KJ-52: The Virgin Hip-Hop ArtistSeptember 23rd, 2012 by WTM.org Community
Like a true hip-hop star, Jonah Sorrentino (also known as KJ-52) was raised on troubled streets, ran with some bad crowds, and found a way to rise above his past. Now happily married (to a fellow waiter), Jonah has become one of the world’s most successful Christian rappers, and frequently sings about waiting till marriage.
Quotes About Waiting Till Marriage
“It’s not a dirty word to be a virgin. It’s not wrong to put those principles first. And in the long run, it’s worth it.”
“When I gave my life to Christ, I made the decision to stay pure. It was worth the waiting, you know, it was worth the waiting… it was worth putting that principle first. And my wife did the same thing also. So when we were married, we were both virgins.”
“I was just basically, you know, handed a lie that I think that so many teenagers are being handled which is, you know, you are not, you know, you’re not a real man until you have sex or, you know, if you love somebody then just do it. You know, if it feels good. That’s just kinda like the uh lie I think that’s being perpetuated.”
“I wanted to come and say, no, you don’t have to give in to what your friends are giving into. You don’t have to go along with the crowd.”
“We have to be careful that we don’t give into the world, which is like drinking poison out of golden cup.”
Video: KJ Sings about Abstinence
FAQ: What does KJ-52 stand for?
KJ is an abbreviation of his old rap alias, “King J. Mac” which he later decided was too corny too use. The “52” part of his name is pronounced “five-two” and refers to the story of Jesus feeding the crowd of people with five loaves of bread and two fish.
Born on June 26, 1975 as Jonah Kirsten Sorrentino to two ex-hippie artists.
Jonah was raised in a rough suburb in Tampa, Florida and was the product of a broken home. He eventually found himself mixed up in drugs, drinking, and chasing girls.
When his parents divorced, he moved to the suburbs with his mother but found that he still didn’t fit in. He went from being the only white kid in an all black and Cuban neighborhood, to a suburban neighborhood where he was still just as poor. Things got even worse and running away twice didn’t help matters. Drinking, drugs and girls weren’t the answer either.
Age 12: Starts writing rap songs.
While still a teenager, KJ began working in youth ministry at a Florida inner-city church. He also recorded a demo, but it was largely ignored. Christian or not, getting your music noticed is tough. It wasn’t until KJ met a young, likeminded rapper named Golden Child that things began to move forward.
Age 15: A family member challenges him to take up Christ, and being born again gave him the strength to move on.
Age 22: KJ gets married (info based from his uploaded video podcast on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JexqJhyYbAA)
Age 23: Steps down from his youth minister position to pursue his Christian rap dream full-time.
Age 24: Releases full-length debut album in April of 2000.
Age 25-26: Releases his second album, Collaborations. The album’s title referred to the numerous contributions made to the album by guest artists, including Ill Harmonics, Pillar, John Reuben and Thousand Foot Krutch. Collaborations also represented his first nomination for a Dove Award, for “Rap/Hip Hop/Dance Album of the Year” in 2003.
Supremely talented rapper in 2003 who happens to be white—like KJ-52—will be compared to that other white rapper, Eminem. The comparisons have served as fertile ground for KJ’s art as well as he reflected on what he would say to Eminem if ever he had the chance. The first fruits of that reflection came with “Dear Slim” from the cd Collaborations—a track that produced a veritable frenzy of media interest, including a well-publicized, if one-sided, bit of exposure on MTV’s Total Request Live. The song is followed on It’s Pronounced Five-Two by “Dear Slim Part Two, which continues KJ’s one-sided dialogue with Slim.
Age 29-32: Wins Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year three times from Dove award for It’s Pronounced Five Two, Behind the Musik (A Boy Named Jonah) and Remixed.
Age 33: Releases his album, The Yearbook: The Missing Pages, a re-release of his album, The Yearbook. It comes with the original record with a slip over cover that has a code to download the 13 songs.
Age 34: Another productive year for KJ-52 as he receives another Dove award for “Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year” for “Do Yo Thang.” He releases “Five-Two Television”, and album covering a variety of themes and rap styles.
Other Facts and Trivias
- He once worked as a flower delivery person.
- KJ-52’s music is featured in the Christian video game Dance Praise on Dance Praise Expansion Pack Volume 2: Rap/Hip-Hop.
- An excerpt from the song “Thank You” was played after the fourth commercial break of the now famous episode of Live! with Regis and Kelly that featured Clay Aiken as the co-host.
- “Wait for You” is a track from his album Collaborations about staying pure before marriage.
- He received an e-mail from a girl who was considering suicide, but said that a song on his first CD, 7th Avenue, “literally saved my life.” The girl was struggling with family problems and decided to take some pills to end it all. But she said she “somehow” hit the play button on her CD player, and KJ’s “Keep Ya Head Up” started playing. The chorus: “Gots to keep ya head up, even when ya fed up.