As Dancehall fans brace for what they expect will be his best album yet, Popcaan has offered up a simple, cautionary soundbite: FIXTAPE was just the warm-up. And though the details surrounding this pending album are sparse at best, FIXTAPE being positioned as merely the opening act for it is saying a lot.
In an exclusive interview with the UK-based GRM Daily, Popcaan, without giving away too much, sufficiently set expectations for his new album when he shared, “It is going to be an amazing album. The FIXTAPE was like a warm-up for this album. It’s a different energy and it’s more inspiration. The more I travel, the more inspiration I get. I had some good times whilst I was here, so that will definitely roll out in the music as well.”
The album, which the deejay previously announced will be launched in Ghana, is speculated to have, for that reason, a heavy infusion of Afrobeats, Dancehall, and Hip Hop, and could see some big names from those respective genres. “In Ghana they wanted to give me everything. Ghana is my next home as well, it’s like a bigger version of Jamaica. That’s where I’m doing my album release party. Let’s do a release party in the motherland,” he confirmed with GRM.
As well, with FIXTAPE being used as a sort of measuring stick/blueprint for the album, fans would be justified in expecting the Unruly Boss to capitalize on features, in just the same way head of OVO Sound and Hip-Hop megastar, Drake has, for his most recent project, the exceedingly successful Certified Lover Boy.
Speaking of CLB, after the online chatter about his absence from the Toronto rapper’s album, Popcaan wrote on Twitter on Saturday, “Who laugh last!!! laugh the best!! #UNRULY,” again hinting at what’s to come.
Given that Popcaan has been a student of the game, it’s likely the progression of his new album will take a similar route as CLB, with his vision for Dancehall and Reggae music leading the charge.
“I want Dancehall and Reggae music to be out there just as much as Hip-Hop and R&B. I want it straight across the world, and not just me,” Popcaan shared in an interview with Grammy.com back in 2020, signaling his vision for both genres. “I want a lot of stars just popping up, and I know that they are coming from my culture. That’s my dream right now.”
Considering Popcaan’s vision and the moves he’s been making, his trips to the UK and Ghana may be more than meets the eye, especially given that he’s collaborated with artists from both those regions on some rather successful projects before. Until the Unruly Boss gives more hints, however, fans will just have to use FIXTAPE to gauge Popcaan’s next big act.
The 19-track FIXTAPE album was dropped on August 7, 2020, and featured Drake twice, French Montana, PartyNextDoor, and Preme, as well as a host of elite Dancehall acts including Jada Kingdom, Stylo G, Tommy Lee Sparta, Masicka, Dane Ray and Frahcess One.
The album, Popcaan’s 4th, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Reggae Albums sales chart. It also cracked the Billboard 200 chart with a significant and well-earned showing at No. 94 after raking in sales of 686 copies and approximately 8,800 total units with streaming during its first week.
If Popcaan’s next album tops all that, his fans will certainly be in for a treat, and his career will be all the better for it.