By Zach Collier
“Although I love rapping as a hobby, and as I mentioned before, it is extremely therapeutic for me to create, I’m am absolutely NOT pursuing rap as a career,” James Curran, otherwise known as Jamesthemormon, wrote on his blog the day his EP I’m Not a Rapper was released. “I have very specific motives, and that is to bring souls to Christ.”
JTM’s aim is to share the uplifting tenets of his faith through music. Not to Mormons only, but to the whole world. How? “Not once did I use the word Christ, God, or Joseph Smith,” he says. “I wanted to bring the Spirit and talk about truth without preaching it.” JTM’s mix of class A beat production, Top 40 styled Hip-Hop, and a palatable dose of inspirational lyricism is making waves.
As of the publication of this article, I’m Not a Rapper is sitting at #6 on the iTunes Top Hip-Hop/Rap Albums chart and #52 on the iTunes World Charts – beating out Adele, The Weeknd, The 1975, and other popular acts. Just two hours ago, it was #13 on the Hip-Hop/Rap charts and #121 on the World Charts. iTunes charts are calculated algorithmically, with data collected based on rating, number of downloads, number of reviews, and number of streams through Apple Music. They are rolling charts, which means they are updated automatically whenever there is a significant shift in activity. Jamesthemormon is skyrocketing to the top.
If he makes it to #1, his meteoric rise to fame will be comparable to Hoodie Allen, another unsigned rap act whose album All American debuted at #1 in 2012.
Jamesthemormon is achieving his dream of challenging Mormon stereotypes and sharing his faith with the world. “Regardless of your personal beliefs or faith, the world can see that a Mormon is not always a smiling white face from Utah in a white shirt and tie, riding a bike. Rather that we are all different with our own trials and problems. That a ‘Mormon’ is not defined by the rules we keep, but instead by the person we turn to when misfortune comes our way.”
Jamesthemormon has pledged 50% of all proceeds to the missionary program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can stream his album on Spotify here and download it on iTunes here. Make sure to like Jamesthemormon on Facebook and check out the music video for his single, “Motivation,” below.
UPDATE (April 27th, 4:59 PM): The EP currently sits at #3 on the Hip-Hop/Rap Charts and #40 on the World Charts.