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Popcaan rising to iconic status

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In 2008 when Popcaan (Andrae Hugh Sutherland) joined the highly controversial Gaza empire, it was Kartel who taught him the industry, mentoring him, providing the means for him to produce music, introducing him to audiences through appearances on shows such as Sting and Reggae Sumfest.

As a part of Gaza, Popcaan was merely a face amongst several. Always being compared with his crew members and Kartel. Yet his loyalty, respect for the crew and desire to support Kartel kept him in his lane. Although he had a few well-known independent hits and collaborations such as “Clarks”, with Kartel, which helped to establish him as a household name. He was still lurking in the shadows of the Gaza crew and the tall, giant of a Dj, Vybz Kartel. Back then it was highly questionable whether Popcaan or any other crew member had anything substantial enough for them to stand on their own without the World Boss. Kartel’s skills were unmatched. Popcaan couldn’t write with the same lyrical intellect and prowess of such a genius.

In September 2011, Kartel’s incarceration forced Popcaan to stand on his own two feet. Many Gaza crew members dispersed like the twelve disciples. Yet Popcaan defied all expectations to prove to the world that he was a force not to be reckoned with. He released hit, after hit, each new one exceeding the last such as “Only Man She Want”, “Everything Nice”, “Ova Dweet”, “El Chapo” and “Family”, proving that he wasn’t a one hit wonder. Popcaan had a distinct sound of his own, his songs were melodic and catchy like nursery rhymes. Although his lack of political correctness was much to be desired, his genuine frankness and transparency resonated with audiences. Eight years later and Popcaan has proven the test of time. Carving out a distinct lane for himself to become an international award winning phenomenon, with sold out shows across the world, charting billboards, featuring in high profile press such as The New York Times, collaborating with the likes of Drake, Pusha T and Wale.

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