Popcaan chided Jamaican authorities for the continued shutting down of parties while other territories around the world is opening up.
Though the Prime Minister recently rolled back the curfew time by an hour to 11 pm, this certainly is not enough time for most Jamaicans to party like they want to. This has been a constant for a lot of party goers and promoters in Jamaica as there are no designated entertainment zones in the capital city where people can party unbothered or undisturbed. The Noise Abatement Act facilitates weekday events running to midnight while two additional hours are granted on weekends.
Dancehall artiste Popcaan has seemingly become extremely annoyed by the restrictions, especially when compared to other nations that adore the rich musical culture that Jamaica has. His January tour of the Motherland opened his eyes to the disparity, forcing him to fire off a tweet at those in control. He raised concern about how often the security forces do not comprehend how their actions not only affect the livelihood of many who rely on events to earn a living but also affect the sustainability of our creative spaces.
The Unruly Boss tweeted, “Jamaica a the only place ina this world me see police a lock off party certain way. Ghana me a go club hopping until 8am! Gambia we say beh suba! We are the music capital my people don’t ever forget that, don’t fight our own culture.”
While some agreed with the “Level” artiste, others were quick to point out that in the past there have been many events such as street dances that go on until sunrise, such as ‘Weddy Weddy’ and the famous ‘Passa Passa’, the latter taking place in the heart of the inner-city. Additionally, on a Sunday, Rae Town was the place to be to enjoy the cool strains of oldies music. These were all outdoor events. Traditionally clubs in Jamaica enjoy longer operation times, going until 4 or 5 am.
A factor for most venues, whether indoor or outdoor, is parking space, which is often inadequate and causes traffic congestion in the city. This can be a huge headache for nearby residents who need to get in and out of their property and therefore are denied the peaceful enjoyment of their property and the convenience of living in the heart of the city.
Responding to Popcaan’s concerns, some feel that it is unfair to compare apples and oranges as often these venues in Africa can accommodate hundreds of thousands, and therefore the parking facilities at these stadiums and other venues would be significantly larger than those in Jamaica. Ghana’s population alone is 31 million, with over 2 million people living in its largest city Accra. Fans weighed in on his post, some endorsing his sentiment while others felt that there were more pressing issues that the country needed to worry about than parties.
One fan noted, “Canada clubs is done by 3 am and you can’t buy drink after 2 am.” Another chimed, “Imagine Jamaicans a party them life away. We struggle with productivity. We have other more important stuff than club hopping for 24 hours a day, to sort out.”
Popcaan recently toured extensive in Africa covering countries like Ghana, The Gambia, and has upcoming shows in Kenya. He performed for tens of thousands of fans at the Bakau Independence Stadium in Banjul, Gambia last month when he famously received a hero’s welcome to the African nation.
Jamaica a the only place ina this world me see police a lock off party certain way, Ghana me go club hopping until 8am! Gambia we say beh suba!!! We are the music capital my people don’t ever forget that, don’t fight our own culture.
— Popcaan (@PopcaanMusic) February 12, 2022