Popcaan says he will be an independent artist soon, dropping hints he will be parting ways with Drake’s OVO Sound.
The dancehall deejay and the Toronto rapper have been close friends for years leading to the Unruly Boss signing to OVO Sound, the label founded by Drake, Noah ’40’ Shebib, and Oliver El-Khatib. Drake announced the signing of Popcaan during his appearance at Unruly Fest in St. Thomas in December 2018.
“This is something we’ve been working on for a very long time, and I just wanna let everyone know that finally, officially 2019, Popcaan a sign to OVO label,” Drizzy told the crowd while on stage with Popcaan.
At the time, it was a major move for the dancehall star, who was long rumored to be a part of the Toronto-based label, but the ink didn’t dry until the top of 2019 when he announced that he had officially signed to OVO. The deal cemented an even tighter relationship with the two and spawned a few collaborations over the years, including a recent song, “We Caa Done,” that appears on Popcaan’s new album, Great Is He.
Fast forward to 2023, and it looks like that label deal is coming to an end. Popcaan has a cover story out for Crack magazine where he opened up about his music, career, label, and other things happening in the Unruly universe, and one thing was very clear; he will be independent sometime soon. Perhaps he just needs to fulfill some additional contractual agreements, and he is out.
“The label can be weird sometimes. I love the label but I don’t like them,” Poppy said in the interview. “But I’ll be independent soon.”
As it relates to his relationship with Drake, Popcaan did not comment on that, nor was he asked, but he recently assured fans that the link is still strong. Drizzy also gave the dancehall star a major boost to start the year with the release of “We Caa Done,” the first song to release by OVO Sound this year. Still, this latest admission by Popcaan will likely trigger more chatters of a rift between himself and Drake, the man from Toronto he often regarded as a brother.
Drake co-founded OVO Sound in 2012 with producer Noah’ 40′ Shebib and manager Oliver El-Khatib. Over the past decade, the trio grew the label’s roster to include Dvsn, PartyNextDoor, Plaza, Smiley, Baka Not Nice, Majid Jordan, and Roy Woods. Along with 40, there are also Nineteen85, Boi-1da, and other in-house producers.
Popcaan also has his own Unruly Entertainment label, although it’s unclear if any artists are currently signed to the imprint.
Popcaan’s announcement comes on the heels of other artists announcing their departure from major labels or seeking better deals from majors. Kranium recently announced he has departed Atlantic Records, and a few months back, Baton Rouge rapper NBA YoungBoy left the same label for a more lucrative deal with Motown.
Nevertheless, artists are still open to signing major label deals. Masicka was the latest dancehall artist to become a major label artist when he joined Def Jam on an album deal.