Murda She Wrote October 2020

Unruly Boss Covers Reshma B’s Column on Tidal

At the end of each month, the Reggae Girl About Town rounds up the top tunes for her “Murda She Wrote” column on Tidal. If you’re looking for October’s wickedest selections, you’ve come to the right place. This month’s lineup features certified Boomshots by Popcaan, Chronixx, Spragga Benz & Konshens, and Skillibeng. It’s Murda!

Jamaica is a small island with an outsized impact on the world. “We likkle but we tallawah” is the local phrase that sums it up best. “Likkle” means “little,” of course, while “tallawah” is a patois term describing someone who’s “strong-willed, fearless and not to be taken lightly.” All of which is a good description for Popcaan, the 5-foot-6 musical giant who looms larger than ever over the global dancehall scene.  Music After The Jump…

“Gyal Yuh Pretty Like Money” Run that…

“I’m from a place where dog eat dog/Mi know ’bout living weh hard,” Popcaan sang on “Gangster City,” which was released back in 2010. He’s come a very long way since then. Born Andrae Sutherland in the Jamaican parish of St. Thomas, he and his mom eventually moved to Portmore, where he impressed dancehall star Vybz Kartel, who made him a part of his musical camp, the Portmore Empire. Their collaboration “Clarks” brought Popcaan to worldwide attention, and by the following year he was dropping international hits on his own.

Rising up from the streets of Jamaica is no easy feat, but triumphing to become one of the most sought-after influencers in pop culture is a dream only a few are blessed to fulfill. These days everybody, including Drake, wants some of Papi’s swag: He’s collaborated with Snoop, Busta and Pusha T, but has a special connection with the 6 God. “Drizzy Drake ah me linky,” Poppy told me in 2015, a few years before he officially signed with OVO. “You done know is a lot of people Drake make zoom in on Popcaan music.”

Over the last 11 months Popcaan’s been on a roll, releasing three complete projects starting last December with Vanquish. He made the lockdown livelier with his blazing Fixtape — “it’s not a bloodclaat mixtape,” Kartel states on the intro — which includes the infectious single “Twist & Turn” featuring Drake and PartyNextDoor. Just two weeks ago Popcaan blessed us with Link Up, a six-song EP created with Canadian rapper Preme. On the first track, “Wining Queen, Popcaan sings one of his dreamy melodies before Preme and Wiz Khalifa step in to finish the job.

Somehow the Unruly Boss also found time to host Harlem rapper Dave East in Jamaica while they shot a video for their song “Unruly.” Popcaan also appears in the Loski video for “Avengers,” and in animated form in the “Come Over” video by U.K. R&B star Jorja Smith. And his gorgeous guest spot on the remix for “Nobody’s Love” by Maroon 5 is one of his most impressive features yet.

Where does he find the inspiration to go so hard? “I represent my whole community, yunno,” Popcaan told me in one of our interviews. “People who have been through it with me. So it’s not really my story alone.” The Unruly story has lots of twists and turns, but wherever it goes next, the whole world is listening.

Full MSW Column & Playlist Here

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