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Vershon Says Popcaan Defended ‘Selfish’ Behavior As Lessons Learned From Vybz Kartel


When it comes to Popcaan, dancehall singjay Vershon prefers to show love from a distance.

The Inna Real Life artist previously shared his decision to withdraw from the ‘Unruly Boss’ after noticing a “selfish behavior” that stifles those around him. In a new interview, Vershon claims Popcaan defended his actions based on how he was treated while in Vybz Kartel’s Portmore/Gaza Empire. 

“When mi seh, ‘Yow, a wah gwaan?’, dawg seh, ‘Yow, Vershon, yuh think Kartel used to ramp wid we?’” Vershon recently told Dancehall Hot Seat. “Whatever that means, mi nuh know, but inna my head mi a seh, ‘Yow, watch yah. Not because your father deal with you a particular way when you a youth, dat nuh mean seh you fi deal with your pickney dem a particular way when dem forward.’”

Life in Kartel’s clique was depicted with much glamor, but occasional scandals hinted at a toxic work environment.

Vybz Kartel’s once-formidable Portmore/Gaza Empire

Gaza Kim left the camp in 2010 after being allegedly beaten by the deejay’s cronies. Similarly, producer Notnice left the unit after claiming Kartel sent thugs to raid his property and take his studio equipment. Bike Back hitmaker Blak Ryno says he’s being indefinitely punished (blacklisted) for supposedly betraying ‘The Teacha’.

Another career that hasn’t quite been the same since leaving the Gaza is Lisa Hyper’s. The singjay claimed Kartel leaked an explicit photo of her, adding that his action scarred her life. Then there’s Gaza Sheba who said she’s never received royalties for her Kartel collabs, supported by her son’s recent admission that even though his mom had hits, they were broke

Popcaan’s story with the camp started in 2007 when Kartel heard him perform at a talent contest. He earned his mainstream break as part of Kartel’s 2010 Clarks hit, and would go on to flourish with follow-ups like Ravin’, Only Man She Want and When Mi Party.  


Coincidentally, it was following Kartel’s 2014 murder conviction (since overturned) that Popcaan’s career really took to international heights. He became dancehall’s new headliner, dominating airwaves with back-to-back hits, and scoring collabs with the world’s finest including Drake, Young Thug, Davido, AlunaGeorge, Pusha T, French Montana, Naughty Boy, Maroon 5 – you name it. 

The deejay has also expanded to entrepreneurship, from his Unruly Entertainment enterprise and concert to his work with heavy-hitting brands like Clarks

In Vershon’s eyes, none of these accomplishments would have been possible without Kartel’s help, justifying his belief that Popcaan should change his approach with his team.

“Certain things personal, so mi nah go forward pon no show a gwaan like mi a try bury the dawg…” Vershon said. “The dawg a world star – nothing cya change that… But weh the man haffi ‘member seh him life is a blessing and sometimes God bless you so you can bless other youth… ‘Member seh if Kartel did a do the same thing to you like weh you a do with some of the youth dem round you, you wouldn’t reach which part yuh deh… Give some youth some chance, rather than you waan up yah so, and everybody fi just dung yah so.”

Vershon continued, “Member seh this weh yaa do, is amongst your team. Mi woulda understand if you try fi go ‘gainst some other man weh a your rival…but you see when you try prove within your team, it cya work.”


Murmur of a “selfish” Popcaan has pervaded in recent years.

In January 2022, former associates Unruly Cuz and Petro accused him of lying about being generous in the song Inviolable, after the Unruly Boss made disparaging remarks about them by changing the song’s lyrics during a concert in Gambia. Later that year, former Unruly Camp member Quada also called him out for not considering his entourage. The New Gyal Alert deejay had reacted to news that Popcaan was allegedly paid US$150,000 (JMD$22.5M) to headline the Kingston Music Festival in Canada. 

“How tf a ni**a can make 22M for a show and not even woulda share 100k with him crew weh a support him?” Quada questioned in his Instagram Story. 

Two years prior, producer Notnice blasted Popcaan for not doing enough for his signees, including Quada. 


“Him want it look like him bring di youth dem pon show and try fi help di youth dem, but none a di man dem nah talk,” Notnice said during an Instagram live. “Same Quada him a talk seh loyal, a me sed one Quada come bawl to and complain seh Popcaan nah help him and Reflex video do from when and Popcaan nah drop him video.”

The supposed dilemma paved the way for the track Celebration featuring Jah Vinci.

“Popcaan gone a foreign and Quada come to me a bawl seh give him a song… a so Celebration voice,” claimed Notnice. “Quada come tell mi seh di dawg seh di song cya put out. Mi seh, ‘Quada a really you mi a do dis fah so if your boss seh di song cya put out, mi just a go lowe it’. Him a seh him need di strength, so mi drop di song.”

Popcaan addressed the “selfish” claims while promoting the Unruly Medley later that year. Responding to a netizen who earlier accused him of not promoting his artists, he wrote, “Humbre me save tha msg ya fi tell yo s**k out yo muma!!!”

He added, “Anyway support young artist and encourage them because we all know it sweeten labor!!”

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