Popcaan has a lot of respect for Drake and Vybz Kartel and vice versa.
Popcaan added flying to his list of attributes when he attacked the main stage at the last staging of his event, Unruly Fest. This is quite unusual for dancehall acts, with only Spice providing more theatrics upon entering the stage. Popcaan was fitted to a crane that hoisted him over the fans that awaited him. If that is not a sign of growth, we are not sure what is. With all the growth the artiste has had, he still seems to remain humble, choosing to keep his show in St Thomas.
Speaking of St. Thomas, the artiste sat down with Ebro from legendary Hot 97 morning talk show Ebro In The Morning at his St Thomas, Jamaica location, to discuss how his career started, his relationship with Drake, Unruly Fest, his recently released mixtape and his upcoming album. Popcaan mentioned how he got into the music business back in 2007. First time linking with Vybz Kartel at an event called “My Scheme.” The connection was made, and Popcaan began recording for Vybz Kartel’s Adidjaheim Productions, where the inhouse producer at that time NotNice, recorded him professionally for the first time.
“When me go so now and meet Vybz Kartel, One day we de a the studio now and this song was playing and Kartel hear it and say who dat a sing tha song de, make me hear it. Dem make him hear it and him just go voice a song pon it the same night, a song wa name “Get Wild,” recounted Popcaan. “When him sing the song now, him do a clean version fi the song and him call me name inna it you zimmi. So like bare people a call me now and a ask if a you Kartel a talk and me say ya man. Some people believe me and some don’t. Then now everything just start tek off.”
The “Unruly Rave” artiste mentioned how he did not get the love from fans in the Eastern section of the island, “2009 me start record more, start get shows pon the West end, Mobay, Negril. When me de a Mobay and Negril me feel like a star, when me reach a Kingston, nobody no know me.”
Vybz Kartel has been instrumental in the early success of Popcaan, allowing him and other members of the Portmore Empire camp to accompany him to various mega-events across the island, such as Sting and Reggae Sumfest. Young Popcaan got a major push from being a part of the hit song, “Clarks.” The track is taken from the Mad Collab Riddim also features Gaza Slim and Vybz Kartel. Popcaan was blessed to cop the Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Award for ‘Best New Artist’, and ‘Collaboration of the Year’ for “Clarks.” Apart from “Clarks,” Popcaan teamed up with label boss Vybz Kartel, to provide additional hits.
He had this to say in terms of how he feels Vybz Kartel views him as an artiste, “Is a Man wa bet pon me from morning. Him did already tell the world say Popcaan ago do this. Is no surprise to him, him know me great long time. Him could a see it from the minute me sing pon the stage and the way how me operate around the studio a day time.”
His own determination and love for the music began to propel him into the musical stratosphere when his track, “Only Man She Want,” hit the Billboard Hot 100 charts at No. 89.
Interviewer Ebro questioned Poppi about his interaction with Drake and how they came to know each other.
“The first time when me realize say Drake really in tuned with me music, him tweet and say Drizzy Drake a the only man she want,” in reference to the importance of the Billboard hit single. He continued, “Drake and Rihanna usually tweet me music dem time de, nuff.” 2012 saw a lot of good things happening for Popcaan, with one being the Yiy Change Mixtape assembled and mixed by one of Jamaica’s hottest young sound system, Chromatic Sound. The tape was so good that the OVO crew voted it as one of their favorites.
Popcaan mentioned how the mixtape helped with him linking with Drake after OVO Fest. The two clearly share more than just business as the Unruly artiste recounts what the OVO boss did to earn his lifelong respect. He mentioned that he was invited to an afterparty, and he and former collaborator Snoop Lion(Dogg) was sitting and smoking, “When me go inna the club, there was a table there and the man forward and take up all a the cup dem off a the table breda. Me a look pon him and a say yo, this is a yout like miself, him remind me a miself.”
“Drake support dancehall music a lot. Him already a shed light pon dancehall culture by shedding light on Popcaan,” mentioned Popcaan.
Speaking of support, Popcaan also spoke of his upcoming album and mentioned that the long-awaited collaboration between him and Drake would definitely be something to look forward to on the project. While Popcaan was tightlipped about what other collaborations would be featured on the album, he did confirm that the project should be released this year 2020.
What are your thoughts on Popcaan and his growth? Are you looking forward to the upcoming album?