Times have really changed.   In the early 1990s, Beenie Man, a veteran dancehall artiste proclaimed that, ‘matie a no good sitn, when matie pass all yu muma man misn’ ( A woman on the side is not something good because when she passes, even your mother’s man will go missing).  In Jamaica, a ‘matie’ or mate, as she is sometimes called, refers to’ the other woman’, or the woman on the side.  To some, Beenie Man would be considered crazy, being a man, saying the woman on the side is not good because she steals other women’s male companion.  However, there is a rationale behind the statement.  Beenie Man refers to himself as ‘di gyal dem sugar’, not solely meaning that he has many women, but that he speaks on the behalf of women as well.  As such, ‘matie a no good sitn’, can be taken as Beenie Man speaking on behalf of the ‘wives’.  Now, in Jamaica, wife does not necessarily mean married, it can also mean the main lady in the man’s life.  With that said, it can be assumed or proposed that ‘di wife’ dislikes the ‘mate/matie’.

The resentment that wives have for mates stems from the primary fact that her man is being promiscuous, which relieves her of most of the ‘power’ she would have had if she was the only woman.  Being the number one woman in the relationship offers no solace because of the secondary reason for the resentment; the mate is ‘cutting’ into her benefits, whether financial or otherwise.  When some women are informed of their man’s promiscuity they often rebut by saying, cho, all she a get a suo so sex’ (Well, all she is getting is sex, nothing else).  However, when she learns that fi har man a mine di matie (her man is offering financial support to the mate), the little power she supposedly had has now disappeared.   Over the years, there were three (only because we are focusing on the mate, there can be a fourth formula which sees promiscuity on the man’s part plus the wife being promiscuous resulting in all power as well) ways to look at the matie saga,

  1. No promiscuity = full power
  2. Promiscuity  –  financial support for the matie = Some power
  3. Promiscuity + financial support for the matie = No power

 

There are some women who are believers of equation 1 because dem nah get no bun (they are not being cheated on).  However, surprisingly, there are a lot of women who concede and hold fast to number 2 (though there might be some who alter number 2, making the result still all power) because they are of the mindset that all men are dogs and they all cheat :(.  No woman wants to pick the number 3 card because no woman on the side should be causing her resources and benefits to decrease.  To make the woman even more livid, the support that the matie is getting has her, the wife, as the source.

In contemporary society, to my understanding, based on the lyrics below, there is a new type of matie coming to the fore, the type that mines the man, and in some cases, the wife benefits.  With such a scenario present, the equations presented before no longer hold, thus, new equations are now present which have some baffling results.  You do not understand why I am baffled, ok, take a look at the new equations below,

  1. No promiscuity = no power
  2. Promiscuity – financial support from the matie = No power
  3. Promiscuity + financial support from the matie = full power

Think I am making this up, check the lyrics below!

 

Like Mi Mate

by Lady Saw

Hot Chocolate Riddim

INTRO

Mi seh mi ave a new mate

Mi seh mi like di gyal

Di gyal mine me an mi man

Di gyal jus a run money so

Me an da gyal yah good

Yu zimmi

VERSE 1

Some gyal wuda have a problem

If dem know dem man have a gyal friend

Once a gyal a support mi boyfriend

Me no have noting fi worry bout

Once mi man dem a use him condom

An mi know seh  no pickney nah come

When she si mi she tek off an run

Me no worry bout dem

CHORUS

Mi like mi mate

Because she mine mi man

She nah no AC but she blow di fan

When she giim (gi him) money den him give me grands

Me like mi mate

Mi like mi mate because she a di leas

She done know mi man haffi come home come sleep

Shi lock up har mout when wi buck in di street

Me like mi mate

Mi seh!

 

VERSE 2

 

Mi no put gyal pan mi head

Kaa mi man nah bring gyal ina mi bed

Mi nah fi si no Docta fi gi mi no meds

Any day dat hapm a dead mi man dead

Ooi! No gyal kyaahn call mi phone

Shi know di time up when mi man come home

Me nah hype bout a me alone

Every man have a next gyal a bone

CHORUS

Mi like mi mate

Because she mine mi man

She nah no AC but she blow di fan

When she giim (give him) money den him give me grands

Me like mi mate

Mi like mi mate becau she a di leas

She done know mi man haffi come home come sleep

Shi lock up har mout when wi buck in di street

Me like mi mate

Mi seh!

VERSE 3

 

My mate money kip me clean

Mek mi shopn ova New Orleans

A regular shi buy all mi name brand jeans

(Weh yu seh True Religion)

Si what a mean

Mi ting look propa every time mi step out

Mi man look dappa every time wi go out

Him inna Gucci me a rock Vouche

So me and mi matie wi kyaahn fall out

CHORUS

Mi like mi mate

Because she mine mi man

She nah no AC but she blow di fan

When she giim (give him) money den him give me grands

Me like mi mate

Mi like mi mate because she a di leas

She done know mi man haffi come home come sleep

Shi lock up har mout when wi buck in di street

Me like mi mate

SINGING

 

She’s a sometime lover

Who is creeping with mi man

But I don’t have a problem

Because a her money a spen

She’s a part-time lover

We could never be friends

But financially she supports me

So I don’t give a damn

CHORUS

Mi like mi mate

Because she mine mi man

She nah no AC but she blow di fan

When she giim (give him) money den him give me grands

Me like mi mate

Mi seh

My new mate is mannazable

And she keep mi husband honourable

So mi no have no time fi get miserable

Becau my mate mek mi live comfortable

Raaee

Mi like mi mate

Mi seh  mi like mi mate

Mi seh  mi like mi mate

Mi like yu!

(Song  ends)

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