A reggae singer influenced by the likes of Bounty Killer and Cutty Ranks, David Constantine Brooks, aka Mavado, was born and raised in one of Kingston, Jamaica's more dangerous ghettos, Cassava Piece. Church and a desire to deliver a socially conscious message to the people kept Mavado out of serious trouble. Encouraged by a friend, Mavado visited Junior Reid's recording studio in Kingston, where he met his hero, Bounty Killer. The reggae star recognized the young singer's talent and introduced him to the likes of vocalist Predator and manager Julian Jones-Griffith. In 2004 Mavado released "Real McKoy," his breakthrough single recorded over the Daseca crew's Anger Management riddim. Two years later, the Red Bull and Guinness riddim and the song "Weh Dem a Do" would give him his next big hit, and the successful "Dreaming" and "Bawl Dem a Bawl" singles would follow soon after, but the momentum was almost brought to halt when his father was murdered in Switzerland.
After fighting for his father's body and its return to Jamaica, Mavado resolved a feud with fellow dancehall artist Vybz Kartel. The feud was responsible for violence between the artists' crews along with numerous diss tracks, including "Warn Dem" and "Informer" from Mavado and "Alliance Diss" and "Mafraudo" from Kartel. With all this out of the way, Mavado was able to complete his debut album, Gangster for Life, for the VP label. The 2007 release featured more hits like "Top Shotta Nah Miss" and "Dying" plus "Real McKoy with a Full Clip," a new mix of the track that, a year later, would be featured in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto 4: Liberty City. His 2008 cut "I'm on the Rock" would feature Jay-Z on its remix before being re-recorded as "We Need Barack" in support of the presidential hopeful. That same year, he continued to cross over to the world of hip-hop with an appearance on 50 Cent and G-Unit's album T.O.S.: Terminate on Sight. His 2009 album Mr. Brooks...A Better Tomorrow featured the hit single "On the Rock" while 2011 saw him launch his own label, Mansion Records, with the single "Delilah". In 2012 he appeared alongside fellow dancehall singer Popcaan on Snoop Dogg's single "Lighters Up", then in 2013, Nicki Minaj joined Mavado on his single "Give It All to Me". ~ David Jeffries