!

But the quality that attracts so many fans to him, beyond his aggressive tales, is the hope infused in his non-violent tracks. Another hit off his debut album is his song with fellow reggae sensation, Serani, called "Dying"

This song shows the influence Bounty Killer, and undoubtedly Tupac, had in Mavado's formation as an artist. It is a weird form of an apology; one that doesn't say I'm "gonna do better" but attempts to explain the method behind the madness.

Another hit from Mavado is his song, "On the Rock". This joint was so ferocious even Jigga had to jump onto the remix. Below, is another remix he did called "We Need Barack"

Mavado is a talented enough artist to make the switch from "gangsta" to a more accepted social commentator. Whether singing about the greatness that is Jamaican track and field or his dedication to the streets, there is no doubting the reality that pierces through many of his hits, and the passion he puts into his songs.

Casting him as another reckless artist pumping poison into the community is unfair. His contributions through the "Connect Jamaica" program show his dedication to the have-nots. Perhaps the respect he truly deserves will be accorded to him when he puts down the "Full Clip" and uses his talent to serve the poor.

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