Mavado’s house cleaning not beaming

I Kwoth, the omnipresent God doth report to Olorun his findings on Mavado. And after close examination of the mortal and his work I Kwoth doth believe that Mavado takes his gangster persona a bit too far.

To be fair, toasting over a rhythm about firing an M16 rifle is one thing and singing about his suffering and travails on the gully side is another. But his song House Cleaning is nothing short of nonsensical, ridiculous, misogynistic and chauvinist to put it mildly.

In House Cleaning, Mavado extols the virtues of being a bad man who does no house cleaning.  In fact, the lines go:
“Yuh mus be dreaming
How gal have badman a do house cleaning
How gal fi have man a clean from floor to ceiling?”

After reading and listening to the lines of this song I am wondering if Mavado’s woman is ill who will clean his house. Or if she is tired who will clean it? I am also wondering doesn’t he help his woman in household chores?

You see I am all for art reflecting society and your social origins. In fact, music, whether we want to accept it or not, is an effective medium of communication. And, maybe Mavado is just communicating his beliefs. But, some things ought to be left in the mind. And House Cleaning is a good example of a song that should not have taken up valuable resources such as electricity, money and internet broadband to be distributed on YouTube, Facebook or any other form of media, but be left in the mind.

Mavado has talent and only a fool will say otherwise. But unfortunately some of the most talented people sometimes settle for mediocrity and in Mavado’s case, House Cleaning is as mediocre as songs get.

You see Mavado’s bar is higher than Vybz kartel, Bounty Killer or Beenie Man because he has the potential of all four to go furthest.  In fact, Bounty Killer was on the brink but didn’t crossover for a variety of reasons although he could have. Beenie Man has had limited success in that area despite all his posturing and Vybz kartel seems content in being ‘big a yard’. But Mavado is different. He has melody- something that had been missing from dancehall for a while and in all fairness the gangster image has worked for him.  And, from the mere fact that he has had minimal crossover success, it is an indication that with better lyrics he will get there.

But, House Cleaning unfortunately is not the song that is going to take him to international stardom and I will sacrifice my god status for a year if it ever goes above 50 on the Billboard Hot 100. You see, the song may suit Jamaican men who are wannabe macho men but in the global context it is bound to offend many by assuming that a man who helps his woman with her chores is less than a man.

Although his sympathizers may argue that he is speaking of a man who is weak willed and hence his woman has decided to bully him, the fact is it doesn’t come across that way. And also, for one who has done songs such as Overcome, I’m on the Rock, and a slew of other good songs, House Cleaning is as backward as they come.

But, then dancehall is not always about quality but what is popular or what will appeal to a few of the artiste’s friends and followers. In this case Mavado has certainly struck a positive note with friends and followers.

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70 Responses to “Mavado’s house cleaning not beaming”

  1. bobo says:

    I think we are expecting too much from these artist. I personally have met Movado and had the opportunity to exchange a few words. He is not the brighest artist that you will find. so instead of bashing the singer, I would direct you to the media for not playing the positve music that most of these artist have voiced. Movado can only sing about his experiences and the lifestyles around him and the gullyside. Can we separate the message from the messenger? I think we can.

  2. Terri says:

    This song have more influence than some of you may think. My neighbours 8 year old son have stopped doing household chores, because”badman nuh do house cleaning” his poor mother was in distress not knowing what he is talking about untill I point her towards the song. She has been having a difficult time getting him to realise that its just a song. So before you all “kill” the writer think for a minute that its not only adult who listen to some of the mindless dribble that are pass off as music, but children as well.

  3. mollo says:

    Movado has a million and one persons who would gladly take care of his house hold chores. Why did you just pick those few lines to talk about listen the whole song. Stop taking the song literally.

  4. Tia Clemmer says:

    Neat blog, some interesting details. I believe 8 of days ago, I have found a similar post. Does anyone know how to track future posts?

  5. rdesc says:

    This song is the truth because alot of (Independent)women forget who they is and want men to do things like clean house,wash there panty`s and go but them stayfree. Jamaican man stands for something until they come in foreign land. I`ll die being a man. (Edited by Moderated).

  6. EJB says:

    You also have to remember that these men tend to date/marry woman that are not productive member of society. They date woman the usually suffer from the razor phone syndrome (beauty with no brain). They have no purpose in life but look. If he is out working hard to make ends meet why should he have to do house work when she is doing nothing?

    There are now lots of men in Jamaica that has to do house cleaning because the woman is the one taking care of the family!!

  7. Maximus says:

    Clearly you don’t understand the dialect and worse the complexity of street talk. The line which you refer to about “how gal fi have bad man a do house cleaning”, is simply saying that no woman can force him to clean the house. If you listen the lyrics the song is clearly about an imasculated guy who is being abuse, “him work the money she tun roun send him go shop”; “him pay the rent she tun roun change the pad lock”; she run him go wash the spread”. Come on lets face it the Jamaican male traditionally was never seen or encouraged to be a domesticated person. And those who deny it clearly don’t remember the jest of “mahma man” given to those softie males. Think when it comes on to dancehall the perception is that its all negative so even if a song such as the one u bash promotes the masculinity of the man to take his place(not say helping around the house is not masculine) but rather having your woman commanding such actions is ridiculous. And whoever can’t see dat is like worthless Jack of the song who is a spinless,weak and insecure individual who has lost his role as man. Which is to provide, protect, secure and lead and love his woman.

  8. Johnaton Greenwood says:

    During the days of Salvery a lot of inhumane and cruel thigs were done by the slave masters and their supporters in the name of “ENTERTAINMENT” it is proported that even acts of planting men in the ground with their heads above ground and white slave masters on horses using polo sticks to see who can remove a slaves head or create the most damage with one blow.

    when the late great BOB Marley said emancipate your selves from mental slavery these are some of the things he is talking about. How can you get the privalledge to communicate with with people, and primarily young minds and you are going to say things like what is being said in Mavados song house cleaning.
    It is retrograde, offensive and border on inciting further unacceptable behavior among youth at home with their parents, discord among family members in home and even possible at schools where there are predominantly female teachers and students will be required to do some amount of cleaning up and the instructions will come from a female teacher.
    Jamaica is a very Polarized society, most of our young people are in homes without a father figure and as such that is why the nation is suffering from such a high level of crime and violence.This is so because the situation is compounded by Wrong dance hall lyrics from people like Mavado, Bounty, Vybez Kartel and others, inappropriate popular subcultural behavioral practices unemployment, poverty and weak or no parenting…Our Country at this time do not need any more backward and negative influences on the young people of the nation.
    Artist such as these must be made to understand that they should clean up their acts or be banned from air play or play anywhere…

  9. [...] thinking that they shouldn't be helping around the house! Empress Doms took on the topic and here's Francine from the Jamaica Star blogger team burning a hot hot fire on Mavado for this rubbish chorus: This [...]

  10. CHARM567 says:


  11. francine says:

    Please note that Francine is not the writer of the Blog. The writer’s names are posted at the end of each blog.

  12. Mary says:

    i agree with francine and the like minded others… He’s an incredibe music artist, but another song thats SOO offensive is:
    “Gal Ben Ova” …unreal. what CENTURY do these artists live in? saadly, they ARE reflecting their environments and family lives…

  13. Mary says:

    …right now he’s apparently supposed to go to Barbados to have a concert. they are having a HEATED debate over there, as to whether they want to allow him in ..(and influence their young people)…Jamaicans CANNOT continue to live in a vacum, all men and women, no, matter who or what their lives were/are, have got to continue to educate themselves and this is the problem… we are not an inclusive society, the system for the last 50 years has NOT educated its people and has NOT given its people access and created a real climate of social equity… soo the ‘Movados’ are only doing what they do and know… wow, very, very sad…

  14. bip-bap says:

    music unfortunately is like fast food sometimes its tasty the other time its rubbish depending on how hungry you are. movado’s song has its relavance because they are men who wont do house cleaning they probably wont come out and say so but we all know this is true. to side with the writer,internationally the song will probably struggle because of the message content and the minority it appeals to, majority rules. i think this song os old anyway

  15. DJ says:

    who r these ppl analysing dancehall songs? How does ur analysis take three lines from a song and analyse it.

    Here u have a forum that u could use to educate ur readers on the use of metaphors but u chose instead to bash, miseducate and misinform.

    It is not a wonder why dancehall artists and music have become so rebellious.

  16. gully princess says:

    its a song…calm down, the man has all right to sing what he wants and personally i think its a dam good song…no neva mind tht.. a great one…why cant we just enjoy the music me hear and dnt go changing our lives ova it…whoever stop cleaning after hearing this song is a weak motherf—that just shows anyone can get you to do whatever…they have no mind of thir own…so why blame vado for that…get the hell off the man case…love you are the man..and you are greatttttttttt at what you do…keep doing your best

  17. gully princess says:

    so much was covered in this song…so many things that infact happened to man out there…why so focus on the house cleaning…if you are a house cleaner…keep cleaning and leave the artist alone…

  18. Charmin says:

    You obviously are a fan of Mavado, as you wouldn’t be able to decipher the words to his song, in that you can recite the chorus….I have eard that song on the radio many times, but not being a fan of dancehall music I never spent the time to even listen to the lyrics….maybe instead of listening to the lyrics so keenly you should turn the knobb toa different station or turn a deaf ear to the song…..why do you worry about Mavado’s woman! I’m sure real bad man would hire someone to clean his house anyway….it’s just lyrics to a song….

  19. It is the glorification of the term “bad man” which is objectionable.What can be good about a bad man?lip a switch,insert the word good man for bad man and see how it relates.

  20. dj darklord says:

    I think you people are listening the song without understanding,the line that say, how gal fi have bad man a do house cleaning ,didnt says he would not clean his house,its simply means no gal(girl)cant force him do nothing that he dont want to do,in other word no gal cant order or boss him around,that what he is trying to let you understand,but with the illiteracy rate so high
    in Jamaica i think he should make it more clearer
    next time then mabe just mabe some of you will uderstand.

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francine Posted by: francine October 6, 2009 at 9:07 am