Skillibeng hails Popcaan - Says Unruly Boss has been a mentor in music

January 13, 2021

Dancehall's breakout artiste for 2020, Skillibeng, has described fellow St Thomas star Popcaan as a big brother who has always looked out for his well-being in the industry.

The entertainer was speaking with BBC 1 Xtra's Seani B in an interview last week, where he listed the Unruly Boss as one of his mentors.

"Me an Poppy good like dat, man. Poppy look out fi young artiste inna one different way. Me know Poppy from long time. Poppy eva ah a look out fi Skillibeng," he told Seani B. "Him waah see Skillibeng reach ah some level weh nobody nah too pree fi Skillibeng, an mi respect him fi dat cause is a motivation to Sklillibeng too. Cause if ah star ah tell yuh seh yuh affi reach certain level, an yuh have di talent fi dweet, dem ting deh kinda inspirational, so big up to Popcaan."

Revealing that he grew up on music coming out of the Gaza camp that birthed Popcaan, Skillibeng also said that he has a different level of respect for Popcaan as the Inviolable singer is always ensuring he remains active on the music scene and doesn't allow complacency to seep in.

A natural vibe

Both artistes recently collaborated on their second single, Pree. Released on December 24, the song features on Skillibeng's debut compilation, The Prodigy Skilltape.

He told Seani B that the track came about from a natural vibe and was just pure enjoyment for both him and Popcaan.

"The project done from about four, five months ago and it was just a song weh mi and Popcaan inna di studio and him say him have a riddim so mi a sing the song and him a say 'Skilli mi wah yuh sing one part inna di song fi mi'. Him a mumble it (the part he wanted Skillibeng to do) and mi say 'yow, make dat stay and repeat it as a hook'. And dats how the chorus come in and mi just full up the verse space wid pure bars and dats how we had a tune," he explained. Since its release, the collaboration has garnered close to 200,000 views on YouTube.

Skillibeng also told Seani B that people labelled him a one-hit wonder after Brik Pan Brik but opined that "dem can't say dat again though". He believes he has brought a uniqueness to dancehall.

"The meaning of Skillibeng is dancehall. It isn't a word weh inna the dictionary or encyclopaedia. Is a name weh mi pick fi mi self weh mi did hear people a sing it from dem time deh as a likkle slang thing," he said. "But now when a man say 'Skillibeng', him affi say dancehall or supmn weh affi do wid dancehall, is a natural name. A di best name fi mi now, mi wouldn't want a 'hot' name."

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