Mr. Brooks ... A Better Tomorrow
VP Records - Groove Attack
March 3, 2009
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3/4|
Easily the fastest riser and highest climber of the 'younger guns'
of hardcore dancehall, Mavado delivered a killing debutalbum in 2007 with his "Gangsta For Life - The Symphony Of David
Brooks" and has since been putting out one strong tune after another. Gangsta For Life Mavado a.k.a. Real McKoy burst onto the dancehall
scene with his hitsingle "Real McKoy" over Craig Daseca's 'Anger Management'-riddim and has rocketed
to the sky ever since. Born 26 years ago as David Constatine Brooks at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital,
in Kingston, Jamaica, Mavado has lived the ghetto life all his life. Growing up in Cassava Piece was
never easy for Mavado or his family, with his grandmother often playing the maternal role. It was in
the church that Mavado was first given a microphone to sing by his granny at the age of 4. From then
Mavado was a permanent fixture on every church function and rally. He attended Charlie Smith High
School in Arnett Gardens, where his father hailed from. As the teacher left the room, the desktop
would be beaten and Mavado would deejay the lyrics of Cutty Ranks and Bounty Killer.|
Upon leaving school Mavado found work at a liquor store, but lasted just one day as he always knew music would provide for him. Close friend Flex, recognizing Mavado's singing ability and unique way of composing lyrics, encouraged Mavado to visit recording studios in Kingston. Flex used to ride from Grant's Pen and pick up Mavado on his bicycle every morning and on to Junior Reid's studio, which at the time was a haunt of Bounty Killer who quickly recognized Mavado's talent. Unfortunately issues in the community meant Mavado couldn't touch the road as often as he once did and the link weakened. A couple of years passed and fellow Cassava Piece resident and close friend Foota Hype - one of Jamaica's hottest juggling DJs and a Bounty Killer protegé - introduced Mavado to another Kingston studio and as fate would have it, also a haunt of Bounty Killer. It was there that Mavado began to voice on riddims and hooked up with Predator, whose career was also rising.
Artist/producer Bucanneer recorded Mavado's "Bawl" on his 'Middle East'-riddim and has also played an integral part in Mavado's development. Mavado's talent was also instantly recognized by his manager Julian, who took Mavado to record for Sly and Robbie, DJ Karim and others. His real break came in 2004 when he was introduced to talented production trio Daseca and recorded "Real McKoy" once again. The chemistry was perfect and has gone from strength to strength since. Mavado laced the 'Red Bull & Guiness'-riddim with the anthem "Weh Dem A Do?" and the momentum has shown no signs of slowing up, with follow ups like "Dreaming" and "Bawl Dem A Bawl" over TJ's 'Bill Back'-riddim.
Tragedy struck Mavado’s life last year when his Rastafarian father, with whom he was very close, was murdered overseas in Switzerland. After much haggling with the Swiss authorities, his father's body was sent to Jamaica early this year where he was laid to rest. Mavado has composed a moving tribute to his much-loved father, "Sadness" from his debut-album. Mavado’s non-compromising lyrics reflect the environment he grew up in and as his logo suggests he is a 'Gangsta for Life'. With the absence of a hardcore singer in the dancehall business, the public has quickly taken on to this young ghetto youth, who still has after 3 years some of the biggest songs playing in any dance right now, now almost all captured on this fascinating sophomore album "Mr. Brooks ... A Better Tomorrow".
After the intro-prayer "David's Psalm" - which it indeed is: The Lord is my sheppard, I shall not want - by Dudley 'Grincha' Excell with angelic backing vocals by Yanique, produced by Neil 'Diamond' Edwards (responsible for lots of work towards this album) together with John 'FX' Crawford who normally operates together with Imran 'Fire Peter' Passard & for their Solar Hit Music (known for their I-Wayne productions), it is straight top-class hardcore dancehall, starting with Mavado praising Jah in the excellent "Every Situation" produced by the omnipresent Daseca triumvirate, followed by the tune that still gets every dancehall massive giving forwards "I'm On The Rock" a.k.a. "Never Stop Me" across the 'Mission'-riddim for Baby G's Yard Vybz Entertainment and the wonderful "So Blessed" giving Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor's funky trumpet and piano driven riddim for his Big Ship Music it's name.
"So Special" the self-boast over Linton 'TJ' White's on Dave Kelly's 'Showtime' based 'Unfinished Business'-riddim might not be everyone's taste (although I must admit I do like it and not only for the extremely minimal relick of 'Showtime' backing it) and then Lloyd 'John John' James Jr.'s brilliant 'Shoot Out'-riddim for his Awful Productions backs "Life Of A G" and then the team of 'Grincha', Yanique, 'Diamond' & 'FX' deliver the "Welcome To The Armagideon" before the extremely dark "Gangster Don't Play" over an impressive gloomy marching 'TJ' produced riddim laid by Daseca's David Harrisingh and Teetimus a.k.a. Lambo follows. The 'Day Rave'-riddim from 'Di Genius'' Big Ship Productions backs the extremely tough "Real Killer (No Chorus)" and for the same label and producer the fast paced equally violent "Chiney K". The vibe changes with the balladish "Jailhouse" - where Mavado clearly doesn't want to go anymore - with the female backing vocals superbly going into what almost sounds like a modern opera.
And even if we lef de gully Mavado ensures the listener "Don't Worry" giving the by Craig 'Serani' Marsh together with his fellow Daseca-members, the Harrisingh brothers, produced riddim its name, followed by next big hit tune for Juke Boxx' Shane Brown, who laid the 'Warning'-riddim together with Collin 'Demarco' Edwards for "Money Changer" and Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor's 'Advocate'-riddim for "Money". 'Di Genius' is the producer for more than half of the tunes on this album, as his 'Work Out'-riddim is used for the slackness of "In Di Car Back" and his 'Stink'-riddim for "Which Gal". And this brilliant sophomore album closes with the mighty "Overcome" over Big Ship's 'Brighter Day'-riddim, to leave you in awe as this is one of the best and most consistent hardcore dancehall albums ever. No cross-over attempts, just straight reality lyrics from the gully side over riddims that truly suit the delivery of this most talented gully god Mavado. A must have album for everyone even faintly interested in (hardcore) dancehall as this is the best coming out of Jamaica right now!