Having bursted onto the scene and into more mainstream recognition in 2017 as a guest on DJ Capital’s collaboration with Gigi Lamayne and Big Star titled “On Me”, J Molley also made a note-worthy appearance on DJ Speedsta’s smash-hit “I Don’t Know” that also features Frank Casino & Zooci Coke Dope.
The rapper, producer and video director started making songs and releasing them in 2016 using SoundCloud, his first single seeing north of 10,000 within the first month. The 22-year old went on to release a project titled “Dreams Money Can Buy” that has enjoyed north of 150,000 plays on SoundCloud.
He seems to have remained in the minds of his fanbase at least since the impressive success of his earliest work. Having been quite open with his romantic relationships in 2019 and 2020 with presenter and radio veteran Azania Ndoro’s daughter, Shamiso and actress & club DJ Khanya Mkangisa respectively.
Romance hasn’t been the only reason he has stayed in the minds of those who love him and his work. About a month after the official commencement of the lockdown, J released a single titled “I’m Good” with self-directed and self-edited visuals. The Naverone Albers-assisted video has gone on to do north of 100,000 views on YouTube.
During the earlier parts of the nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19, he had been involved in an exchange of words with industry-peer The Big Hash through diss tracks. The whole virtual squabble fizzled out quite quickly as neither party had seemed to be interested in placing further energy into the situation which the source of is not very clear.
A topic of race had arisen during his feud with Hash but was quickly put to bed as was the whole situation after personal revelations and insults had been hurled and was deemed enough by majority of both sides. Just this week, there had been attempts on Twitter to pit him against Costa Titch, with whom he has just collaborated on J Molley’s new single also featuring Yanga Chief. Another point that seems to have them put together is that they are both white in a predominantly black genre and hip-hop culture, there’s been the growing discussion of boundaries and double-standards regarding perceived assimilation and cultural appropriation of black popular culture by artists who are not black. It should be interesting to see if he addresses this in anyway on the new body of work of which 6 of the songs he produced himself or co-produced.
Born Jesse Molle, raised in Centurion, he seems to be aware of his position in the general sphere of the South African music industry and particularly the more critical and complex hip-hop fraternity. The featured artists on All Is Fair In Love & War, J’s debut mixtape, range in style from Lagos-based artist Ckay, Focalistic, Riky Rick, Frank Casino, Nadia Nakai, Costa Titch, Yanga Chief and emerging South African R&B artist BURNINGFORRESTBOY. At first glance, looking at everybody who has been roped in to assist on his official debut mixtape there seems to linger the wish to express more South African sounding messages and themes while keeping a vibe that is authentic to himself as the lead artist. He may be trying to make a point of letting everybody know that he is not just here on his own, but he desires to be a part of everything with everyone else.
The lead single “Ang’na Stress” featuring Costa Titch and Yanga Chief has been doing well since its release, climbing up to 5th spot on 5fm’s “Live @ Night” with Smash Afrika and claiming the top spot on the “PutMeOn” Top 5 with DJ Switch on cobratycoon.co.za.
The release comes as he was awarded his 7x Platinum plaque for his part in DJ Speedsta’s “I Don’t Know”. A good week it seems for young Molley as he has also just moved into a sweet Melrose Arch penthouse suite and has just had an invite-only listening session in Rockets, Brystanston just a few hours before the official drop of the mixtape.
There seems to be much reason to believe J Molley will be sticking around and solidifying his postion in the game despite the rough and unpredictable Southy showbiz and hip-hop terrain. Consistent thus far, Molley is a promising act and it is not far-fetched to believe that this latest release can elevate him into further success as an independent artist.