Potter Payper has enjoyed a more focused lease on life since his release from a three-and-a-half-year prison. His 2020 Vision EP, released a day after he regained freedom showed just a sample of what he had to offer musically this year. This was realised with Friday’s release of Training Day 3 – the third and final arc of his iconic Training Day mixtape series. To mark the release, the wordsmith hailing from Barking had an intimate pop-up event and invited some fans down to celebrate with him. Jordan Tyrell and I were there to be the dependable flies-on-the-wall as we break down how the afternoon went.
The journey to Chelsea had been occupied been by near the entirety of the 24-track project’s length. Potter, real name Jamal Bousbaa, has worked on this project for the best part of three and a half years. This was apparent upon leaving the train I took to the event, as the words drawn from his trials and tribulations resonate more with every quotable lyric. As we get closer to the pop up, we hear fans in earshot reciting lyrics and talking about their excitement to see Potter in the flesh. You could hear Training Day 3 blaring out of the speakers from the venue, with Potter and some of his entourage pulling up not long after. In contrast, the pub opposite was eerily quiet for a Friday afternoon. We spotted Potter outside with his entourage, shining in his Dior scarf and Gucci frames, as his adoring fans scurried in the premises.
It was impossible to step into the venue and not know that the event would be centred on the man of the hour. The wallpaper had his stage name branded on throughout, Training Day merch and memorabilia littered the room like a pinata cracked open by a toddler at a birthday party. Potter himself was engaged throughout, hugging fans, entertaining every conversation, signing merchandise. He had been at it for hours and showed no signs of slowing down.
Throughout his pop-up event, fans were reciting lyrics to every song from his latest project. It had only been out as of midnight, but it sounded like the intimate crowd had lived with Training Day 3 for months. From ‘Bando Embassy’ to ‘Science’, it was almost word for word at times. The sight of artist, fans and some media mixing like this was genuinely wholesome to witness. There were no egos in the room, no attention seeking, just organic vibes. Potter addressed everyone in the same manner and was genuinely humbled by the reception he received.
All in all, the pop-up event put on by Potter Payper went without a hitch. A blessing as we await our government’s further restrictions brought about by the second wave of coronavirus. The joy on Potter’s face bore the look of a man that truly realises his transition from the jail cell to possibly entering the UK Top 40 Albums chart by the end of the week. It would mark a mammoth year for UK Rap following Nines getting his #1 on the album chart for his exceptional Crabs In A Bucket.
Training Day 3 is available to listen to now.