If you attended a youth group in the mid-2000s more than likely you know who KJ52 is. Rap was just becoming the new mainstream in the overall music market and the Christian genre was slowly jumping on board. (They are accepting of the genre now thanks to labels like Reach Records and Reflection) Back in the day though KJ52 helped start the conversation of allowing Rap/Hip Hop in Christian Music. His records were fun, honest and sometimes really clever. In 2006, his record Behind the Musik won Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year. There’s no denying Kj-52 impact on Christian Music. As his audience grew older the Christian Rap genre also grew and before you knew it KJ, even though relevant seemed outdated to some. In 2016, he announced a Pledge campaign for his new album, Jonah, which became widely successfully. Over 150% of the goal was reached which showed that the public was still heavily interested in what KJ had to say.
The first half of the album is a joyride that we have grown to love about KJ-52. Lyrically and musically it’s a progression of KJ's sound through the years. “Hold On”, which could be a radio single, is super catchy and upbeat. The chorus, an encouraging anthem goes “Hold on, You got this, Don't throw it away Lear to forgive but don't forget, Even when it feels like the works, Hold on you got this don't throw it away“.
An album highlight “More of You Less of Me” is a song about conviction. KJ raps “On my knees and I'm beggin now for less of me”. It has a semi-country chorus (performed by Whosoever South) that flows so well with Kj52 verses that you easily want to hit repeat once the song is over.
The second half of the album is a little bit different musically which makes sense considering Derek Minor really guided KJ-52 on spinning a new sound. It starts with Nah Bruh (feat. Canon and B.Cooper) which musically drops heavy beats that you can find on any hip/hop record nowadays. Surprisingly these updated sounds mixed with KJ rapping style seem very different at first however by “Know About it” (feat Derek Minor) it sounds convincing and you’re eager to hear more.
Jonah is a personal reflection on KJ-52 as an artist and person. It provides some of his catchiest songs to date will also being relevant with the times. A lot of people will feel nostalgic about a new KJ-52 record but I would argue to think twice before you count it out. Jonah is a record more relevant now than ever and with a new freedom and outlook, thanks to PledgeMusic, you won't be sorry taking Kj-52 latest record for a spin. Who knows- you might even like it.
1 Hold on (feat. Curt Anderson)
2 Get Down Get Down
3 Best Day Ever (feat. Chris August & Talkbox)
4 More of You Less of Me (feat. Whosoever South)
5 Nah Bruh (feat. Canon & B. Cooper)
6 Day Job (feat. Sean Johnson)
7 Lock Down (feat. B. Reith)
8 Know About It (feat. Derek Minor)