Mavado’s latest move of solidarity is bringing the Gully and the Gaza together after more than a decade.
Many rivalries in dancehall have stood the test of time, namely, the rift between Mavado‘s Gully side clan and Vybz Kartel’s Gaza nation faction. Interestingly enough, while the two sides have managed to stay at odds even though Vybz Kartel‘s incarceration, it looks like it is the prison system after all that has come to be the catalyst to one of the dancehall stars taking the first step towards unity.
Some fans were rather surprised to see Mavado’s bold statement on Instagram today, a picture that spoke a thousand more words than his caption ever could. The photo featured the former Alliance deejay alongside Gaza Sparta boss Tommy Lee Sparta, a longtime affiliate of Vybz Kartel. In an effort to promote unity, Mavado penned a caption expressing his solidarity with the Sparta leader who has been in lockup since December 2020 and was sentenced to three years in prison in March.
“Bless up the youths dat fighting the struggle a brighter days. We might fight against each other at times but it’s just one ghetto and if we fight together then you will see the real power,” Mavado wrote in his caption. His post received a lot of support from dancehall stars and fans and though surprised, most seemed ready to be a part of a new community that supports unity over segregation.
“Tommy lee with movado wtf,” wrote one flabbergasted fan. “Never did I ever expect this,” another supporter expressed. “Fun fact Leroy was a gully fan from way back! Ask Mobay. Leroy was asked to also challenge him in a lyrical fuse but refuse! Unknown info!” he added. Others were glad to support a new movement, championing the bold move by Mavado. “Full time now, man dem fi unite and fight against the system not with each other,” one chimed.
It is not completely unreasonable to wonder what inspired such a post from Mavado, and fans are speculating that he may relate to those in the prison system personally now that his son will likely be on the inside for his entire adult life. Mavado has not been back in Jamaica since he fled in 2018 after arousing police suspicion following a shooting incident. Several murders were committed around that time that are all believed to be linked.
The deejay was shot at in his home community of Cassava Piece and made a report to the Constant Spring Police. While he was said to be wanted for questioning, Mavado left the country before police could carry out any interrogation. In what was believed to be a reprisal killing, 23-year-old Lorenzo Thomas was shot and killed and set ablaze in his home back in June 2018. Mavado’s son Dante Brooks was arrested and charged for that murder and has since been convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Could it all be hitting closer to home for Mavado now?
Fans have seen a huge shift in the dancehall community recently among the artists who would typically be feuding. After Mavado’s son received his life-changing prison sentence and the deejay’s mother passed away, a lot of unexpected members of dancehall reached out, including Bounty Killer and former Gaza artiste Popcaan.
Many have also noticed that Mavado has tried to have a more positive outlook lately and has been advocating for more unity in dancehall and in general. We see similar changes happening with Vybz Kartel and Bounty Killer, who have had a rift between them for many years. They now express nothing but love, respect, and admiration for each other on social media and are seen supporting each other in their posts with heartfelt captions.
Could this be a turning point for dancehall’s historically violent and contentious nature? Perhaps veterans may inspire younger artists to come together. As Sean Paul began to promote with his recent album, it’s “collaboration over confrontation.” Do you believe these recent developments will incite any real change in dancehall?