Photography by Sabelo Mkhabela.

J Molley and The Big Hash have exchanged some harsh words on record in the last few weeks.

Inside J Molley and The Big Hash’s War of Words

Here's everything you need to know about J Molley and The Big Hash's beef.

On Monday, April 20, J Molley released "I'm Good." In the song, he opted for rapped verses instead of his trademark melodies. In the song, the Pretoria-born rapper/singer throws a brief shot to fellow Pretoria rapper/singer The Big Hash, rapping:

"Ironic how these young boys wanna call my name out for clout/ Meanwhile be on the phone calling me tryna hash this shit out."

The then-cryptic line was understood to be a response to a line from The Big Hash's song "I'm Sorry" which he released two weeks prior (via the EP Life +Times) and in which he rapped, "Carried a coffin big enough to carry Mooz' and Molley."

The line was obviously making reference to the Sway Cold Cyphers which Hash, Moozlie, Rouge, A-Reece and J Molley were part of in 2019. Clearly The Big Hash felt only Rouge and A-Reece rapped better than him during the cyphers.

Read: How Diddy's Tweet Started a Hilarious Dispute Between 2 of South Africa's Biggest Rappers

At this point, it all seemed like healthy competition. After all, it's hip-hop.

After the release of J Molley's song, Hash tweeted "He picked the wrong battle." Everyone knew it was on.

On Friday, as part of Stogie T's ongoing #FreestyleFriday series, The Big Hash released a freestyle aimed directly at J Molley. It was a scathing piece that left a lot of hip-hop fans both shocked and thoroughly amused.

Lines like "I'm white-hot, you got hot 'cause you rap and you white" and "Tell the world you been a wannabe 8 Mile nigga/ If anything, sonically I'm like 8 miles ahead of you nigga," were emphasized by Hash's vicious delivery and facile tongue.

Fans were convinced there was no comeback for J Molley.

Several hours later, Stogie T tweeted that he had just gotten off the phone with J Molley and hinted at a response.

It did come.

Titled "Pallbearer," the freestyle which was done over an instrumental that samples "No Church in the Wild" by Jay-Z and Kanye West, the same beat The Big Hash's freestyle was over. Towards the end, the instrumental to Khuli Chana's "Tswa Daar" is interpolated. A move by the producer pH (who produced both "Tswa Daar" and "Pallbearer") that left many fans with questions.

Read: AKA, Cassper Nyovest & South Africa's Biggest Hip-Hop Beef

On "Pallbearer," J Molley fired such shots as: "Ironic how my numbers on that Sway shit got 8 miles on you Funny how you pulled the race card, that's even shady for you" and "They used to call you the black Molley, you came up on my shit."

For most of "Pallbearer," J Molley was dispelling The Big Hash's claims and punching his own chest egotistically.

After releasing his response, J Molley expressed that being white was counting against him. The line "Try come for Molley again and I'll have you hang by a noose" from "Pallbearer" was considered racially insensitive by some fans. In response, J Molley tweeted, "There is an ugly, distasteful racial narrative that's gaining momentum and has nothing to do with the music. That is a battle I can't win and personally do not want any part of. To those that believe in and support me, thank you. I'm only getting started. It was fun until it wasn't."

He was most probably referring to some lines from The Big Hash's freestyle and some tweets from fans that made reference to race.

In an attempt to contextualize the feud to fans and fellow artists, The Big Hash shared a note with his Twitter followers detailing what sparked the beef. In the note, he revealed he had spoken to Molley a few days before releasing "I'm Sorry" and alerted him he had mentioned his name in the song. He further revealed Molley was originally supposed to appear in the song "Saint Nick" from Life + Times.

The beef between the two has shone the light on the new wave, proving the fact that lyricism isn't a lost art in (South African) hip-hop. Even though artists like The Big Hash and J Molley may make a lot of melodic songs, they are still rappers at the heart.

At time of filing, The Big Hash had tweeted a soundless clip of himself in the booth. A response to "Pallbearer" could be on the way.


The Big Hash released a response to "Pallbearer" on Monday 27 April titled "How to Kill a Dead Body" featuring Flame. More about the song here.

Editor's note: an earlier version of this article stated that J Molley felt the beef was racialized based on some lines from The Big Hash's freestyle. After clarity from J Molley's team, the article was updated.


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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