Veteran, extraordinaire, Christian hip-hop pioneer all describe BEC Recordings' KJ-52 as he ventures into more uncharted territory with his upcoming release, "Five-Two Television," on September 22nd. As one of his most ambitious projects of his career, this project dives into the cultural influences and media-drenched ideas that individuals are exposed to on a daily basis.
"I wanted to create a record that's almost like a TV station," KJ-52 explains, tipping his hand to the album moniker and its packed, 24-track menu. "We live in a completely visual society, and more and more we experience life with all of our senses and on multiple levels. The record's really about embracing where culture's at and the way we relate to each other because of it--so I'm running toward it and using it and letting people see themselves in it."
There are many "channels" on this project to keep the fan from grabbing the remote to change tunes. Here is just a sample of KJ-52's sonic television.
Biography of "Chris Carlino":
KJ-52 inserts the adventurous tunes of a four-act spoken-word biography starring "Chris Carlino"--a fictional character representing who KJ-52 may have become had it not been for Christ crashing into his life at age 15. In a sense, KJ-52 says, the songs themselves can be viewed as "commercials" for what can only be described as The Chris Carlino Story--which adds a bolstering layer to the multilayered "Five-Two Television" concept.
"You get to hear this guy's story told almost like a rehab reality show," KJ-52 explains regarding his altar-ego. "It's kind of like his blog."
Free "Mix" Tape with purchase of CD:
Is KJ-52 giving away music and encouraging fans to "share" this record? Yes. Embracing the trend of electronic music sharing becoming more the rule than the exception these days, KJ-52 dreamed up the idea of awarding purchasers of "Five-Two Television" access to a downloadable version of the album they can give away. Why? "It's a mix tape geared to reaching the lost," KJ-52 says--in other words, the main record speaks into the lives of believers while the download is for those searching for answers.
Production of "Five-Two Television":
Teaming up again with longtime producer-collaborator Aaron Sprinkle (Kutless, Jeremy Camp, Hawk Nelson) for four tracks, KJ-52 flew from his Florida home to Seattle where the pair "crafted the album from the bottom up." The increased face time with Sprinkle, KJ-52 says, helped get things off to a perfect start. KJ-52 handled the remaining tracks with a star cast of co-producers, engineers and musicians.
First iTunes Single:
"End of My Rope" is a mixing bowl of multiple genres, KJ-52's unmistakable MC delivery mashed against blistering hard-rock guitar and a four-on-the-floor funky beat. This track is now available on iTunes as the debut single.
"The first song we did was 'End of My Rope,' and it came about after a conversation we had about how either God breaks you down, or we break ourselves down--until we're just hanging on to a rope. We're often very self destructive, and the only way we can begin our healing is by letting go."
Releasing his debut project in 2000, KJ-52 continued to do his "thing" for a total of seven projects released. Three of his four titles have scanned over 100,000 units--the only Christian hip-hop artist in history to do so. KJ-52 has become one of the most trusted names in music as a songwriter, producer, minister, and comic poet, in spite of many seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Let's not forget: He is an unabashed follower of Christ, he is white, and he is a rapper. In 2009, KJ-52 was once again nominated for the fourth consecutive year as CCM Magazine's Favorite Hip Hop Artist in the Reader's Choice poll. He also was honored with his fifth Dove Award. KJ-52 is on BEC Recordings. For more information, updates, blog, and tour dates visit: http://www.kj52.com also follow KJ-52 on Twitter: @kj52 .