mavado_350.jpgARTIST: Mavado

ALBUM: Mr. Brooks...A Better Tomorrow

SOUNDS LIKE: No one'but if we had to, we'd say Sizzla after finding out his dog got run over by his brother who then crashed into a gully and died.

FUN FACT: Legendary reggae artist Freddie McGregor's 19 year old son, Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor produced a bulk of the album.

WHY COMPLEX IS CO-SIGNING IT: If success was measured on street-cred alone, David "Mavado" Brooks would be a quadruple platinum artist. On his 2007 state-side debut, the Kingston, Jamaica native penned a pensive and mournful ode to the gangster trappings that produced him and that also gave way to a couple of the biggest dancehall tracks of that year.

This go around, the Alliance's hottest rising star is back with a whole new set of survival stories sung in his distinctive sorrowful wail of a voice. Young gunner producer Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor provides the lions share of the riddims for the album, giving Mr. Brooks... A Better Tomorrow a more focused and cohesive feel than his first effort. While the album still has Mavado's soulful gangster braggadocio, including a handful of tunes that mashed up Jamaica in '08, it also touches on more redemptive themes than before with tracks like "Overcome," a rally cry against Jamaican poverty. It seems Mr. Brooks realized that while you may be a "gangster for life," you don't have to act like one.

KEY TRACKS (LISTEN):

Every Situation

"So Special"

"Overcome"

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