Toppa Top ’15: Fifteen Ways The Caribbean Impacted Pop Culture In 2015

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13. Popcaan Was On Everybody’s Summer Playlist

Since rocking “Clarks” five years ago with Vybz Kartel, Popcaan has become one of dancehall’s biggest stars internationally. His increased exposure of late is at least partly a result of his interacting with mainstream artists from Europe and North America, specifically his good friend Drake. Popcaan shows up several times on the Toronto rapper’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, one of the year’s most successful hip-hop releases, lending his intro from Where We Come From‘s “Ghetto (Tired of Crying)” to IYRTITL‘s “Know Yourself,” while “No Tellin” pulls from the Unruly Boss’ dialogue in 6 in the 876, a mini-doc shot by members of Drake’s crew during a visit to Jamaica. Meanwhile, a variety of Caribbean elements were present on British producer Jamie XX’s 2015 release In Colour, from the steel pan pulse of “Obvs” to the brightly blended summer hit “I Know (There’s Gonna Be Good Times).” Poppy brought a strong island vibe to the latter, pairing his melodious vocals with Young Thug’s idiosyncratic rap style on the popular summer anthem. This year, the Jamaican dancehall star proved to be three things: eminent, versatile and always Tr888. — Ola Mazzuca