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. Clearly you have nothing to do when you sit idle to write the above. you should use your time to speak out against violent songs and leave Mavado alone. He is referring to a gangsta, get it, Gangsta

  2. mdiddy says:

    Stop hating you make yourself seem foolish, you are taking the song way out of context the songs refers to weak minded men that let bad females clown them out nothing more he is not saying men shouldn’t clean I love the song and I clean but “no gal can tek badman fi clown”

  3. africanqueen83 says:

    what she said is completely true, the younger generation listen to the song and act accordingly, we need to hear more positive song, teach the young man how to be a gentle man and teach the young girl howv to be a lady.

  4. real man says:

    i like the song — as a man, i also cleaned my house — and this writer a look a hype. this writer clearly dont understand english. the song talks about bad man, it never say all man/men.

  5. nike says:

    I am a Jamaican living in Canada, and I have many robust arguments with my friends regarding the lyrical content of a lot of our so-called dancehall artistes. I believe that our society has become ghettorized and this is why these nonsense they put out are being aired. Whether Gangsta or Fool or whatever the song makes no sense. Your commentary is very well placed in my view.

  6. Dellliranks says:

    I am a fan of Movado and I do like his clean conscious lyrics. However, I believe that artists these days really do need to put out more conscious reality tunes. God knows you just have to look around you everyday, to draw for good lyrics. In an ever increasing materialistic world, we need more positives, and artists need to put out more conscious tunes. The youths them look up to artists, so it is important to put out good lyrics. I have been listening to dancehall music for decades, and I used to be able to leave the music on playing from the radio regardless if children were in the car, nowadays I cannot, due to swearing, extreme out of order lyrics or gun thing. Please please keep the music alive by putting out good listening music.

  7. Matthew says:

    The wirter is evidently good at writing but poor in reading into the context of arguments put forward in dancehall. The song is clearly speaking to men who allow women to take advantage of them and take the lead in the household, reducing the men in the homes to there foot stools for the callous disregard and abuse. The song say’s “how gyal fi have badman a do house cleaning”, yes, but did you listen further into the song. It clearly goes on to explain what he means when he mande the opening statement in the chorus. A woman should not be taking the helm and forcing there men to do certain acts while they do nothing. The song is talking about men who are being taken for fools by their women, not men who are heping their wome to clean the house or with household chores.
    Go and spend more time listening and getting feedback from other pundits and players in society before drawing your conclusions on any thing dancehall, as you are clearly ot fit to do so.

  8. Flyttst says:

    There are different opinions on this. I enjoyed your viewpoint. Keep up the good work, Per Brocke @ Flyttst

  9. hyper69 says:

    The deejay has a voice that I av never heard before and I really rated him up until now. What I got from the song is a degradation of women which one believes is really pathetic really disappointed in Movado.

  10. gg says:

    i somewhat agree with you. he should have made a better choice with the main repeated words of the chorus, which is usually the parts people know and repeat. even though the song is really about a guy who is being taken advantage of, you really don’t get that unless you stop dancing and listen carefully, the chorus by itself sounds sexist.

  11. Lloyd says:

    Songs like these should really be ignored by the media, rather than be given additional publicity in your newspaper. Why cant writers find other artists to review.

  12. Mark says:

    If you listen carefully you will realise that he was only refering t obusive women! He talks about men washing a woman’s unware and having a child for someone else and passing it off as the husband’s child. It is all about the woman taking advantage of her husband. He has just dressed it up as if it would only apply to a “badman” to make the track sell. It should not be taken out of context which I do think this writer has done by mistake.

  13. A. Osbourne says:

    Thank u!!! i thought i was the only one who thought this song was the biggest load of crap i’ve ever heard. Bad man or not – only nasty people don’t want to clean their house. I agree that Mavado has a gd voice, but this song is definitely anti-woman, and reinforces all the sterotyped images of a lot of Jamaican men being completely ignorant. Personally, i think the radio disc jocks have a lot to answer for. Almost every minute u hear this foolishness blaring out on the airwaves. It particularly irks me when female disc jocks play it. It is annoying when men don’t have respect for women, but when other women support it, well, that’s really frustrating.I thought ur article was well written and hit the point right on the head.

  14. peter says:

    Boy this is what I find most disheartening with the dancehall fanatics. They are convinced that no alternate readings of the lyrical content of dancehall songs are available contrary to ‘overwhelming affection’ for the artistes. Given that Mavado (the dancehall profile), has sucessfully thrived on a persona built primarily around gangsterism, over – machismo posture and bad – manism, an analysis within such a context is spot on. I fully endorse the perspective given on the song by the writer. I also agree that a less literal reading of the song can throw up all sorts of metaphorical inferences such as the ‘woman dehumanising man’ interpretation, but to remind the ‘fanatics’ once more, this analysis is also a valid viewpoint.

  15. Curtain says:

    Everyone knows many Jamaicans have no time to read ‘BETWEEN THE LINES’ most will take words at face value, i.e. the literal and not the figurative meaning. So, to most Jamaians ‘house cleaning means just that, HOUSE CLEANING. So DJs have to be veeery specific, they can’t say one thing and claim to mean the other with such listeners.

  16. LMan says:

    To the writer who seem as if she is oblivious to the fact that, this song Mavado sings(house cleaning), does take place in Jamaica which is not as ridiculous as seem. This is what constitutes dancehall reggea, the ability to talk about life and reality.

    And to the corespondent in Canada, I dear you if any other musical genre would sing about this reality. For you to call the society ‘ghettorized’ please try and look who caused this. Dance hall artist???

    Mavado is singing about gangsta or reality…and it is good that he enlighten us about it…but as the saying goes,”1 hand washes the other”

  17. Scribbler says:

    Listen.. some of the comments made were wayward, off the mark. the primary point however is Mavado;s talent and his inability to focus and get it to where it should be. True he has enormous talent and is distinct from the mundane babble that is marketed as DJ songs. David i’m sure is aware that its not easy to fully break in to the top end of the market.
    What amazes me is the fact that he already has a presence there but refuses to work at keeping there and instead sticks to the comfort of wallowing in mire and stupid ‘naah get nuh whey’ badman music. David is a smart, shrewd and talented artist but like most in Jamaica, is lazy and unwilling to put aside boyish easy things and go for the big prize. Bob Marley did, he put in the work and look where it got him! Can mavado do the same… sure he can, he;s got the raw talent to do accomplish. Question is, will he do it? Only he can answer.

  18. Twingie says:

    Mi yout, most Jamaicans grow with single parents (mothers) and most Jamaican men know how fi do things around the house. Do some tunes fi uplift and encourage di man dem fi stay with them baby mothers and help raise di youts dem. Nothing no wrong wid a man a clean house, gangsta or not. If your woman so foolish fi go work, cook and clean will you run di street thats good for you and her. Encourage di youts, be a artist wid principles. Songs like Overcome and then House Cleaning does not show you potential of musical artist but a craftist who say tings fi get $ and fame. Thats why I love the new atist dem like G Whiz who is pumping some postitivity into the society.

  19. don says:

    A lot of the material being put out today doesn’t make a lot of sense when you actually try to listen to them. Movado is no different. Sometimes you’ll get a track full of posistive creativity and a next time a track like the one being talked about. It’s just a mixed bag.

  20. jjt says:

    I think most dancehall artist are not very intelligent so lyrics like this should never surprise anyone; Anything more would be surpassing our expectation of most dancehall artist. Dancehall music has reached the lowest or most vulgar and nonsensical of all time. It is such a pitty that there aren’t many dancehall artist that can scratch the surface of such indomitable faternity.

  21. FX says:

    I wonder who does clean Movada’s uptown home? Well he can afford to hire a helper, so he doesnt have to clean, how about the people he takes for idiots who live in the ghetto, and cant afford a helper? they have to clean their own homes or live in garbage.

  22. Hail Fan says:

    Of course this an average song. “remember its not goodbye its good over evil”

  23. tom says:

    have u ever been to a mavado show in ur life? he discusses the song all the while jeez!!!!! how can a gal have BADMAN a do housecleaning.. the song refers to women treating men a way example “give him a jacket a when him check annu fi him”. you can talk all you want mavado big every way case u dont know europe .us . just done canada and going back to d.c so check ur self dont wreck yourself!

  24. guess w says:

    unlike the name sake watch movado that keeps accurate time, the dj will fade away ..staying power is measured in timeless memorable songs and lyrics not minutes hype.
    fortunately for him , music lives on while he and his one moment hyping will be a distance footnote. movado who? oh the watch!

  25. Captain says:

    Please reference Erup’s “gyal a run dem head”. It is song with similar undertones and drives at the same issue, weak men who allow their women to dominate them and be a dictator in the household. I think you know that this is what is meant by the song as you mentioned it but you probably just felt the need for sensationalism. I do a lot of house cleaning but no woman can MAKE me do it; yuh mad.

  26. Sicko says:

    Lets not take the song out of context, this is a Jamaican song, sang by a Jamaican artist, everyone has their own opinion but from what I am hearing the song is plain and straight talking about some man that sit with their friends and say they are badman, worst act like they are so macho and no man can tell them nothing but when they are home their women are the ones that tell them what to do, I guess this goes for most men that are taken care of by women so guess what anything the woman says goes or else…cuff kafff

  27. bello says:

    the blogger seems to be overly intellegent , but he/she can’t even read between the lines of a simple song, and talk a lot of intellectual gibberish,i’m sure movado do a little house work. i am a man i just did my house cleaning. whenever women treat men badly it is usually swept under the mat and passed of as a joke.i ask the writer this, if u have a son , would you want him to be abused by his girlfriend /wife or any one at all? i guess not.

  28. platnum says:

    Your`e a good writer but u did not listen to the song all the way ,u just listen to the chrous and make ur comments, the song is clearly saying a woman sit around the house watching tv ,on the phone or even out fooling around while the man is home cleaning ,cooking and whatever else is there to do.Now mr writer use use your pen and help put a stop to crime and voilence,and stop criticising the artist for making a honest.

  29. platnum says:

    Your`e a good writer but u did not listen to the song all the way ,u just listen to the chrous and make ur comments, the song is clearly saying a woman sit around the house watching tv ,on the phone or even out fooling around while the man is home cleaning ,cooking and whatever else is there to do.Now mr writer use use your pen and help put a stop to crime and voilence,and stop criticising the artist for making a honest living.

  30. slim says:

    I don’t see whats the big deal. the writer is taking the song out of context as this song refers to weak minded men that females have on a leash.

  31. Kenni says:

    And the line when he says “its against the law to wash panty”? This is indicative of the misogyny that plagues dancehall in general. What the song “clearly implies” is that badman a real man and bad man nuh clean house or wash clothes and if they do then them a nuh bad man aka real men. The artistes cannot have both ways, they can’t say that when they song a positive song they’re being literal but when they speak to misogyny, violence, discrimination etc its for “entertainment purposes only”. Society in general has to take responsibility for itself and that also includes DJs. They are apart of this country too and we rise, we fall, we sink, we swim together. And while they are not the cause of our callousness and depravity they don’t help it either. As much as art imitates life, life also imitate art.

  32. WT says:

    The song is reality, stop behaving dunce
    “Chat, chat bout dem ah the man inna the house
    And dem gyal ah kill dem with lick
    She program him like a chip
    Clean the bathroom and wash the toilet
    She run him go wash the spread and the sheet pon the bed
    And make sure you don’t spoil it
    Him work the money and bring it come
    Then she turn round send him go shop
    My God what a act
    Him pay the rent she change the pad lock
    She run him out ah door
    Bring man inna the house
    Him deh pon the verandah ah knock”

  33. Sanya says:

    we need to look at the song from both pesppective. YES it is speaking to those guys who let their women bully them.Yea they need to take a stand. But also we need to note keenly that most men even tho we are no longer in the dark ages still believe that a woman rightful place is in the home, and that house chores are only to be done by female. This song is giving them more advantage to use to get away from house chores. Thus, my view of this song is that it shouldnt be getting so much attention. Am not being bias but really there are those men who will do and use anything to get out of house chores. Mavado am a fan but honestly i know you can do way better than that. RESPECT.

  34. dneillhb1 says:

    i think the song goes both ways.most young men in ja will think its ok not to contribute in the household.but he has the freedom of speech and expression.if one listen and do everything they here in songs then that person is weak.i like the song,dont agree with all the lyrical context.will still continue to do so.he owes us nothing but to entertain us.we all cant agree with everything that the sing or dj.its on us to teach our kids the wright lady teats me like a king in return i treat her like a queen.i cook clean wash etc and vice versa.what kind a man would i be she was the only one to do those things.on the other hand what kind a man would i be if i did all this and she did nothing,a manny lol!.

  35. KingSon says:

    Movado songs is like a poem. There are many poem that you have to read through the line to get the correct meaning, and then again if ten people analyze the poem or a song its a possibility they might all have there own meaning of the song or poem. Just like a calypso song many of them you have to analyze. The house cleaning song goes out to men or man that female clown around and abuse, thats who the songs is about. Why you dont look at the song in a positive sense meaning that its highlighting abusive women. The house cleaning part is just to kept the momentum in the song. I am sure if you ask movado if he thinks men should not clean there house, he would look at you like a crazy person. And if a parent grow there kids right way, they wouldn’t be looking up and movado to educate them. The song would just be another song that sound good to dance to.

  36. KingSon says:

    Movado songs is like a poem. There are many poem that you have to read through the line to get the correct meaning, and then again if ten people analyze the poem or a song its a possibility they might all have there own meaning of the song or poem. Just like a calypso song many of them you have to analyze. The house cleaning song goes out to men or man that female clown around and abuse, thats who the songs is about. Why you dont look at the song in a positive sense meaning that its highlighting abusive women. The house cleaning part is just to kept the momentum in the song. I am sure if you ask movado if he thinks men should not clean there house, he would look at you like a crazy person. And if a parent grow there kids the right way, they wouldn’t be looking up at movado to educate them. The song would just be another song that sound good to dance to.

  37. Musicizlife! says:

    Every one is free to voice their own opinion on stuff but i must agree that most of these songs we hear nowadays has no meaning n no message in it. How can u be singing about violence n unda gal frock n expect it to have a positive effect on the younger generation? What we call music today is crap! What Bob Marley,Beres,Dennis n those men sang back in the days was music. Reggae music is not what it use to b, n its a pity.

  38. Rashidi says:

    Well, first, with respect to this song in particular its overall intention is good however bad its impact will be on the younger, illiterate ( non-reading) society. Let me explain, with current trends , in forums we r hearing its , ” woman time now” and some of this effect has gone as far as women be it corporate successful or aspiring, have been doing things like mandating their other half t stay home with kids, find the time and cook , clean , while they after work go certain places and do certain things. It’s an alarming and increasing concern among professional men and the general public alike. A dj put this concern in a song , how well it is done or written , well I’m no expert, however the ill effect of the song is or young unemployed, idled youngsters grasp this, concern viewed through the song and elaborate in a negative way like, if he use to come from school some evenings and cook something that he and his siblings can eat , he now think twice and ensure that his peers don’t find out . If a girlfriend dare to say help dust the night table , the first thing she’ll hear from some is , ” badman nuh do house cleaning ” .
    But again the problem is not dancehall, and these current lyrics, it has more to do with, changes that come with emerging generations and and the resistance they get if any.For example I don’t how much of us share the view that supercat’s “boops” had the same effect in its era, one difference is that it was mainly publicize in dancehall and not everyday media, also corporate Jamaica was not interested in dancehall and it’s djs. Much unlike now, they have bought in to something they don’t know about, they don’t understand but they want to make money from it , without suffering consequences, my my .
    Is like the government trying to please the public by finding a quick fix for crime and stop the monster it has become , without first admitting the y created this monster but the monster is now much stronger and out of control, and this monster is no longer politically inclined. This my view on some current affairs .

  39. concerned says:

    hey we need to stop being such blind followers I too am a sopporter of movado but I really have a problem with that song the main hook line which is what the majority of listeners will be singing most of the time seems to condemn men who help around the home.I actually heard a young man singing it to his mother when she tell him to clean up. No dem kinda things deh should not be encouraged

  40. wellis says:

    I think subconciously you think women cannot and do not abuse men so you conveniently ignored some important parts of the song, anywaY it is just a song designed for entertainment purposes only. GET A LIFE.

  41. Omar says:

    You are taking to song too literally. Dancehall music is an art just like movies, paintings and other art form. The lyrics is stupid but he is basically saying that a man not suppose to allow a girl to run the house and his life. In the song he also says “shi give him a jacket and when him check a nuh fi him”

    He just saying a man is suppose to stand up and be a man.

  42. Omar says:

    1. You should be spending your time informing jamaicans about the poor inner city youths that are starving and homeless.
    2. You should be watching and talking about the dishonest things that the government is doing.
    3. You should be advising students that are about to graduate from high school about different college and career options and how the steps to take after high school.

    Lyrically Movado songs is shallow but he is giving the people what they want so that is why he making so much money.
    This is the Jamaican people are that is why they adore movado so much because he speaks about things that jamaicans believe in, want and can relate to.

    Leave movado and mek him keep on mek him music and help broadcast the Jamaican name around the world so we can get more tourist.

    Your just lazy guy that doesnt have anything productive to do.

    How is this contributing to uplifting the jamaican society.

  43. Hue says:

    Since when we start taking DJs lyrics literally. I thought this was just for entertainment like watching a play, comedy, etc.
    Oh and I think Movado has a helper so if his woman is sick he wouldn’t have to clean from floor to ceiling. Get a life man!

  44. Saj says:

    I certainly agree with this article. These artistes need to be more responsible. They sing these lyrics and our young people follow what they are saying and portray these same behaviours at home…I’m damn annoyed at them.

  45. Junior says:

    opinions speculate, facts matters… and the truth is too much opinions don’t mean a thing. leave the artist alone and let him have his lively hood, its called entertainment…. many other forms of entertainment can be depicted in a negative manner but its up to the audience to acknowledge reality and remain conscious if you want to make a difference start with the image in the mirror.

  46. Davion GULLY KID says:

    di man simply a talk bout the likke ediot who a mek dem woman rule dem……. him a seh how woman fi have badman a do house cleaning
    Put it this way,,, a man and his woman living together in a house and the woman sit around ordering the man to do wat and wat. so mavado a seh only in a dream dat must happen u get?????

  47. sashabling says:

    someof us takes things too serious leave the artist alone, but then again there are always haters.

  48. BLAKE says:

    I dont agree with the 7th paragraph

  49. Vee says:

    I am glad for this piece because it gives the oppoertunity to critique a potentially great artiate and his choices.While I agree with the author of this article it must be noted that we need to focus not just on the catch phrase but the entire song.Unfortunately not everyone will take the time to do that and I believe that that is the general gist of what the author is aiming for.

  50. Murphy says:

    Mavado has the least talent of all artistes right now. It is claimed he is a “singer”, the truth is all of his songs consist of no more than 2 or 3 notes! This puts him more in the range of a deejay…

    As for the song? It is moronic. “House cleaning” what if he is a “badman”?? Badman dont need clean house to?
    This whole badman mentallity is what needs to be addressed, because it is what is systematically destroying Jamaica, right up to parliament. Badman Golding saying that we don’t take orders from liguenea!

    The fact is he has very little talent, which is why he has songs like these!

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