The new mixtape by the dancehall sensation is the best of all facets of his career, from slow-wine ballads to summery head-bangers. It is a testimony to his place at the top of the genre.
The model of popcaan’s most up-to-date project fixtape that’s on primary streaming structures is a celeb-studded, 19-track challenge that, in many ways, mirrors the music that the artist born andrae sutherland has released over the last six years. It’s dancehall this is aware about international tendencies, while nonetheless serving up tracks to the unswerving center of listeners that have been around on account that he turned into a younger protégé beneath the tutelage of vybz kartel’s gaza. There are appearances from the rising jamaican singer jada country, popcaan’s former gaza teammate tommy lee sparta, french montana, and drake, whose ovo imprint launched fixtape. There are peaks and valleys that see poppy go from gradual-wining to go-banging to a handful of uplifting ballads that element his ascension to dancehall royalty. But to enjoy fixtape in all of its glory, listen to the ninety-minute, 30-plus tune version that exists as a novel blend (dealt with by popular sound system chromatic) on popcaan’s soundcloud. It’s miles the best manner to completely engage with and verify popcaan’s stellar variety, which encapsulates the dancehall of the beyond, gift, and destiny.
In its blend shape, fixtape is framed as an epic story in which popcaan stocks moments alongside his direction to dancehall’s most distinguished torchbearers. Instead of starting with the self-produced “chill,” the soundcloud model starts with melodramatic piano strokes, nearly paying homage to the topic track to the young and the stressed. The ones key hits grow right into a symphonic instrumental variation of popcaan’s 2011 hit “only guy she want,” and shortly after, the primary two non-poppy voices you hear are a drop from incarcerated icon vybz kartel and audio of drake’s reward at the first unruly fest in december 2018. Though even newbie popcaan listeners already recognize these affiliations, starting the mission in this way is like flexing for the replicate, a moment of self-confirmation before proving it to the arena. So it makes feel that the first track in this version of the tape, “killy dem loopy,” is popcaan trying his hand at nas and diddy’s trackmasters-produced conventional “hate me now”—the best “fuck whoever don’t love it” gesture.
Not like popcaan’s earlier, greater traditional releases, fixtape is an all-get right of entry to pass inside present day dancehall that explores how its attain spans throughout a lot of the global black diaspora. His debut album, 2014’s wherein we come from, changed into guided by an autobiographical narrative and received the desire of global listeners because of its incorporation of dad-leaning manufacturing. Four years later, his 2d album, 2018’s all the time, turned into by and large created from effortlessly listenable memories approximately pursuing love hobbies and the non secular choose he believes the almighty has bestowed upon him. On the tail end of 2019, he launched vanquish, a low-stakes inaugural ovo release that, if dropped this 12 months, could have accompanied the brand new in-quarantine trend of being a deluxe version of for all time.
Fixtape has elements of every of those releases. There are plenty of breezy, wine-inducing tracks like those that helped popcaan wreck through to non-jamaican markets. “twist & turn,” with manufacturing from dvsn’s nineteen85 (accountable for “one dance” and “hotline bling”), appears like it is able to be popcaan’s breakout international hit. Were it not for this covid-themed summer, the track probably would have loved a “work” or “one dance” type of run at cookouts, bashments, and day events. On “suh me luv it,” he recruits singer jada country for a seductive duet. By the time you get to the stop of the project, popcaan’s signature ballads serve as stunning send-offs. On “bank & god,” he’s distrustful of pals and own family, but additionally reflective. “my way” closes the venture, in which he sings, “wi used to go through, now ah ordinary wi rejoice/nuh cash cyan ever mek wi segregate/dawg guy ah come from sardine, however these days, ah steak” even as proclaiming that he is prepared to just accept all benefits. However in between these bookends are songs that display why fixtape is arguably popcaan’s most powerful presenting yet.
If you observe popcaan on instagram, then you definitely’re well aware of how a good deal his regular existence seems like a truth show: riverside excursions with buddies, hilarious interactions together with his mom leave out rona, the clean indication that network (friends, collaborators, circle of relatives, and past) is crucial to his well-being and that he by no means desires to be far from it. Before fixtape, his ethos changed into never truly displayed in the music. However at each turn of this assignment, you experience like you are both internal of the studio consultation or within the real dancehall experiencing this firsthand. Modern jamaican tune stars like protoje and lila ike test in during, whilst participants of the caribbean diaspora like giggs, kano, and casanova show up to let popcaan recognize simply what a dwelling legend he is. While whoever is on the mic hits their stride and wows everyone else in the room, you could listen the shouts of their friends inside the history as chromatic wheels the tracks returned to their beginning. And when popcaan is going over beats from stateside friends like meek mill’s “uptown vibes,” dababy’s “rockstar,” or n.O.R.E.’s traditional “nothin’” you get a peek at his taste outside of the jamaican song sphere.
Fixtape suggests a manual for contemporary dancehall artists (who, unlike popcaan, rarely ever drop complete-duration projects) on the way to cater to their base even as concurrently amplifying their voices the world over. It additionally challenges hip-hop artists within the states to get back to their underground roots for the sake of amusing. Earlier than this, album popcaan and free music popcaan acted separately. On the albums got here the affection songs, the songs that folks that observed caribbean song via drake ought to get down with. Loose tune popcaan hops on popular riddims, gives you gunman tunes, and doesn’t care approximately who outdoor of the jamaican diaspora gets it. However right here, we get both, and it’s the satisfactory manner to revel in the whole intensity and grand scale of popcaan.