Jonah Kirsten Sorrentino, better known by his stage name KJ-52, is a Christian rapper from Tampa, Florida. The "KJ" part of his name refers to his old rap alias, "King J. Mac," a name which he later described in one of his podcasts as "horribly cheesy." "52", which is pronounced "five two", not "fifty-two", is a reference to the Biblical story of Jesus feeding the multitude with five loaves and two fish, which is also sung about in his song "Push Up" from The Yearbook and in the "KJ Five Two" on It's Pronounced 'Five Two.'
He was awarded the Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year for "Never Look Away" and Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year at the GMA Dove Awards of 2007. On July 28, 2009, KJ-52 released "End of My Rope", which is the first single for his album Five-Two Television. His song "Dear Slim" is based on Eminem's song "Stan" and is a sort of personal message from KJ-52 to Eminem.
We are honored to be able to catch up with Jonah for this exclusive Hallels' interview.
Hallels: Thank you so much for your time. For our readers who may not be familiar with you, can you explain to us the meaning behind your name KJ-52?
KJ is an abreviation of an old rap name that I used to go by (my real name is Jonah). The 52 is a reference to John 6:9 where Jesus took the five loaves and two fishes and multiplied them... Its a constant reminder that God takes the little we have and multiplies it.
Hallels: How would you describe your style of music?
Hallels: Congratulations on the forthcoming release of your new album "Mental," can you tell us the inspiration behind the album title?
We live in a world that has gone "mental" & also at the same time those who take a stand for the things of God are often branded as "mental"... it's a reminder to me that in the midst of all that God has promised to provide for us and keep us through a world gone "mental".
Hallels: On this album, you also got to work some of the best artists of Christian hip hop and rap, can you tell us some of the guests you performed with on this new record?
Guest artists joining me on Mental include: Lecrae, KB, Tedashii, Soul Glo Activatur, Social Club, SPZRKT, Canton Jones, Humble Tip and Propaganda.
Hallels: What are you most excited about with regards to your new album "Mental"?
Having new music to perform and to present to fans.
Hallels: Hip hop and rap have often been notorious for its profanity and cursing, being a Christian how do you hope to make an impact on our current music scene?
Just by being myself and allowing my light to shine so to speak... I feel that art is a reflection of who you are and with this album I hope God is reflected brightly.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to purchase "Mental" or find out more about you, where can they go?
Any digital outlet like iTunes or on KJ52.com after October 21st.
Thanks Hallels for the interview.