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interview // kj-52

How did you come up with name KJ-52?


The KJ part is an abbreviation for an old rap name that I used to have, (which used to be King J) while the 52 part (which is pronounced “five two” not fifty two) is a reference to the five loaves and two fish that Jesus used to feed the 5000.  In that story Jesus took one boys five loaves and two fish and fed the masses and in the same way I have put my talents, abilities, music etc... in the hands of Christ to feed people spiritually.  God takes the little that we have and multiplies it when we decide to place what we have in his hands.  I didn't have much to offer when I started, but whatever I had I was going to give it over to Christ.


Your latest release is entitled Soul Purpose with Todd Collins, what will listeners hear on this release?


Just a fun radio/club/r and b/hip hop album.



How did you hook up with Todd Collins?



Man…long story here is my whole dealie on how I started…


Without going into every detail of my 10 years of Christian hip hop... this is basically how it came about.  I've been writing raps since I was 12, which was when I heavily got into the hip hop scene (golden age of hip hop i.e. BDP, Tribe, De La Soul, NWA etc..) however everything changed when I gave my life to Christ at the age of 15.  I threw out all my old tapes and started getting into Christian hip hop (i.e. PID, SFC, Apocalypse, D-Boy, Dynamic Twins, Grits, LPG,

T-Bone) though I never set out to be a Christian rapper.


God called me into the ministry at the age of 16 and I figured I would be a senior Pastor someday or something like that.  However, I broke my nose pole vaulting when I was a senior in high school and being stuck at home for 2 weeks I wrote my first Christian rap (no joke!).  I never felt like that would be my calling though and so continued to purse the pastoral ministry.  Through a series of events however God began to give me a peace about it and I began to do shows all around the state of Florida.  I recorded my first demo at the age of 18 (which was really horrible... I apologize to anyone who bought it) and was living on my own trying to get things rolling with college.


To make a long story short I eventually went to school for a little while, hooked up with a young 16 year old by the name of Golden Child and formed Sons of Intellect.  We put out a full length album and began to tour while I was on staff at an inner city church called “Cornerstone”.  We continued to do shows together until he left in the summer of 98 and I went back to being solo.  I eventually became youth pastor at the church and continued to record my solo album independently (which was eventually what turned into 7th Avenue my first album).  With a successful youth ministry taking place I strangely couldn't find peace being there.... all I could think about was the hip hop ministry I wanted to do.


Within 1 month of that I got a call out of nowhere from Todd Collins (Gotee Records at the time) he flew down to meet me and we began to develop a relationship.  I thought I would wind up on Gotee but when that didn't work out Todd unselfishly turned my stuff over to Essential Records.  I knew this was God's way of opening up the door, so I stepped down from youth ministry and went to Nashville to work on 7th Avenue .  In June of 2000 I hit the road for 4 months and have been full time ever since!


How was it like to be left without a label when Uprok Records was terminated?


Uprok is still around... I'm still signed to Uprok/BEC


What was your influence for Dear Slim?



Basically just trying to share what was on my heart w/ him.  I was tired of the comparisons so I tried to nip that in the bud by trying to deal w/ the whole issue in a song format.


You won the Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Album of the Year, Dove Award in 2003, for "It's Pronounced Five Two", how did you feel about winning that award?


It was cool.. a dream come true really.  I dedicated my award to all the emcees trying to come up... I said that it was for all of them.


How did the collaboration with the rapcore Peace of Mind come about?


Mainly just an idea I came up with that Brandon Ebel ran with.


How did you get into producing?


Umm… more out of default.  I'm not sure if I'm @ that point yet... but I purchased reason 2.5 and have been messing around w/ it since then.


Any more collaboration albums planned?


The next peace of mind lp will be.


What's in store in the near future from KJ-52?


"Behind the Music" the newest KJ lp in March. Acquire the fire in the fall and spring.


For more information on KJ-52 check out http://www.kj52.com


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