Popcaan’s name hasn’t quite been a household one over here in the states, but it has definitely been bubbling these last couple of years. For starters, he’s emerged as one of the go-to Jamaican artists that our favorite rappers have been calling on when they want a gritty Reggae inspired hit — especially after his contributions on Drake’s “Controlla.” But damn all that, Gina! This weekend, our guy dropped his heavily anticipated “Forever” project, and I anticipate it being a major player in the Modern day Dance-Hall scene. Let’s see if the Mixpak Records’ product can successfully bring out my dusty ass happy feet from the closet it was hiding in these last couple of years with the release.
In “Silence,” Popcaan tries to give listeners the cliff notes version of what he’s all about, letting us know that his thugs are real thugs, his women are glued to him like he just hit four three pointers in a row and that the cops are watching his every move. But you know what I like most about this track? it has this dance-hall sound to it that jerks you to the left and right, almost like the musical version of one of those dingy roller-coaster rides at that random ass carnival that keeps poppin’ up around your way. I love when my reggae artists utilize this sound!
This song is too tough to pass up.
4. HIGH DRIVE (LOUIS DRIVE)
Does this song feature Offset? Ok, too soon, right?
If you didn’t know, yours truly is Nigerian. I eat Jollof like a pig and rub vapor rub on my body when I get sick just like any other Igbo man! I also listen to a lot of Nigerian music — both past and present. With that being said, “Dun Rich” gave me all the Naija vibes I needed, as it features this rhythm that is very similar to most traditional Afro-beats music you hear today, and a buddy-buddy collaboration between Davido and Popcaan that is hella memorable. As a fellow Naija, I approve!
I tell you, Jamaicans and Nigerians are cut from the same malt liquor stained cloth!
“Call Me” contains a sound that Sean Kingston used to obliterate when he was poppin’.
You wanted to hear a catchy little reggae tune that has the possibility of blowing up, right? “Call Me” is just that! It features this bubbly reggae instrumental that has elements to it that is puppy love inspired. Matter of fact, i wouldn’t have minded if Jibbs was featured on this s**t! (I’m joking, guys!)
Popcaan gives us his most infectious contribution yet on this song. On the hook, he drops something with a melody so good that It got stuck in my head after half a listen. He just strings his words out so perfectly, and harmonizes like a dude that knows his limits. As for his verses, they are solid. On them, through some very animated bars, Pop bigs up his chicks for doing everything in the book for him when he was poppin’ and not poppin’. In other words, this song is a down chick anthem.
2. WINE FOR ME
“Wine For Me” might be a hit! Nah, literally, it has a beat that punches your eardrums!
Call me crazy, but the beat to “Wine For Me” sounds a lot like “Unforgettable.” Then again, a lot of beats out today sound like “Unforgettable.” Anyway, on it, Popcaan hurls out compliments to all the women in the club he’s currently in, gassing them up so they can start shaking their asses and doing that weird thing in which they start looking back at their cheeks to see if it’s functioning properly. The song is dope as f**k, mainly because Popcaan’s relentlessness on it is inspiring.
I can’t get the hook to this song out my head, bruh! Geez Louise, I can’t go into work tomorrow now.
1. THROUGH THE STORM
“Through The Storm” is the definition of beautiful music. It features a guitar heavy instrumental and some pretty deep lyrics from Popcaan. Quite honestly, I didn’t know he was capable of sounding this smooth or soulful when he sang, delivering this sound that I swear is both heavenly and Bob Marley-esque.
This song is genre-less. Everyone can enjoy it.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. SILENCE (4.5/5)
2. CALL ME (4.5/5)
3. WINE FOR ME (5/5)
4. SUPERSTAR (3.5/5)
5. HAPPY NOW (4/5)
6. NAKED (3.5/5)
7. HIGH DRIVE (LOUIS OUT) (4.5/5)
8. FOREIGN LOVE (3.5/5)
9. BODY SO GOOD (4/5)
10. LEF MY GUN (3.5/5)
11. MI LOVE YUH (4/5)
12. DESERVE IT ALL (4/5)
13. DUN RICH (4.5/5)
14. STRONG WOMEN (3.5/5)
15. THROUGH THE STORM (5/5)
16. FIRM AND STRONG (3.5/5)
17. A WHA SAH (3.5/5)
If you are a heavy club-goer like I used to be, Popcaan’s album will resonate with you strongly. Practically every song is made to get you to dance — even the ones like “Lef My Gun” in which he’s talking about some savage s**t. For the most part, the beats are similar, and Popcaan doesn’t deviate much from his signature sound. In other words, whatever you thought this album was going to sound like before you pressed play on it, it probably sounds like.
Personally, I thought a few of the tracks on this album were special (See my top 5). You knew they were special because the hook had you hypnotized with its killer melody and flawless deliveries, and the subject matters were deep. With that being said, I thought Popcaan straddled the line between cliche and relatable really well, and I think that’s very hard to do as a musical artist.
In the eyes of the beholder, repetitive can be a good or bad thing; I do think this album has a very repetitive sound. There wasn’t much effort from our hero to step outside of the box, something I was hoping to see considering the fact that he’s plugged into the hip hop industry quite a bit. If you play the album from start to finish, I bet you’ll get tired of it quick, which is why I recommend that you find a good 3-4 songs to play from it, play those out, then go back and find another 3-4 that you can play out after that.
Do you know what this album reminds me? That commercial Dance-hall Music is at an all time high. I couldn’t believe how much I connected with the tracks I heard on it, and how much certain elements of it has been plugged into the music we hear from major hip hop artists today (especially HoodCelebritty, Tory Lanez and Stefflon Don’s s**t). I’m not sure how big the songs on this project will get or the amount of albums it will sell, but I can tell you this, Forever’s timelessness is on fleek!
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.