Flanked by a sizeable entourage, including rumored girlfriend and collaborator Toni-Ann Singh, Dancehall star Popcaan arrived at 9PM for the listening party for his new album, Great Is He, which was held on Monday (January 23) in Kingston, Jamaica.
The St. Thomas native, born Andrae Hugh Sutherland, gave presenters of the media, and purveyors of the Reggae and Dancehall music culture a first listen to the 17-track project, ahead of its release on Friday, January 27. Notable attendees included Ce’cile, Skillibeng, Runkus, Bling Dawg, Laa Lee, Harry Toddler, Starr Dawkins and others, who came out in support of Popcaan.
Clad in a tailored ensemble, and in high spirits, Popcaan accepted a large canvas painting of himself with his mother, which was gifted by visual artist Calbert Jones, who gained heavy inspiration from Popcaan’s 2018 song, Firm and Strong.
The album’s opening track, Defeat The Struggle struck listeners with its reflective tone; a toast to the beginning. The melody’s slow-paced sombreness takes you to the mood and mind of Andrae.
A similar feel comes on tracks 12 through to track 16—St. Thomas Native, featuring Chronic Law, Wish No Bad, Appreciation, Past Life, and Memories—all featuring lyrics and memories, in an ode to Popcaan’s birthplace.
The album’s second track, Freshness boasts decadence and energy—this segues into Skeleton Cartier, both triggering one’s senses with its upbeat melodies, synced with Popcaan’s signature vocals.
Cry Fi Yuh Body, Set It, and New Benz touches on Dancehall’s raunchy git, while Abobooya, featuring Burna Boy, fuses an Afrobeats sound with Popcaan’s clear-cut delivery.
The track that received the biggest forward of the night was We Caa Done, his new release with Drake, which debuted at No. 16 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100, and has moved up to No. 50 on the UK Singles Chart.
The Great Is He album came to a grand finale with the title track honoring the 34-year-old, who has acknowledged his gift as ‘greatness.’ This proclamation is evidenced in his more than decade-long Dancehall music career, which boasts several chart-topping hits.
Before the pre-release listening event culminated, Popcaan took time out to address and thank those in attendance.
He singled out his former mentor and incarcerated deejay Vybz Kartel for special praise, saying, “Vybz Kartel, mi long fi di day you come a road.”
Great Is He will be Popcaan’s fifth studio album, following Where We Come From (2014), Forever (2018), Vanquish (2019), and FIXTAPE (2020), all of which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.