2000s Gaza and Gully

Gaza and Gully refer to the two biggest music groups in Jamaica. The areas refer to the neighbourhoods of Adidja ‘Vybz Kartel’ Palmer (Gaza) and David ‘Mavado’ Brooks (Gully).

Gaza side Vybz Kartel, Fiweh 2011

Gully God Mavado, Jahkno 2012

Both are the most popular DJs of dancehall music and their own rivalry has sparked violence in Jamaica and is also apparent worldwide where mainly Jamaicans reside. The rivalry has been likened to that of the political parties Jamaica Labour Party (JNP) and Peoples National Party (PNP).

Mavado and Vybz at The Sting 2009

The Sting Clash that started the rivalry

The divide between the two caused other musicians to select sides which eventually led to segmenting of the society and influencing young people to follow.

Elephant Man of the Gully side, The Grio 2012

Gaza Slim, Tumblr 2012

The idea of following either the Gaza or Gully sides came about due to the fact that many young people do not have any social institutions in their communties and therefore, are left to develop their identities. With no direct influential figures they look to musicians.

“All human beings have a need to belong. The poorer you are and the scarcer the resources (such as social development centres) is the more competitive and combative the war is,”-Dr Herbert Gayle, The Sunday Gleaner 2009

“There is nothing to gain physically, or nobody gets paid to be a ‘Gaza’ or ‘Gully’ supporter..is even worse than politics”- Dr H.Gayle 2009

Gaza refers to the Palestinian city and has been a volatile area for many years and it is likened to the violence in parts of Jamaica.

Gully refers to the trenchtowns in Jamaica ridden with poverty and crime.

Gully Side, Flickr

Both Mavado and Vybz have spoken about the rivalry and are adamant that its a ‘lyrical thing and that the bigger picture of the problem relates to the government and its lack of fundings for young people.

“we’re powerful as musicians, because we speak for the people, them (the authorities) try to put everything on us.”- Mavado, The Gleaner 2009


Their is no definitive style that relates to this subculture, however tattoos, army wear, baggy pants and Clarks shoes are usually noted.

Vybz's tattoos, Dancehall USA

Army wear, Chanel 2010

Clarks are the number choice of shoe for Jamaicans


Musician Elephant Man created a song and dance Gully Creepa

Mavado Last Night/Gully Side

Vybz Kartel Gaza Commandement 2009

“music leaves an indelible impact on its listeners that affects them emotionally and psychologically, which can influence their actions”- Dr Leahcim Semaj 2009

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