Earlier this week Mavado appeared on BET's 106 & Park to support DJ Khaled's new album Kiss The Ring. Boomshots caught up with The Gully Gad to talk about what it's been like since he became one of the few dancehall artists signed to a major label. Here he speaks on his soon-to-drop mixtape, collaborations with Birdman, Busta Rhymes, Fabolous, French Montana, and Snoop Lion. Mavado even sent a shout out to his former rival Vybz Kartel.
(Interview by Reshma B (@ReshmaB_RGAT) via Boomshots.com.)
“So Suicidal,” With DJ Khaled
"Look out for my “Suicidal” video, we just did a new one in Miami. Me, DJ Khaled, Birdman, Ace Hood, and a couple more of us. I definitely did this song for the streets. For the Gs and the thugs, for the gangstas and even for the gangsta girls. It’s even for people that have suicidal thoughts."
“Survivor,” With Akon
"You know Akon is like an icon from Ethiopia, Africa, and even me as David Brooks, a.k.a Gully Gad, a.k.a Mavado, a.k.a Kingston’s Finest, I’m like the next king. We’re all from Africa, us as black people, we’re just one African. So you Akon’s always there always doing his thing. For seven to eight years I’ve been creating hit songs. Akon has been doing the same. I guess we’re very legendary now. But me and Akon in the studio is just crazy, trust me. It’s just like two different lives come into one. And everybody’s got their ups and downs, everybody’s gotta keep fighting to survive. Because life is just like a struggle. Life is a struggle. Me growing up in Kingston, Jamaica and seeing so many things. Lost so many friends. Have so many friends behind bars. I don’t even know when I’m gonna see them again, but I’m still here. And I still have to go out there every day. Going through so many things... I’ve been in jail so many times. Shout out to Vybz Kartel there in the pen. You done know freedom is a must.
"This song isn’t even about me. This song isn't even about Vybz. It’s about all of us as dancehall artists that’s fighting the struggle. You see me? Right now it’s like I have the whole dancehall, the whole Jamaica industry, on my back right now. Carrying it to the next level. And I can never lose. [Pounding table] I have to win. You understand? So “Survivor” is just another great thought of mine, of me saying to the world that I am who I am and I’m still here, and I’m still doing good. I still have my fans proud of me. Still got my family’s proud of me. I still have my daughter, she’s like 12 now. My son, 11. My next two sons, my momma, all my friends, the gully side. I just gotta keep on surviving, keep on taking it to the top so I could do things that I really dream about. You know? Great things, iconic things. So “Survivor” is all about a next step, because every step for me just goes higher and higher. I can’t fail. I wasn’t born for that. That’s not in my genes, that’s not in my DNA. Failure is not a priority for me. Survivor."
His Song “Soulja Girl”
"Well, knowing Mavado, I definitely got my lady. She’s a good girl and everything. I love her, but you know ladies out there just love Mavado and I always love the ladies. Even my lady knows that I gotta have love for the ladies, I gotta show love. Because to go from where I’m coming from to where I’m at now, it take friends. It take real love; it takes real authentic friends and real love from the people. And real love from the ladies. A “Soulja Girl” is just a girl that’s real. You know? Us as gangstas, us as street youths, we that represent for the street and represent only the realest, we have to have a real girl. At the end of the day, when you go you have to know you have a girl who check for you and have your back. Everything. She gotta be a gangsta. She’s my Soulja girl. She’s holding it down when I’m in jail doing time. And I’ve been to jail so many times. Last year I was in jail and my girl was in jail with me. We were both locked up. So—it’s all about that."
"I just came out the studio probably two, three days ago. Me and Birdman. We just did, like, two songs, and we’re scheduling right now to go back in the studio. But because of the whole BET stuff [appearing on 106 & Park] I got to be in New York right now. As soon as I’m back in Miami, I’m in the studio. I was just in the studio, me and French Montana. Me and Fabolous. There’s so much things going on. Me and Fabolous did a remix already, and we’re supposed to do more songs. We did two songs already. I did something for him, he did something for me. It’s all about love and respect. You know, Fabolous is like another icon. We’re all kings, so I guess it’s just that. I did a song by the name of “The devil is walking, I can see him from here, but because of my struggle I have no fear. The devil is talking a bunch of shit I can hear, but I’m up in the clouds my niggas in a triple white Maybach,like a cloud on the block, saying ‘fuck you’ out my window. Hail Mary.” [Laughs] Me and Busta, we just remixed the “Soulja Girl” with this girl—she’s from Africa. She’s like Africa’s biggest singer. She’s like the Beyonce of Africa, the whole continent. And we just did the video with her. “Soulja Girl” is so huge in Africa. Busta Rhymes came on it with a killing verse. It’s just crazy. So it’s just all about me trying to take dancehall music, and trying to take Jamaica music... I’m just trying to do something that no other Jamaican artist has ever done before."