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March 5, 2021

J-MILLA is a rising star in Adelaide hip hop

Already headlining shows with the backing of hip-hop stalwart Jimblah, J-MILLA is an artist to watch in 2021.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Morgan Sette

Jacob Nichaloff, aka J-MILLA, is one of four Indigenous artists taking the stage for Adelaide Festival’s Hip Hop Finale.


Hip Hop Finale
Sunday, 14 March
Adelaide Festival Summerhouse
Enter via Elder Park

This article first appeared in print for CityMag’s 2021 Festival Edition, on streets now.

Connect with J-MILLA:

The rapper’s output spans many styles and eras of hip hop, from club-ready tracks, to summer jams, to protest songs demanding justice and respect for Aboriginal people.

Jacob, who is a member of the Mak Mak Marranungu people, grew up in the Northern Territory but now splits his time between Darwin and Adelaide. He first came to Adelaide to attend Scotch College, where he built a network of close friends. He says he’s now “lucky to have two homes”.

Jacob draws on experiences in his own life to create his work – whether it’s a love song or a motivational track dedicated to people struggling with mental health.

“I’ve been exposed to a lot of things as a child,” Jacob says. “I know how drugs work, I know how depression works, I’ve seen people in my life in and out of those problems.

“I’m kind of fortunate to be a writer for those people.”


At Hip Hop Finale, Jacob will perform alongside Ziggy Ramo, JK-47, and Jimblah, the latter of whom has been instrumental in Jacob’s ascension into Adelaide’s hip-hop scene.

“I’ve learned so much from the bro,” Jacob says.

“We had a Treaty event, an Aboriginal show, and he pitched me in there and thought I could be the headline for it, so he’s helping me out. It’s nothing but love when it comes between us.”

He’s excited to be part of an Adelaide Festival event that puts hip hop and Indigenous voices in the spotlight.

“It’s a massive achievement, because now Adelaide’s noticing the hip-hop scene and giving the hip-hop people a chance to actually perform at these big platforms,” he says.

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