POPCAAN is the pint-sized king of Ja­maican dance­hall a sin­gin star who has crossed over from is­land sound sys­tems to in­ter­na­tional hit col­lab­o­ra­tions with the likes of Drake, Kanye West and Da­mon Al­barn. An­drew Perry spends a very long week­end get­ting to

Q (UK) - - Contents -

Life hasn’t been easy for the king of Ja­maican dance­hall, but as we find over the course of a lost week­end in Lon­don, the Un­ruly Boss pre­vailed.

Half an hour be­fore he’s due to per­form, mid-evening on the main stage at All Points East fes­ti­val in Vic­to­ria Park, Hack­ney, Popcaan has yet to ma­te­ri­alise. The pint-sized cross­over king of Ja­maican dance­hall is be­lieved to have ar­rived in the coun­try, but no­body from his transat­lantic rep­re­sen­ta­tion has heard from him to­day. His phone’s go­ing straight to an­swer, but a new In­sta­gram post shows him of­fi­ci­at­ing at some kind of im­promptu quad-bike street event, hope­fully not too far from East Lon­don’s Nobu Ho­tel, where he’s meant to be stay­ing. All such un­pre­dictabil­ity is surely what you want from your vis­it­ing nu-reg­gae roy­alty, whose ad­mir­ing col­lab­o­ra­tors have in­cluded A-lis­ters such as Drake, Kanye West and Da­mon Al­barn. Popcaan – sex­ier than Shaggy, edgier than Sean Paul, and by some dis­tance the most suc­cess­ful “sing­jay” of his gen­er­a­tion – has very grad­u­ally proven his po­ten­tial as an in­ter­na­tional star-in-wait­ing, ca­pa­ble of trans­lat­ing the ever-bub­bling rel­e­vance of Ja­maican mu­sic into mas­sive suc­cess around the world. As a Caribbean-wor­thy sun­set bathes the APE stage, sud­denly, bang on time, there he is, a diminu­tive dy­namo zip­ping around with all the in­can­des­cent en­ergy of a young Iggy Pop, clad in black­out shades, tight white satin drain­pipes and a bro­caded jacket un­sea­son­ally zipped up to the neck. Backed just by a DJ sum­mon­ing bass-bump­ing tracks from a lap­top – of­ten snatches of just 30 sec­onds’ du­ra­tion, brack­eted

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