Rapzilla Freshmen Jekasole Trusted God with the Vision Despite the Fog
The 2021 Rapzilla Freshmen’s slogan is BARZ & Baby Hairs. While all that’s true, that’s just a surface-level look at Jekasole’s career. Today, we’re going to look at Jessica: a Miami native who is following God’s calling to find her purpose, just like the rest of us.
The Birth of Jekasole
Jessica started out with spoken word as a kid. Then she heard her cousin Kevin rapping with his friends. At the age of 12, She tried her own raps, and eventually become consistently good at creating freestyles.
“As far as like putting words together, putting [together] certain punchlines and phrases, it was very smooth. It was just trying to stay on beat with the actual track is the most difficult part” Jekasole said.
Song creation was difficult for her, as well. Also, Jessica was unsure of what to do with her new skill. So, she prayed.
“It was really when I came seeking and asking God ‘what am I supposed to be doing with this gift? I’m pretty good at it, but how can I go ahead and make a difference?’ I wrote my very first song and performed it at a youth event.”
After her performance, several people approached Jessica, telling her the story in her song was relatable because it felt like their story. She had found her calling.
“I love being able to feel and letting people know they are not by themselves.”
Age 12 was a pretty eventful time for Jessica. Her parents divorced around the same time Jessica started rapping. While she was not destructive, Jekasole said she was an “angry child,” specifically with her dad and God.
“For a little minute, I didn’t want to know anything about God. I didn’t want to do anything that had to do with me exalting God in any type of way. It was like ‘cool, you go your way. I’ll go my way’,” she said.
Regardless of how she felt, her mother made Jessica attend church. After the divorce, Jessica’s mom converted from Catholicism to Christianity. In 2012, there was a youth conference that her mother encouraged Jessica to attend. Despite her hesitation, she went.
“Something inside of me told me ‘just go’. I had a real confrontation that night with God and just letting Him know how upset I was, how unfair it was. All I kept hearing in my head was ‘just trust me. I’m still here. Trust me and everything will work out’.”
Jessica took God’s words to heart, and the two continued to grow their relationship. Now, she is right with God and has a healthy relationship with her father.
“Being able to be closer to God and allowing Him in my life the way that I did, I was actually able to build a better relationship with my dad. My dad actually started seeking God for himself because he saw how my relationship was, how disciplined I put myself to wanting to do things for the church, for the youth, and being involved.” Jekasole said. “Now me and my dad have an amazing relationship and he loves God with all his heart. He’s a whole different person from when I was a kid.”
Earning a Degree
Jessica knew she wanted to become an artist, but she also wanted to earn a degree. So she attended Florida International University for a degree she figured would help her career – marketing. As she completed her classes and eventually graduated, she realized marketing as an artist involves different skills than general business marketing.
“In school, everything was more so numbers, where it was like if you can properly put the numbers together then you should be able to go ahead and market [a product] to the proper target,” Jekasole said. “That’s correct, but social media marketing and regular marketing are two different things.”
She had to learn social media marketing outside of college to properly use what she had learned in university. Her major does enable her to grow her releases and fanbase after she drops music, however. It also has enabled her to work a job that comfortably pays her bills, Jessica said. If she could redo her university experience, Jessica said she would have chosen to study public relations and advertising instead.
“It worked out for me because there’s a lot of business stuff in the background, so a lot of artists will miss that. Granted, it’s because they are so focused on the music aspect of things. If they don’t want to educate themselves on certain things, they’re paying people thousands of dollars to do something they could do themselves,” Jekasole said. “As opposed to going to school, you may not learn everything, but you get to learn some of the foundations and keys where you have a point to start. Then all you do now is searching for information and then applying it to what it is you are trying to achieve for yourself.”
While Jessica agrees that higher education can be useful, not everyone is cut out for earning a four-year degree. Also, with the amount of information on the Internet, an artist can learn anything on YouTube university.
Working the Vision
“Now, being in a place where God has placed people behind me. We have the same vision and goal. Everything has been falling in place. Everything has been more smooth and peaceful. It doesn’t feel like I’m a one-man-show.”
Jekasole makes music that explores feelings and our relationship with God. If you’re a fan of her or just hearing about her for the first time, keep your eyes peeled for some new music. She plans on dropping singles, and then a project before the fall this year.
“Hope has a name, and that name is Jesus. At the end of the day, whether I’m on stage, offstage, whether I’m talking to somebody through my life, just letting them know God is very evident in my life.”