The first time I heard J Hus, I stumbled on his work by accident. I was enjoying a remix of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You by Yxng Bane on YouTube and the song Did You See happened to come up on suggested videos. The screenshot looked promising and so I satisfied my curiosity by clicking it. In that instant, I discovered what would be one of the most underrated African artists I’ve heard this year.
J Hus (real name Momodou Jallow) is a 21-year-old rapper originally from Stratford, London. Born and raised by his Gambian mother, his interest in rap, like many artists, rose after listening to 50 Cent.
His career began in 2015 with the breakout hit Lean and Bop. From what I could find, J Hus has had a series of consistent freestyle releases that have lead him to collaborate with the likes of MoStack, MIST, Jallow, Dave and UK grime heavyweight Stormzy. It’s no wonder his debut album Common Sense went platinum and has reached number 1 on the UK R&B Album Chart as well as Number 6 on the UK Album Chart respectively.
What I love about discovering new talent like J Hus, is the fact that you can see the progression and development in their work. I’m always a sucker for great production and J Hus’ longstanding relationship with his producer Jae5, is a testament that great things can come from great collaborations. If you don’t believe me, have a listen to any of the songs on his most recent project – the keys, synths and variety in these tracks don’t disappoint and you’ll quickly learn why Jae5 is known as a master genre blender at just 24 years old. You’ll find yourself nodding and bopping without even realising it. Not only that, but J Hus’ style and flow make for easy listening with his baritone voice delivering some witty punchlines that work effortlessly over up and downtempo beats.
If you’re someone that can picture daily life in East London, you’ll appreciate and understand why J Hus centres his content on crews, booze, babes and the hustle. But even if you can’t, he paints a pretty vivid picture of a particular lifestyle through his lyrics, making his work pretty accessible for most. Plus, once you start listening, you’ll welcome how his sound is distinctly associated with the grime rap that East London is known for but has a unique afrobeat-esque quality that you might recognise in rappers a bit closer to home.
If you haven’t checked out his project yet, I’d do so with haste because you don’t want to be left behind once his mentions blow up (if they haven’t already).
Start yourself off with the title track and then be sure to check out Did You See, Like Your Style, Plottin, Mash Up and Fisherman. He also features Burna Boy on the track Good Time and his most recent release, Spirit has a newly released video you can peep below.