“This is something we’ve worked on for a very long time,” Drake said. “I just wanna let everybody know, finally. Officially, 2019 Popcaan is signed to OVO.”
— Word On Road (@WordOnRd) December 23, 2018
Though dancehall artists rarely get this kind of mainstream looks in the States, it’s not a surprising signing. For one, Popcaan makes great music. And over the last three years, he’s had an outsized influence on Drake’s music — he’s featured on the outro of 2015’s “Know Yourself,” appeared on the leaked version of 2016’s “Controlla,” interpolated on “Too Good” and various parts of his slang and vocal delivery made it onto More Life.
During a 2015 interview on 96.1WEFM, Popcaan explained his relationship with OVO and how Drake found out about his music.
“OVO is straight up family because Drake was the one that said OVO Unruly,” Popcaan explained. “Drake has me as Drizzy Drake in Jamaica. So when I view Drake as a young youth that is doing well in the game it’s the same way I view myself also. A lot of my friends from Canada was around Drake was always telling Drake about my music.”
Both Drake and Popcaan posted photos commemorating the moment. Maybe we can officially get Popcaan’s “Controlla” contribution now.