An influential and extremely prolific French rapper from Marseille, Jul emerged as a hip-hop powerhouse in 2014, delivering not only his platinum-selling debut, Dans Ma Paranoïa, but two additional full-length albums as well. His impressive output over the coming years was matched by his commercial success as he rose to become the nation's best-selling rapper and a continual Top Five chart-dweller, often with multiple albums in the same year. By the decade's end, he showed little sign of slowing down and in 2020 released the ambitious double album La Machine.
Born Julien Mari, Jul first emerged in 2007 as part of the rap collective Ghetto Phénomène. While still a teenager, the Marseille native cut his teeth with collaborators Houari, Bil-K, and Friz Veazy before leaving the group in 2009. Over the next few years, he developed a new sound incorporating dance music and rap, and eventually signed a deal with the Liga One Industry label in 2012. His arrival in 2014 as a solo artist was noteworthy, not only for his commercial success, but for the quantity of material he produced. In a single year, he released three LPs (Dans Ma Paranoïa, Lacrizeomic, and Je Trouve pas le Sommeil), one of which went gold, while the other two went platinum. By the end of the year, he'd become one of French rap's major players and, following disagreements with Liga One, he formed his own company called D'or et Platine, which translates to "Gold and Platinum."
Taking full creative control, he wrote, recorded, and produced his fourth album, My World, which he released in late 2015. His winning streak continued when the album reached number one in France and earned diamond certification. Continuing to release music at a rapid rate, he followed up in early 2016 which Emotions, which found him reunited with members of Ghetto Phénomène and others. Jul's second number one in a row, it cemented his star status, setting off an impressive run of two more consecutive chart-toppers in 2016'2 L'ovni and 2017's Je Ne Me Vois Pas Briller. Over the next two-and-a-half years, he unleashed a torrent of material including five more full-length albums, all of which earned a minimum of platinum status; by the decade's end, Jul had sold more albums than any other French rap artist, setting up plenty of anticipation for 2020's La Machine. ~ Timothy Monger
BORNJanuary 14, 1990