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People Are Noticing: KJ-52

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KJ-52 Behind The Musik

KJ-52 Behind The Musik

Updated February 28, 2005
Only in Christian music would you have your parents talk about your Godly life on a rap/hip-hop release. On KJ-52’s new Behind The Musik, you get to know all about Christian music’s Eminem, as his parents tell stories about their son throughout the disc. Weird? You bet. Different? Definitely. Well, KJ-52 is still cool, and with this release, if you don’t mind the occasional warm-and-fuzzy parental units spinning yarns about their baby boy, you’re gonna love this disc.

“Fivetweezy” is totally an Eminem knock-off. KJ-52 sounds way too much like an imitator. Yet, his raps are funny, engaging and clean. I know, I know, rap music is supposed to be all hard and gangsta these days, but can’t there be clean, good rap? Probably.

There are two white rappers who are connecting with white audiences in Christian music: John Reuben and KJ-52. Both use humor in their songs to great effect. And audiences must like it, as KJ-52, for instance, has sold over 250,000 discs.

KJ-52, whose real name is Jonah Sorrentino, grew up in Tampa, Florida, not NYC or L.A. He first gained notoriety when he basically confronted Eminem about his lifestyle with the song, “Dear Slim.” Eminem has been behaving a little better lately. Perhaps he heard the song and took the message to heart.

Hip-hop is all about boasting, and who better to boast about than God? So, yes, there’s room for clean, white rappers like KJ-52 in the rap game. On Behind The Musik, he has lots of collaborators (as most rappers do), including Jon Micah of Kutless on the radio single, “Are You Real?” Meanwhile, Rebecca St. James’ old hit song, “God,” gets dusted off and re-worked with KJ-52 spitting lyrics while Rebecca sings the rock chorus, in an appealing way. Jeremy Camp is featured on “Right Here.” You have to give KJ-52 props for bringing in some interesting (aka: not typically hip-hoppish) guests on his hip-hop album.

Is Behind The Musik good enough to be in your collection alongside Eminem? Yes, it most definitely is. He’s very talented. Get it; you’ll like it.

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