Popcaan goes for wide appeal with 'Forever'
Forever, his second album, finds recording artiste Popcaan wrestling with his role as an icon within the current dancehall era, and finding his place in the international pop landscape that he has contributed to in the past five years.
As a follow-up to the entertainer's debut album, Where We Come From, the 17-track set serves to showcase Popcaan's versatility as a singjay and songwriter, as he explores his feelings about trust, success and relationships by shying away from the expected - gun tunes or hardcore presentation of lyrics.
Though Popcaan's impassioned lyrics are not completely unique, his vocals flowing on the contemporary rhythmic styles quickly draw listeners closer, which was the scene at the album launch last Thursday, presented as a street dance. The exclusive play-through had supporters (in particular female fans) of the Unruly deejay climbing on to the stage to get a piece of him.
T-shirts with the album's artwork, which Popcaan threw into the crowd gathered inside the Triple Century Car Park resulted in tussles between a few women wanting their own. Popcaan entertained some of them with a dance and posed for pictures with others. There was no need to play hard to get, as he was primed to win the hearts of females globally, measured by his lyrics and personal style.
The launch also attracted members of the reggae and dancehall fraternity, including Bling Dawg, Wayne Marshall, Teflon Zinc Fence and Lila Ike.
The first single on the album, Silence, is currently trending in the top 10 on YouTube, while the song released previously online, Body So Good, has accumulated one million views in less than two months; Wine For Me and Firm & Strong follow steadily behind with over 500,000 views.
Not that Popcaan's performance focused heavily on the new singles; rather, he appeared more interested in praising, doing tributes to and praying for the release of Vybz Kartel. He also invited Quada, Jafrass and Jah Vinci to perform his single Family. Jah Vinci shared some of the spotlight by mixing his own tracks, Watch Yuh Friends and In My Life, with collaborations he worked on with Popcaan, leaving the patrons wanting more.
From the Baygon (bug spray) torches and lighters in the air to the sounds of the abeng (cow horns) and feedback online, there are signs that the album, produced by Andrew 'Dre Skull' Hershey, founder of MixPak Records - the label under which the album is released - is getting 'more fire' in a positive way.