Popcaan and Friends deliver at Unruly Fest despite premature ending
ST Thomas, Jamaica — Even though he didn’t release a slew of new singles for 2023, St Thomas’ man of the moment, Popcaan, could do no wrong inside the Phillips Field Sports Complex in Yallahs early Saturday morning.
The dancehall artiste drew on his extensive catalogue to thrill a home crowd that was undoubtedly thrilled to see the return of the parish’s biggest entertainment event.
Deafening screams greeted the deejay who touched the stage at approximately 3:30 am.
Opening his set with his hit single Rup Rup (Bad Inna Real Life), Popcaan served up hit after hit as he entertained his home base. Performing songs like Party Shot, Only Man She Want, My Type, Clarke’s, Addicted, Where We Come From, Inviolable and more, Popcaan had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hands as they sang along to every word of each song.
Never straying far from the ‘Popcaan and Friends’ line-up, the entertainer invited numerous acts to share the stage with him including fellow St Thomas colleague, Chronic Law. Chronic Law, who hails from Yallahs in the parish, received an equally inviting welcome as the crowd cheered him on during his brief but powerful set.
Confetti spraying everywhere, Chronic Law served up hits such as Hillside, Solemn Request, Walk With Faith, Empty, Family and more. Soliciting heavy forwards from the crowd, Chronic Law heaped praises on his ‘brother’ Popcaan for conceptualising and executing Unruly Fest which he says has been an uplifting event for the parish.
Govana, Taurus Riley, Jashii, Skillibeng, Sean Paul, Protoje, Jesse Royal, Chi Ching Ching, Najeeri and US rapper Quavo, were among the other acts who enticed the ‘unruly’ crowd in St Thomas who were clearly just getting ready to party as dawn neared. But minutes before 5:00 am, lawmen pulled the plug on the event. Indicating that the show was originally scheduled to end at 4:00 am. Cops said the show benefitted from a bonus hour.
Still, the extension didn’t seem like enough for patrons who agreed with Popcaan that the event was only being turned off because of its host parish. Often regarded as the ‘forgotten parish,’ St Thomas has been injected with much needed life via Unruly Fest. However, the event which has been held in the parish for the last three stagings, may soon have a new home as a visibly frustrated Popcan accused authorities of treating St Thomas events unfairly.
“Das why St Thomas cyah better because unu fight ‘gainst everything weh we do. Unu move up, mi tired a unu,” the deejay said, urging the bands to continue playing in between hurling expletives at the cops who came to end the event.
Indicating that he may move the event to the National Stadium in the near future, Popcaan highlighted that St Thomas will never be better if the parish continues to endure what he believes is unjust treatment from authorities.
Having been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which halted live events across the world and crippled the entertainment industry for two years, Unruly Fest was last held in December 2019.