The phenomenon of the “internet rapper” is nothing new. Over the years, the world wide web has elevated the likes of Soulja Boy, Lil Yachty and Post Malone from the bubble of the internet to the top of the rap game.
J. Molley falls into this category.
This shy, soft-spoken 19-year-old rapper has become a big deal in a very short space of time. He only started rapping and releasing music last year, but he’s already got two hit songs with two of the country's most prominent hip hop DJs -- Speedsta and Capital.
His debut project, the hazy, hard-hitting Dreams Money Can Buy is flying on SoundCloud with over 150000 total streams.
It’s been truly a blockbuster year for him and the corporates are starting to take note.
He recently became involved in the Respek Nation campaign with Steers and online hip hop magazine, The Plug, which has seen him feature on the magazine’s latest. He's also been involved in some installations for the campaign, which is essentially a celebration of the hip hop culture, exploring its various elements to support the launch of the brand’s new Rib King promo with the intended purpose of paying respect to the “youth culture” of music, fashion and photography.
Looking at J. Molley's recent success, you'd imagine it was all well thought out and planned to the T. It wasn't.
“I never had a strategy or vision or anything," he explains. "It just happened. The first time I uploaded on Soundcloud I just did it for fun. I just did it at my friend’s house because they told me I should start singing, so I just did it for fun."
"I didn’t even really try that hard because I wasn’t taking it seriously at the time, I was doing photography. I just made the song, and they wanted to release it on a mixtape they were gonna drop and a few days before they dropped it I quickly had to get a name, so we came up with the name J. Molley. And when we dropped it it got like 10000 plays in a month, which was a lot back then.”
This was last year in April. They didn’t do much promotion, they just dropped it on Instagram and Twitter - where he has a strong following - and it took off.
J. Molley is big on fashion, and even before he started making music he was sitting on nearly 10000 followers on Instagram because of the “cool outfits” he’d wear in his posts.
He tells me his sense of style is influenced by the likes of Ian Connor and ASAP Rocky.
It’s been tough to adjust to the fame and the flashing lights. But he wants more. “I see myself being way bigger than I am right now on an international level. But until I get there I guess I won’t really be satisfied.”