Tabure Thabo Bogopa Junior , popularly known by his stage name "JR" , is a South African rapper widely known for his versatile abilities in music which include "mostwako" rap. Motswako rap is a mixture of rapping in Setswana and English.
JR was born as Tabure Thabo Bogopa Junior on March 12, 1987 in Bloemfontein, Free State province, South Africa. He was raised in a small township in Pretoria called Attridgeville where he lived with his parents. He now resides in Johannesburg. JR has become one of the most successful MC's in the country having had two no.1 hip hop songs as well as two no.1 pop songs on the South African Charts.
The Main Event (2008)
On the 28th of April 2008, JR released his first studio album under Electromode Music called 'The Main Event'. The album's ReckShoppe produced hit single " Gata Le Nna" featuring Towdee became an instant hit on Urban Radio, holding the no.1 spot on both Yfm and Metro fm for over 6 weeks. The single earned him an award for "Song of The Year , Hip Hop" - Hype Awards (2008) . This album was nominated in the "Best Hip Hop Album" in 2008 at the Metro FM Awards, also received a nomination nod at the 2009 South African Music Awards for "Best Hip Hop Album" With the success of his brand at the time of "Gata Le Nna" , JR clinched an endorsement deal with Renault SA,.
In 2009 , JR released his second studio album , "Colourfull". His second single from the album, "Show Dem" which became arguably the biggest hit of his career. The single features rapper HHP and comedian Joey Rasdien. Holding the number 1 spot in radio stations nationwide , it got nominated at the 2010 Channel O Music Video Awards for "Song of The Year" .The song has a hip hop , pop , and house production behind it , which was a big step forward for South African Hip Hop. In an interview, JR talks about his versatility in the rap game; "I am a musician, and I don't like to stick within boundaries and confines. I don't work with formulas, I make music that stretches boundaries and challenges the norm. " With the success of 'Show Dem' JR landed a deal with MTV after subsequently headlining two editions of 'Mtv Base Nights', followed by a deal with Vodacom.
JR collaborated with Die Heuwels and another influential hip hop artist, Jack Parow, who raps in English and Afrikaans. The two released their song "Show Goes On" which was originally written by JR himself for rock artist, Khan of the band, The Parlotones , but they left for their world tour during the release of their album. JR also co-wrote "No More Hunger" for Khuli Chana , Tuks's "Tseo" , Lonehill Estate's "Look Good" , Louise Carver's "You Think You Got It Easy" , "Jealousy" for AKA and impressively co-wrote "Summa Yama Summa" for Coca Cola. JR went on to win the 2011 Tropika Islands of Treasure season 3, which he won a prize of R1million
KOOLFOREVER (2012) Koolforever is J.R's third successful studio album. Released under his record label, Feel Good Music, the album received mainly positive reviews from the public as it has a mash up of electric Hip Hop and Kwaito. His first single "Phuma" got huge urban radio airplay but it wasn't till he released the second single "Muntu" which was a mix of pop , and 'mbaqanga' that had the rapper on constant rotation on the radio as well as tv music channels. The album features the likes of Prokid , Shugasmakx , Reason, Nokwazi , Cabo Snoop , AKA, Maxhoba , Louise Carver as well as Dj Dimplez.