Shortly after Kartel’s arrest last October, rumors began to spread that Popcaan was about to break away from the Gaza Empire. But he was quick to counteract the loose talk, issuing a statement in an attempt to clear the air: “Remember me say Gaza for life and mi no have no further comment.”
Popcaan explains that the whole misunderstanding began because he took on a new agent to book shows, and people thought he was changing to new management. “Them ting deh ah just silly rumors,” he says. “You know I mean? Between me and Kartel is the same. Me just have a different booking agent for myself and them take it the wrong way.”
We have to keep focused and make sure the Gaza stay alive. But everything good same way. The Gaza still stand tall.
Meanwhile Popcaan continues to hold it down for Gaza while Kartel fights his legal battles. “We no get a chance to keep in close touch with Teacha because Jamaican jails—you can’t call on the phone and them ting deh. You know I mean? We have to line up an official day to see the Werlboss. But you done know we have to keep focused and make sure the Gaza stay alive. But everything good same way. The Gaza still stand tall—as you can see, right?”
Despite the pressure on Kartel, and the defection of other artists, Papi dismisses any talk about the end of Gaza. “Gaza no ending yunno. Yeah. Cause any day Gaza end ah when Werlboss music dem stop play. And me no know ah which day that. Remember Tupac and Biggie? They’re not alive today, but every party you can hear them song play same way. Yeah. So Gaza will forever be around.”
Unlike Big and Pac, Kartel is very much alive—although he's facing not one but two murder cases. “With the Werlboss case, me can’t give you much information pon that,” Popcaan says. “Me’s on the outside looking in, you know I mean? We haffi just watch the moves and hear what’s up. But the Werlboss been through a lot of fight yunno. Them man can beat anything. So ya dun know the Werlboss ah go beat it. There is no such thing as losing with the Werlboss.”