ONCE the poster boy for South African hip-hop, rapper Molemo Maarohanye’s enviable life took an unexpected turn for the worse when he was charged with the murder of four schoolboys and attempted murder of two more, after crashing into them while drag racing
under the influence in 2010.
He was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison, however, the convictions were later converted to culpable homicide and he was released on parole last year after just four years.
Upon his release, Jub Jub made the return to the music industry when he released Ke Kopa Tshwarelo alongside veteran singer Tshepo Tshola as a way of apologising to society for his mistakes.
Having come out of jail a more mature person, the rapper appeared indeed remorseful during a brief chat with The New Age at a recent listening session at his Electromode record label in Bryanston for his soon to be released album.
The Ndikhokhele hitmaker hopes to serve as an example to others to prove that you can turn your life around through a series of songs which sees him apologising profoundly for his actions.
Hot on the heels of the first “apology” single, Ke Kopa Tshwarelo featuring Tshepo Tshola, he has just released another one called Awesome God ft Bonokhuhle Nkala.
In the song, he expresses his gratitude to God for teaching him valuable life lessons through his prison sentence. In the song, the rapper said it was necessary for him to serve time as that taught him about himself and helped him rediscover his purpose in life.
Maarohanye barely made eye contact when questioned by the media about the horrific events of March 8, 2010. Clutching to his chair every time an uncomfortable question was fired at him, visibly still haunted, he said: “Being in jail taught me who Molemo is and who Jub Jub is. At first, I was self-centred, I did not really care for people, it was all about me.
“Being in prison taught me to support, care for and respect other people,” he said.
Showing how our falls and mistakes render us more humble, it was a rare sight seeing the once arrogant rapper holding the door open as he welcomed guests attending the listening session.
Fans who are hoping to hear his sincerity will be able to do so through this album as it not only bares his soul but also serves as a platform for fresh talent in the form of his cousin Bonokuhle Nkala who lays soothing vocals on the song.
Although during the interview he largely appeared to be blaming himself for what happened, one couldn’t but notice how he lights up every time the topic about his music comes up. While the hip-hop industry is currently dominated by the new school hip hop or trap music, the Soweto-born rapper said it was important for him not change his sound and take the direction that many seem to be going.
“When you find your sound don’t lose it because people will lose you as an artist and entertainer,” he said.
“I could easily make trap music if I wanted to, but I wanted to stay true to sound that I’ve always been known for. It is still so overwhelming to see how much people still appreciate it,” he said.
Touching on his love-hate relationship with the media, he said when he got out of prison, it was not easy for him to immediately open up as he was not comfortable with his previous team.
“Being in the spotlight again, especially after my release was quite difficult for me. So it was important that I changed a few things and I can gladly say I am more comfortable now with
my new team and the people who are helping me rebuild the Jub Jub brand. They understand me and the direction I want to take,” he said.
The upcoming album will be a treat for his fans as it contains songs of praise, romantic songs, club bangers and a surprise collaboration which the rapper said was unexpected and would shock many.
Asked if the mysterious artist could possibly be his baby mama Kelly Khumalo, who he collaborated with in the hit song Jerusalema, he remained tight-lipped and said: “I cannot reveal anything now but all I know is that it is unexpected.”