The “godfather” of Spitori and British drill rap — The Citizen
The nature of the music game lately is that you just have to have a viral moment. This couldn’t be truer for Jolly B.
The South African-born, England-based rapper has taken social media, fellow celebrities and the web by storm. It’s its authenticity and lyrical flow that command the most attention.
The 26-year-old’s real name is Kabelo Monyebudi and he is from Mamelodi, Pretoria. He has an interesting journey which started after his mum moved to the UK in 2005 and a year later he joined her with the rest of his family.
When The citizen had a chat with the rising artist, we noticed how flawlessly he switched between South African languages despite his surprising English accent.
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This is demonstrated so well in his viral song Patience, and that explains why his music stands out from the rest. Spitori’s (Mix of Setswana and Sepedi slang) self-proclaimed godfather and UK Drill’s rapping skills are effortless.
However, the transition to the UK and to hip-hop was not easy. “I wanted to come back straight away, but I was 11 years old. If I had had the money, I would have gone straight home,” he says.
But Jolly B says the decision changed her life and impacted her musical and cultural change.
“In 4th grade, my streetwear was inspired by pantsula and kwaito. It then changed to hip-hop when I was in England and I never thought of hip-hop like that.
Jolly B’s nickname is kind of sinister and funny in nature. “I’m always a happy, ‘jolly’ person, and the B stood for black bastard.” He adds that he was shedding light on the dynamic in the UK, but a businessman told him that this name would not work for his professional career as it has a negative connotation and sensitivity that comes with this nickname which would hold him back.
So he dropped it and that’s how Jolly B’s rise began.
He never planned a rap career for himself, but his family told him he loved music from a young age. “But I only took it seriously in 2017 in South Africa.”
The first time he was in the studio was in 2011, but he would not return to music until 2017, adding that he had been caught up in street life and doubted himself. .
“But I was learning to rap, running a beat and then writing, I was also writing on my laptop.” He adds that he also practiced freestyling when he was away and that he devoted himself to rap singing.
Jolly B is heavily influenced by kwaito and South African music. His favorites include Kabelo Mabalane and Pitch Black Afro. He admits he would try his hand at kwaito, but with an evolved and new sound.
Patience was released in early January and was written while incarcerated. “I was writing so much inside that I was afraid to share it and I was afraid of my own sound.”
Jolly B was concerned about how his style of rapping and how vernac would be received in Britain and South Africa.
However, when he got out of prison and worked on himself, he felt it was time to free Patience to the public.
“When Patience was written that I was going through a difficult time. I had been away for over a year and had been dodging something for a long time and had to deal with it. He doesn’t go into details about his past, but the rapper says he’s in a much better place right now.
The success of Patience led him to set up a management team.
His dream collaboration includes artists such as 25k, Cassper Nyovest and Focalistic.
Jolly B concludes there’s more music to come, including a planned Patience remix.