Why J Hus Is A Rare Breed Of Sick Rapper and Anthem Factory


‘When you listen to J Hus, you get 100% J Hus’ said Hus himself in an interview with Street Stars TV back in 2015. 100% J Hus involves a unique mix of sick raps blended in with afro-beat and dancehall melodies that have consequently put him firmly in his own lane. J Hus’ sound has gone from something unknown to something everyone knows him for, and the music he’s putting out along the way has seen him make a big name for himself in the UK rap scene.

Things began to take off for J Hus around the end of 2014, starting with his #StreetHeat and Bl@CKBOX freestyles. Just after the 1 minute mark in his #StreetHeat, you hear Hus say ‘I’ve been up and down, money smells like body odour, you won’t get nowhere sitting on that bloody sofa’, before following that instalment of wisdom and aggression with a quick catchy melody. He then produces five more minutes of pure energy, as if this was his last ever freestyle, even though it was one of the first.

J Hus was on-job in terms of pioneering a new sound from the very start. There was nothing accidental here, and Hus shows from the word go he’s a lyrical beast who can use melodies when he needs to. ‘I stepped out in my tracky looking broke as f**k, I backed out a couple stacks now she knows what’s up’ is one of many raw and honest bars in this #StreetHeat.

Less than a month later, Hus’ #Rated Freestyle dropped, where Hus destroys French Montana’s ‘Don’t Panic’ beat with more honest raps and must-listen melodies. “You weren’t there when I was having my hard days, who banged shots in front of African marjays?” sums of J Hus determination to simply do what he wants perfectly. Around this time he also dropped ‘Want From Me (remix)’, arguably the first J Hus banger showing his afro-beat/dancehall sound.

J Hus’ wordplay is just too cheeky and hyped to not take note, and in both of these earlier freestyles, you hear him demand a ‘part 2’. It’s as if the bars that came before aren’t enough to him, which also shows a lot of hunger, an appetite he satisfied a month later when he dropped his first anthem – ‘Dem Boy Paigon’.

His two cold rap freestyles that helped build a buzz were followed up with an anthem that brought together an Afro-beat sound with lyrical rap, and ‘Dem Boy Paigon’ is definitely that, an anthem capable of turning any dance upside down. Even though he’s singing on the hook, it’s still very lyrical. It’s not some trash attempt at introducing a commercial sound, but rather, a case of J Hus putting out a unique sound that just so happens to be extremely popular.

‘Dem Boy Paigon’ helped take J Hus’ music to a huge audience, and he would  drop ‘No Lie’ a month later. ‘No Lie’ is a little more rap-heavy than ‘Dem Boy Paigon’ but still is another unique anthem mixing rap with crazy melodies, all from the same artist. Later that month came his Warm Up Session, showing Hus slowing down his raps a bit but still killing the beat with his melodies and infectious energy.

At the end of March, J Hus and MoStack dropped their Westwood Crib Session, a freestyle that again showed Hus’ aggression and honesty on the mic. “Any show I go, I got ten hitters backstage, even paigon yatties screaming out my catch-phrase. That’s what makes these paigons burn more, trappin off your whack line I do shows and I earn more.” By now, things were picking up for Hus as his unique offerings continued to hit hard.

To recap, that’s seven big videos in five consecutive months, again showing Hus taking his hunger to new heights, and now, those seven videos have over 14 million views on YouTube. Hus picked his target then hit with a consistently hard punch, and it didn’t stop there.

‘Lean & Bop’ would become certified anthem number two for Hus when it dropped in May 2015, racking up nearly 8 million views online and quickly becoming everyone’s favourite song to dance to, and he also dropped a sick Daily Duppy around this time too. ‘Lean & Bop’ came with an accompanying dance move, and the song is another catchy and authentic hit from J Hus.

A month later came his Fire in the Booth, with Hus’ coldness on full display with bars like “Oh my what a journey, twenty man running like I got the lurkies” and “dead broke, sitting on my last tenner, pray one day that my life will get far better, f**k beefing with these cowards and neeks, three hours of sleep and I aint showered in weeks”

J Hus then released his first mixtape The 15th Day, which featured the likes of Fekky, Baseman and Deepee and also contained hits like ‘Calling Me’, which is a slower anthem talking about how his music got him a lot of money-related phone-calls, a fitting tribute to his quick rise. The 15th Day has also been played over a million times online. A month after that came his Behind Barz, which sees Hus keep things strictly rap-only here with more fire like “they don’t do no drive-bys, they come here and do u-turns, burner boy I let one go, but shh, shh, had two turns”.

Entering 2016, J Hus started the year off with a bang once again with yet another anthem in ‘Friendly’, which has over 5 million views on his own YouTube channel and is one of those songs that’ll get played in years to come. “Posted on my block like a lowlife, I like my Fanta with no h’ice” is a bar thousands of people know, and not just rap fans either.

‘Friendly’ would go on to receive a nomination at the 2016 MOBO Awards, and like ‘Dem Boy Paigon’, is a song like ‘Migraine Skank’, in that it can be played whenever and it has a powerful effect. As for his freestyles and instalments of cold bars, the aggression and energy in them won’t be easily lost in future. A few more bangers and sick features have dropped this year in ‘Playing Sports’, ‘Liar Liar (remix)’ and ‘Solo One’ (from the Brotherhood soundtrack), as well as performing at this year’s Red Bull Culture Clash. In an interview with GUAP Mag, J Hus also said an album is coming at some point before 2016 is done.

J Hus has therefore reached a rare place where he can drop a sick-16 when he wants, but can also bring in melodies in a way that means there really isn’t anybody else like J Hus at the moment. No other UK artist is finding as much success with two distinctly different sounds like Hus is. ‘Friendly’, ‘Dem Boy Paigon’ and ‘Lean and Bop’ aren’t just any songs, they are timeless anthems, and his earlier raps show that he’s no fool when it comes to rapping either. J Hus takes inspiration from any sound, be it reggae, funky house, dancehall, rap (particularly, 50 cent), afro-beats or whatever. J Hus has found an effective way of taking the best bits of other sounds and adding his own twist.

‘But it’s like they don’t rate us, they say Potter, Bonkaz and Stormzy’s hard, next time you better mention J Hus’ is something Hus said in his #StreetHeat at the very start. The rappers mentioned there are all hard in their own right, and now, J Hus definitely sits amongst heavyweight company, having found huge success with an entirely unique sound.