Is the Drake pal Jamaica's next big crossover star?
It's shortly after midnight, and Popcaan and his crew are running late. They had planned to make the cross-island drive from Kingston to Ocho Rios for a show on Jamaica's north coast with enough time to relax on the beach and eat some steamed fish. But somehow the time slipped away, as it often does on the island's slow, steamy nights.
"Change of plans," says Popcaan. "This end of the country I get a lot of love." Which is why his four-car caravan is now hurtling through the darkness at breakneck speed, swerving back and forth to avoid slower vehicles.
Things have been moving fast for the 25-year-old ever since he was introduced on Vybz Kartel's 2010 smash hit, "Clarks." That song, which preceded a worldwide spike in sales for the shoe brand, opened with Kartel asking, "Wha gwan, Popcaan?" With his debut album, "Where We Come From," due June 10 on Brooklyn's Mixpak Records, Popcaan's answer to that question, in Jamaican patois, only could be "nuff." Kartel is now serving a life sentence for murder, leaving a void for his protege, currently dancehall's hottest young artist.