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Popcaan 'Where Me Come From' Album in Stores Now!

With a sound as charming and as accessible as his name, dancehall singer Popcaan went from being the man behind the sweet and massive Jamaican hit "Only One She Want" to the unlikely head of Vybz Kartel's Gaza Empire, a position that landed in his lap after Kartel got life in prison on murder charges.

That's quite a journey up to this, his debut album, but if Where We Come From comes off a bit aloof and electro for such a Gaza past, know that the singles-driven dancehall scene is less concerned with albums than other genres, and this isn't 100 percent Gaza anyway.

Popcaan's debut lands on Dre Skull's Mixpak label and is produced in total by the Brooklyn-based Skull, so consider it a simple slice of the Popcaan picture or some exciting stepping out for the dancehall singer, because it is both. It features a Diplo-busy beat underneath, and yet the great "Love Yuh Bad" is a Skull and Popcaan cut that could hit for the singer back home, while the uplifting "Everything Nice" shines as bright as Kartel's hit "Life Sweet," just with some deeper, Brooklyn bass.

The twerking club cut "Hustle" and the dark, Three 6 Mafia-like landscape of "Ghetto (Tired of Crying)" aren't the kind of tones tourists bring home from JA, but Skull's U.S. vision of dancehall doesn't alienate the singer at all, as tales of ghetto life and the struggle to get out fuel his lyrics. If a DJ needs to segue from Gary Numan to Sean Paul, the bloopy "Addicted" might be his only hope, and by the closing title track, the album has gone full reggae-pop and worked in something global and positive for Wyclef's next mix set.

Still, without something like "Only One She Want," this is a debut by default and not an all-encompassing coming out party, but Skull and Popcaan are simpatico on Where We Come From, so love it for what it is.


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