Popcaan’s ‘Great Is He’ – Rolling Stone

The hook to “We Caa Done,” off Popcaan’s spicy new album, sounds as if it’s announcing “weekend done,” which might strike you as ironic considering that the song sounds like a forever weekend that just started. It’s got a sunny afro-beats vibe with a slick Drake cameo that’s perfect for the dancefloor. But it’s notably one-of-one–all frisky sex talk and a shout-out to Popcaan’s grandmother. When the Portmore, Jamaica native chats, “Me ah di original, me ah di prototype,” you know he’s not bullshiting.

Popcaan sings in a forceful timbre, and his catchy choruses are soothingly swaggy. He’s earnest and erotic. And you’re likely to hear both a motivational psalm as well as a louche reference to some “thick batty gal.” But it’s those thoughtful moments that really stand out. And there’s a pure, almost spiritual feeling to Popcaan’s music. On the cover of Great Is He, he sports a soldier’s hat that makes him look like he’s battling bad vibes. Indeed, his fifth album is buoyantly moody, complimenting the OVO aesthetic while boasting some blessed-up bangers.

“Skeleton Cartier” is lucid and triumphant. And here, Popcaan’s boasts sound remarkably suited to a velvet-rope-lined decompress room. “Tell them say me richer than last year/Fresh Louis V, fresh Nike Air/Gyal a say me skin pretty than a bike flare,” he croons. His nasal outbursts contrast impeccably with the song’s mellow synths, which could be on a deep-relaxation playlist. And “Next to Me” feels like raggamuffin chillwave with its soft textures and warm hook. It’s a clever dancehall valentine.

Meanwhile, “Aboboyaa,” featuring Burna Boy, maintains an Eighties road-flick aura—picture line dancers sporting red-yellow-and-green tams. The steel drums on “Freshness” are tart and exotic, and it’s the most traditionally dancehall-oriented song on the album–a soon-to-be sweat-it-out smash.


Though “Set It” has a buzzy, energetic bop to it (and references to “tight punani” along with a proclamation of “hallelujah”) it comes off shallow. “11th Commandment” provides a much sweeter contrast, and its woozy stomp is complimented by lyrics about loyalty and staying on the grind.The guitar-fueled “Memories” is a sure-fire hit, with an anthemic stoner chorus that makes it a New Year’s Eve go-to.

Popcaan’s rude-bwoy antics play the background on the title song, with its heavenly choir-suffused groove. “Them watch me a win, them shame/Them can’t ever quench my flame,” Popcaan asserts. No weapon against him shall prosper.

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