It’s difficult, if not impossible, to narrow down the list of the top 10 greatest Popcaan songs of all time. Though he started out as a protegee of the legendary Vybz Kartel, Popcaan, whose real name is Andrae Jay Sutherland has gone on to have one of the biggest careers in dancehall of all time.
And, just like his mentor, the Unruly boss has gone on to influence other artistes in reggae and dancehall.
To say he’s come a long way from his humble beginnings in St. Thomas Parish would be an understatement. Popcaan, in fact, is so popular that he was one of the first artistes to ever record a song with superstar Cardi B.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 Popcaan songs of all time.
10. “When Mi Party”
Back in 2012, Popcaan released this danceable track that stayed true to his partying roots. Singing about all the good times, and bad times, of a good time dancehall party, Popcaan reminds you that you can get down however you’d like, because it’s all about having a good time. “Right now mi drunk nuh bomboclat/Carry mi home/Right now mi cyaan’ even find mi phone (yeah)/Live yuh life, shake yuh breast dem/Nuh care if ah silicone,” he said, and as the kids today say, “I felt that.”
9. “Only Man She Want”
A love song in the vein of LL Cool J’s “Hey Lover,” “Only Man She Want” details Popcaan’s failed romantic pursuits for a woman that allegedly loves her man, even though her heart is set on the Unruly boss. “Him tell her she cheap, say him a go cheat/Say she a go weep say him a go beat/But me a the only man she want/The only man she want yeah,” he says, in an almost lovelorn fashion. Bless him.
A wise man — or Lil’Wayne — once said that “real G’s move in silence, like lasagna.” And Popcaan knows all-too-well how jealousy of another man’s riches can lead to trouble for the blessed man down the line. And that’s why, he says, it’s important to be careful about who you tell your blessings to, lest you get robbed or worse. “Careful do you confide inna/A nuh anybody pour my drinks/ah nuh anybody buy my dinner/So hard fi trust your enemy, hard fi trust your friend/Trust your friend, me nah lie/Me love me family but me nuh trust the whole a dem,” he says. (Even your family, bro? Damn.)
7. “Everything Nice”
Not even going to the morgue to claim the body of a loved one is enough to make Popcaan slow the party down. Just pour a little Henny in your cup and everything will be, well, nice. “Hennessy pack up, refill yuh cup/Music a play ’til the speaker fuck up/Gyal faint when mi click mi finger like Erup/she ah wine unda rum and syrup/Reaching out to all who do nine to five, weh ah/Put in di work an’ ah fight fi strive,” he says, and yes, as a matter of fact, that does sound like everything nice, now that you mention it.
Every once in a while, a lion has to remind the rest of the jungle that he is, in fact, a lion. Even though Popcaan makes music that everybody can dance to, he still has that ragga style when he needs to. “Now me shot like Lebron, and dem shock like O’neal/And mi shoes and mi clothes dem real/And man ah living legend, and the truth just reveal/Wonder how di haters dem feel?” he asks, rhetorically, knowing that the answer is simple: not good. Not good at all, sir.
5. “Fall In Love”
2014’s smash track from Popcaan’s album Work Permit Riddim is, perhaps, one of the few times ever that he really talks about love and really, really means it (but not in a Drake type of way, thankfully). “She said it be a love at first sight/Love at first sight/When she see me last night/Ay, she seh/She can’t get over me/And me cyaan get over she,” he trills, wistfully.
2010’s Gangsta City had Popcaan waxing poetic about the hard-knock life in his native St. Thomas Parish. He also said that it was this song, more than any other, that made people start to take him and his music seriously. It was the song he performed during his breathtaking entrance at Unruly Fest last year. “Dem say, me nah go noweh/”Youth, you nah go make no money”/And dem say me soon haffi run away/But dem a dream,” he says, speaking of the detractors to his musical dream.
3. “Ova Dweet”
This song is relatively new (released in 2016 on the album of the same name, so it’s just about 4 years old), but it’s still classic Popcaan. And it’s nasty as hell, which means we can’t release the lyrics here, but you can feel free to have a listen below.
2. “Numbers Don’t Lie”
This here is one of the newest tracks from Popcaan which appeared on his Vanquish mixtape, and needless to say, he’s more gully than ever before. Never afraid to call people out, Popcaan makes clear that no matter how much you try to front on him, his record speaks for itself in all arenas. “Wah ‘mount ah gyal mi have, yeah/Numbers don’t lie, yeah/Wah ‘mount ah Matic mi have, yeah/Numbers don’t lie,” he spits.
Paying tribute to Family (which doesn’t always mean by blood) is Popcaan in peak form, belting out vocals about trust and loyalty. “Nah make dem trick me and kill me, no way / You mussi bloodclaat mad! / Life a the greatest ting, dawg / Me no lef’ gun, and me no lef’ my God” If there’s a more infectious dancehall chorus, we certainly haven’t heard it.
Some honorable mentions: