Every Song Ranked From Worst To Best – DancehallMag

Starting off as a precocious Vybz Kartel protégé, Popcaan has risen to the pinnacle of success in Dancehall with his signature style, swagger, and slangs. With more than a decade of features and accolades under his belt, it’s safe to say that the St. Thomas native has the ‘it factor’, and is well on his way to planting his Clarks clad feet in major crossover territory having worked with everyone from Norweigan DJ Matoma to Pop vanguards Maroon 5.

We’ve dug up all of Popcaan’s international collaborations and will keep this article updated as the artist continues his quest to find that huge crossover hit.  From ranking the downright worst (sorry Poppy), to celebrating some of his all-time best team-ups with artists from across the globe, we found that there were some unexpected surprises. But, it was his immersive Dancehall flows with these foreign flavors that really made this collection a testament to how quick-witted and chameleon-like the Dancehall hitmaker Andrae Sutherland really is.

We also found that while Popcaan has a palette for refined and rich cultural genres, he is nothing more than passionate about his African roots, a sentiment shared by fellow musicians from the motherland who have sought his assist on many of the records you’ll find in this collection.

Demos and unreleased tracks, such as Drake’s infamous version of Controlla, are not included, but you can find a handy playlist at the end of the article.

50. Kick Out – Triga Finga (2015)

Japanese dancehall artist Triga Finga brings his nunchaku to the islands to Kick Out some “man teet” and lick out some “boy jawbone” with the baddest Dancehall act in town, the 876GUD. Setting off imaginations of a gun-slinging martial arts warfare, this teaming, though intriguing, falls flat for lack of veracity. (CB)

49. Upside Down – Vincz Lee, Riga, FireFLY, Cali P (2016)

This is a trippy, electro-pop track by Swiss emcee Vincz Lee and producers Riga, FireFLY, Cali P. Popcaan transmits a carefree flavor and catchy pre-chorus, while blaring his festive creed, “Travel di world all around turn the places upside down”. (SL)

In this eclectic fusion of energizing rhymes from American rapper, Wale and choruses of one bridge, and one verse from Popcaan’s 2014 release, Everything Nice, sure issues a certified party banger. The rendition, Feeling Right (Everything Is Nice) is the debut single by Norwegian DJ and producer Matoma, and charted on the Norwegian Records Charts (VG Lista) in 2015. (CB)

47. Big Yacht – Triga Finga (2017)

Triga Finga and Popcaan continued to make, well, an interesting duo. We’ll let you be the judge while you check out the Quada and Sizzla cameos as well as the quirky chorus on his ode to “living life to the fullest with peers”. (SL)

Jamaican raised, British rapper Giggs dropped his 2017 single Times Tickin from his Wamp 2 Dem project, featuring the ever-strapped and ever-ready, Unruly Boss. Merging early 2000s rap beats on a shrill buzzing bassline, the two ‘killy killy’ street thugs spur creepy feels with their lyrical threats. (CB)

45. Violate – Samini (2014)

Ghanaian dancehall artist Samini features Fry Yiy on this pulsing gangster log. They get up to some fun and flashy antics while issuing a fierce warning to those trying to violate in the Prince Dovlo directed clip shot in Accra. (SL)

44. Born Bad – Freddie Gibbs (2015)

In this team up with American rapper Freddie Gibbs, Popcaan’s Born Bad librettos are convincing, as they are daunting. The duo’s wicked delivery drove the track’s placement on the soundtrack for the action-adventure video game Grand Theft Auto V in 2015, a composition by The Alchemist. Several media houses recognized the Jamaican deejay’s assist on the single positively; one from Andrew Matson of NPR said, “Popcaan maintains a good rhythm and a great, stuttering chorus in Born Bad”. (CB)

43. Hustle – Pusha T (2014)

In the early years of his beef with Drake, Pusha T was the only guest feature on Popcaan’s debut album, Where We Come From. Popcaan and the Virginia rapper go all-in on their ambitions, as he speaks fluent dancehall over a thumping hip hop pulse, produced by Dre Skull. (SL)

With British singer Kyla, Popcaan infuses this Naughty Boy produced track about a short-lived hook-up with some perspective and Dancehall sway. “Cyah believe mi soldier girl get weak like a old lady,” he chides playfully in his verse.  (SL)

The 876GUD lent the Soundgod signee some dancehall cred on this elegant afro-pop celebration of African women’s mesmerizing dance moves. Their shared interest in Lucie’s ‘fire dance’ and ‘whining’ has them hypnotized, and ‘ready to do many things’ for ‘the sake of love.’ (SL)

40. Life Is Real – Jah Cure, Padrino (2018)

In his expectant raspy vocals and passionate lyrics, Jah Cure takes his 2018 single, Life Is Real into another realm of emotion with Poppy’s laidback sways and Nassau singer/rapper Padrino’s lax sonic flows to explore life’s hardships and the hustling that is needed to survive. (CB)

A breakout hit for the St. Thomas native, the strength from the senior rapper and longtime friend of the Gaza on the remix was a good look. Among Busta’s memorable bars: “di gal a yell out Busta, yo no hear how she a def him/ him a cry now, from the way how she a lef him. (SL)

Popcaan’s remix for his previously released track, Buzz takes on British rapper, Mist on a skippy Afrobeat styled riddim to send a buzzing feeling through your body. But it’s the chorus that exacts the title. Popcaan says his “trim has a buzz” in reference to what had become his notorious haircut back in May 2020. (CB)

37. Say A Prayer – TIEKS, Chaka Khan (2017)

Yep, Popcaan even has a collab with the iconic, 10-time Grammy award-winning, Chaka Khan. Thanks to London beatmaker/producer TIEKS, aka Mark Tieku, Popcaan appeared on this poignant gospel ballad, Say A Prayer in 2017 with Khan to uplift those needing it the most through a melodious prayer. (CB)

Shot in several locales in Jamaica, Popcaan and his British linky, rapper/ producer Hypo also known as Bigg Hypes show you how “real ole G’s run these streets” in lyric and more vividly in the music video. They’ve got the money, pretty girls, guns, and big boy toys to get around, just mere perks to their thug-like street cred. (CB)

Former Bad Boy rapper Shyne hopped on the 2017 hit after his incarceration, stepping into Poppy’s then growing spotlight with some slick rhymes of his own: “Christopher Walken, walking out of Sing Sing/ 500 horses, porches on the engine/ Bussing multibillion thoughts and killer instincts.” (SL)

34. Weekend – Preme (2020)

A banger from Popcaan and Preme’s Link Up EP, Weekend instantly defines itself as that track you blast at the end of a long workweek. The peppy beat transforms into impromptu head bopping and let-loose dancing as the narrative spurs an uninhibited sing-a-long. (CB)

London meets St. Thomas, Jamaica as Poppy adds his fluid bars to this already island-tinged song. Lily’s airy, electro-pop pleas mesh perfectly with his patois snubs: “if mi forgive yuh it haffi be a miracle”.  (SL)

This remix of the first single from Popcaan’s Forever album in 2018. The track features Nigerian heavyweight Mr. Eazi on a zesty Dancehall and Afrobeat riddim where the two artistes sing their flattery on a “feisty” irresistible damsel with what they call a ‘body so good.’ (CB)

31. Blocka – Pusha T, Travis Scott (2012)

In this grimey track, Popcaan drops a fire intro, which sets the pace for Pusha T’s firing off and Travis Scott on the chorus. (SL)

30. Unruly – Dave East (2020)

Upon a visit to the island last October, Harlem rapper, Dave East joined forces with the Unruly Boss to shoot the visuals for his stone-cold track Unruly. The duo executes their steely lyrics while taking on a scenic tour of the beautiful north coast to the underworld trenches of Tivoli Gardens with cameos by Unruly protégé Quada, Dancehall starboy Skillibeng, reggae singer Dre Island and producer Dane Ray in the music video. (CB)

Popcaan and Preme drop off this stylish rebuff from 2020’s Link Up EP with the help of some young Jamaican talent, BEAM. “Yuh seh yuh wan’ house, you wan’ car, Rolls Royce/ Seh yuh love costin’ too much, baby,” Popcaan chants on the chorus. (SL)

You can say Popcaan certainly gets around, this unlikely teaming with Adam Levine of Maroon 5 on vocals was an unexpected surprise and much anticipated single prior to its release last October. The song is a romantic mid-tempo ballad inspired by the endless COVID-19 pandemic and the George Floyd protests, according to Levine. (CB)

British rapper and singer J Hus taps the Unruly Boss for this 2017 tribute to leveling up and making it big. They brag over a driving beat about their status and payoff from stacking plenty of bouff (money). (SL)

26. Intercourse – Megan Three Stallion, Mustard (2020)

Talk about a match made in heaven or in this case ecstasy. Popcaan takes on the first half of this highly sexed-up collabo promising his masculine attributes in beyond lewd verses, but Megan is never to be outdone nor is she missing out on that Island loving, just take her to ‘Montego’ and treat her body like ‘some oxtail’ she says. Intercourse released last November on the American rapper’s highly acclaimed debut album Good News. (CB)

25. Avengers – Loski (2020)

Popcaan and drill up-and-comer Loski traded Marvel-inspired wordplay on this thumping 2020 banger. Invoking Spider-Man, Iron Man and others against their enemies while hailing local heroes like Sizzla, Spragga Benz, the international link up is a solid delivery. (SL)

24. Comfortable – Davido, PREME (2020)

Yet another Popcaan and Davido collaboration, this track features on the artist’s second album of 2020, an EP with his Canadian OVO cohort. Released as the project’s first single, Comfortable is a sentimental, late-night hip-hop type of vibe. (SL)

23. My Story – Davido (2017)

Back in 2017, the Popcaan and Davido put a witty spin on the length of a Snapchat (R.I.P) story spawning this hookup anthem. Shot on location in Jamaica, the clip features lots of beautiful women and floating emojis to match the theme. (SL)

22. Hurtin’ Me (Remix) – Stefflon Don, Sean Paul, Sizzla (2018)

Remixing her previously released firecracker track, Hurtin’ Me, Stefflon Don adds flavors from Dancehall’s most eligible lady-killers, Sean Paul, Sizzla, and Popcaan. The 876Gad’s delivery meets the flows of the riddim in soft harmonic tones exacting the track’s narrative of ex-lovers toiling with their feelings. (CB)

Ghana’s newest Afrobeat/Dancehall artist J.Derobie had an incredible follow-up to his 2019 debut single Poverty. The track became a smash hit within a couple of weeks and soon after topped the music charts in Ghana. The Uglyonit-produced single, which stories the struggles of life, got an even bigger boost with an official remix from Popcaan, a man who knows these adversities all too well. (CB)

20. One You Love – Ivy Layne (2017)

Ukrainian pop singer Ivy Layne jetted to the islands to link up with the Unruly Boss to truly embody the narrative of her debut single, One You Love. Shot in Jamaica, Layne said in an interview, “Everybody has that ‘one you love.’ The video is all about being on a dream vacation with that person.” Well, the 876Gad had something to say about that. “I’m gonna be the one you love,” he confidently croons on the hook. (CB)

Grime pioneer Kano flexes his Jamaican heritage with some help from the Dancehall huncho. From the Capleton intro, Buju and Bob Marley name-dropping and final family feast, the clip proves Kano’s lyrics ‘you can’t take di ends out di kid.’  (SL)

18. 2 Cups – Fredo, Tory Lanez (2019)

The Jamaican/Canadian/British linkup set to a rhythmic sample of the Diwali Riddim was a 2019 smash. It’s one of many collabs that show why they call him the Raving King and his growl on the intro escalates into a buzzworthy affair. (SL)

17. Freeze – Preme (2020)

Proving to be a pretty dynamic duo, Popcaan and Canadian Rapper Preme’s Link Up EP was evidence the two definitely have some kind of chemistry. The collection’s ice-cold single, Freeze bounces on a sick instrumental acoustic as the two playboys talk about their icy jewels ‘freezing’ their wrists and neck where they don them –“Mi wrist cold!” (CB)

16. Lighters Up – Snoop Lion, Blakkamoore, Mavado (2012)

The second single from Snoop Dogg’s Reincarnation album was also the last time Popcaan and now nemesis Mavado collaborated. Still, the track’s marching band pulse lends urgency to the unifying ethos -“Put your lighters up/ Ain’t no dividing us/ East Side, West Side North Side, South Side.” (SL)

15. Wining Queen – Preme, Wiz Khalifa (2020)

With its mellow, tropical soundscape, Wining Queen leaves you longing for the good ol days on a packed dance floor. Taken off Poppy and Preme’s Link Up EP, the cruisy Wiz Khalifa addition captures the essence of the album title.  (SL)

14. No Talking – Lucas DiPasquale (2015)

Canadian Reggae artist Lucas DiPasquale’s YouTube mashup of Popcaan’s hits changed his life forever. The uncanny overnight alliance spawned appearances (Dream Weekend 2014) as well as the synthy track No Talking, where the pair slings patois as they share chorus duty. Lucas’s energetic guitar strumming and syrupy falsetto bars along with Poppy’s slick bigheaded flow, sure gives this one a buzz.

13. ALL I NEED – Drake (2020)

The 876GUD and The 6 God have kept fans in their feels and winding their waists with fire collabs since the Controlla tease. This steamy slow burn combination is just as addictive and is one of two Drake features from 2020’s FIXTAPE. (SL)

12. Come Over – Jorja Smith (2020)

Popcaan certainly has a way with the ladies. The Unruly Boss dials things way back to join the saccharine purrs of UK songbird Jorja Smith in their teaming on Come Over. While Jorja contemplates an uncertain love in the song, Popcaan slyly positions himself as an attainable suitor. The single released in 2020 and placed on the Belgium (Ultratop) and UK Singles charts. (CB)

Rhythm master, British record producer Naughty Boy mixes vocals from Popcaan and UK singer Kyla for this fusion we never knew we needed. Kyla’s tender ranges in this rueful love song are truly serenading, while Popcaan harmonizing “it should’ve been you” resonates deeply. The song released in 2016 and placed on the UK Singles Chart. (CB)

10. Comfort You – Willie X.O, Tory Lanez (2018)

Nigerian afrobeats star Willie X.O scored when he recruited the international superstars Popcaan and Tory Lanez for an instant hit. Popcaan represented his homebase well with ad-libs heard throughout and a sultry final verse to close out the party vibes.

9. Dun Rich – DaVido (2018)

This was a pretty memorable collab with Popcaan and Nigerian singer/producer Davido. The upbeat record is a single from Poppy’s 2018 Forever project, which went on to hold the No. 2 spot on the Reggae Albums chart when it released. The track represents a celebration of two rich and vibrant cultures as seen in the music video, which was shot in Lagos, featuring an array of beautiful and strong Nigerian women. (CB)

8. Saturn Barz – Gorillaz (2017)

Popskull joins unruly British virtual rockers Gorillaz, proving he’s unstoppable in any genre. Weaving his gritty success story into the electro-ambient tune, he helped push the track to #1 on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, number five on the US Hot Rock Songs chart, and land on Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Songs of 2017 list. (SL)

7. MURDA – Preme, French Montana (2020)

MURDA was definitely one of the standout tracks on Popcaan’s chart-topping FIXTAPE. Like recruiting foreign gorillas, Popcaan added the stealth, raspy tones of Canadian rapper, Preme and the easy sways of US rapper, French Montana to somehow stir dark, malevolent feels upon listening. (CB)

What better way to land a summer banger than with one of the hottest Dancehall artists around and on the shores of Helshire Beach in Jamaica. British singer Melissa Steel’s smash hit Kisses for Breakfast with Popcaan garnered rave reviews for its “summer, island feels” when it was released in 2014. The “sugary melodies and sexy innocence” of Steel’s first single were likened to early Rihanna by UK outlet Maximum Pop! The Unruly Boss’ brisk bars powered up the track which peaked at number ten on the UK Singles Chart.

5. Risky – Davido (2019)

Nigerian star Davido is one of Popcaan’s more frequent collaborators and both titans score with this alluring afrobeats track. The video contains big screen tensions and thrilling plot twists that make the overall effort a winner. (SL)

Hats off to Popcaan on this one, the 876 Gad flexes some pretty slick bars alongside Young Thug on this already pulsating banger produced by Jamie xx. Filmed in New York and Jamaica, the new music video captures both artists in their own districts reciting the lyrics on the rhythmic beat that is nothing short of euphonious. The track released in 2015 as the third single from Jamie xx’s debut studio album, In Colour, and entered the U.K. Singles Charts and Australian ARIA Charts. (CB)

English electronic dream team AlunaGeorge tapped the 876GUD to amp up this synth-pop bop with his inventive flow. Listen as Poppy’s shouts, “All night me ah gi yuh love” full throttle before the pulsating beat drop.  The track was certified Sliver in the UK and peaked at No. 18 on Billboard’s US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. (SL)

2. So What – dvsn (2020)

Canadian R&B singer and producer duo dvsn (pronounced ‘division’) and Popcaan teamed up for So What in 2020.  Popcaan’s patois ad-libs match the dulcet sways of Daniel Daley’s tones on this one.  The deejay’s bars, though unfailing of his lewd lingos, were also tailored just right for this R&B cut which basks in the glow of Dancehall.

1. TWIST & TURN – Drake, PARTYNEXTDOOR (2020)

TWIST & TURN (and ALL I NEED) are Popcaan’s first formal collaborations with Canadian rapper and OVO boss Drake. The melodic patois delivery on this hooky, hypnotic number made it an instant hit from FIXTAPE. The lethal OVO posse cut landed on Barack Obama’s 2020 Summer Playlist, and peaked at No. 32 on Billboard’s Rhythmic Songs chart. (SL)


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