With both a bona fide genre smash and genre-bending work in his back pocket, singer Popcaan is a Jamaican star who began his dancehall journey in 2007. It was then that he joined Vybz Kartel’s posse and was introduced to the Jamaican public via Kartel’s shows at festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Sting. Singles like “It Nuh Work So,” “Jah Jah Protect Me,” “Hot Grabba,” and “Gangsta City” helped make Popcaan a regular feature of Jamaican radio, but in 2010 he became a global reggae name when he landed on the remix of Kartel’s massive hit “Clarks.” The year 2011 saw Popcaan hit big with the solo singles “Ravin” and “Party Shot,” but next year’s “Only Man She Want” hit even bigger, winding up on reggae and R&B radio worldwide along with aptly titled compilations like Reggae Gold 2012 and Certified Boomshots. As Kartel landed in prison facing murder charges, Popcaan became the leading artist in his mentor’s camp, dubbed Gaza or Gaza Empire. Singles and mixtapes like 2013’s Yiy Change kept the Gaza Empire in focus, while the 2014 album Where We Come From broadened Popcaan’s horizon with electro production coming from Brooklyn’s Dre Skull. The album was released by Skull’s Mixpak label.
In 2014, Popcaan signed to Mixpak Records for a multi-record deal. His debut studio album, Where We Come From, was released on Mixpak on 10 June 2014. The project was executive-produced by Dre Skull. The first single from the album, “Everything Nice”, was produced by Dubbel Dutch and released on 1 October 2013. It entered the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart at number 2, and the video gained over 5 million views on YouTube. He later went on to form his own label called Unruly Entertainment.
In June 2014, Popcaan first appeared on the cover of The Fader in its 92nd issue. He featured on Melissa Steel’s “Kisses for Breakfast” single, which was a top ten hit in the UK in August 2014.
In September 2014 he was nominated for a MOBO Award in the Best Reggae Act category, his fourth consecutive nomination. In 2015 he won the MOBO Award.
In May 2015, Popcaan was featured on Jamie xx’s “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” with American rapper Young Thug.
In January 2016, Popcaan was featured on English electronic duo AlunaGeorge’s single “I’m in Control”. On March 29, 2016, a song entitled “Controlla” by Drake was leaked, with Popcaan being featured on it; a version without Popcaan was later featured on Drake’s fourth studio album Views.