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Rapper KJ-52 in 2008.jpg
Background information
Jonah Kirsten Sorrentino
KJ-52, Tweezy,[1] King J. Mac
Born (1975-06-26) June 26, 1975 (age 43)
OriginTampa, Florida
GenresChristian hip hop
LabelsEssential, BEC
Peace of Mind

Jonah Kirsten Sorrentino (born June 26, 1975), 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,"[2] a name which he later described in one of his podcasts as "horribly cheesy."[3][not in citation given] "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.[4] 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.[5] 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.


In 2002, Sorrentino released his second album, Collaborations. The album's title referred to the numerous contributions made to the album by guest artists, including 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.[6]

KJ-52 has won four Dove Awards, three in the "Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year" category. He took the 2004 award for It's Pronounced Five Two, the 2006 award for Behind the Musik (A Boy Named Jonah), and the 2007 award for Remixed.[7] He received an additional honor in 2007, for "Never Look Away" from Behind the Musik, in the "Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song" category.[8] KJ never tried out for American Idol,[9] but suggested such in his song "Fivetweezy".

On October 2008, he released 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.

2009 Dove Awards[10] Another productive year for KJ-52 as he was awarded with "Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year" for "Do Yo Thang"; The Yearbook; KJ-52; Jonah Sorrentino; BEC Recordings/Uprok

In 2009, he released "Five-Two Television", and album covering a variety of themes and rap styles. It is his first album in which autotune is used, a controversial step among his fans. The album brings us the (fictitious) story of Chris Carlino, a man who has ruined his life, through a series of interludes. As usual for KJ-52, the album includes both songs with a strong Christian message and songs that are meant only to entertain.[11]

KJ-52 also rapped in the Newsboys cover of "Jesus Freak".[12]

KJ-52 also rapped in the tobyMac remix of the song "One World" on the album Hip-Hope which also includes the KJ-52 remixed song "What You Want".[]

KJ-52 released Dangerous on April 3, 2012. It mixes hip hop album with quite a bit of synth, and has some pop-electric. The first released single, "Dangerous", is more light rock-pop. The second single is called "Shake Em Up", but is commonly spelled "Shakem Up".[] It features guest artists such as Canton Jones on "It's Goin Down", Lecrae on "They Like Me", Thi'sl on "Shake Em Up", George Moss on "Do the Bill Cosby", and more. His final track, "Go," is a remake of the Hillsong United song with the same name.

In 2017, KJ-52 released his first independent album "Jonah." The project was over 200% funded through Pledge Music.[13] Following the release of the album, KJ-52 began working on an independent documentary about his life with filmmaker Denver Bailey. The film went on to raise 125% of the goal through kickstarter.[14] The film was released along side KJ-52's second independent album titled "Jonah Pt. 2" on February 15, 2018.[15]

Eminem and "Dear Slim" controversy

KJ-52 was often compared to Eminem, as many called him a "Christian counterpart".[16] One of the most notable mainstream reactions to the Christian hip hop scene was to KJ-52 and his single "Dear Slim", which was written to Eminem in an attempt reach him with the message of the gospel. The song became famous and controversial among Eminem fans when it was featured on the hit show Total Request Live. KJ-52 began to receive hate mail (including death threats) from Eminem's fans, though KJ-52 claimed that the song was not being disrespectful.[17] The artist addressed it in a follow-up song titled "Dear Slim Pt. 2".


Album Year Record label
Insightful Comprehensions (with Sons of Intellect) 1997 Omega
7th Avenue 2000 Essential Records
Collaborations 2002 Uprok Records
It's Pronounced Five Two 2003 Uprok Records
7th Avenue re-release (5 new tracks added, 2 songs and all skits omitted) 2004 Essential Records
Behind the Musik (A Boy Named Jonah) 2005 BEC
The Yearbook 2007 BEC
Five-Two Television 2009 BEC
Dangerous April 2012[18] BEC
Mental October 21, 2014[19] 52 Records
Jonah January 20, 2017[20] 52 Records
Jonah Part 2 February 15, 2018[21] 52 Records

Side projects and other releases


Song Album
Are You Real (featuring Jon Micah Sumrall of Kutless) Behind the Musik (A Boy Named Jonah)
Back in the Day It's Pronounced Five Two
Dear Slim Pt. 2
Never Look Away (featuring Brynn Sanchez) Behind the Musik (A Boy Named Jonah)
Right Here (featuring Jeremy Camp)


Year Single US Christian Album
Rock CHR Hot Songs
2009 "End of My Rope" 7 -- -- Five-Two Television
"Calling You" 21 -- --
2012 "Dangerous" 21 16 44 Dangerous
"Facemelt" 12 -- --
"Brand New Day" -- 5 40
2013 "So Far Apart" -- 17 --

Guest appearances

  • Jeremiah Dirt - Plague - "Good Medison" (1998)
  • Urban D. - The Missin' Element - "The Spittin' Spot" (1999)
  • Urban D. - The Tranzlation - "We Go Together Like" (2001)
  • Pillar - Fireproof - "Stay Up" (2002)
  • Bobby Bishop - Government Name - "Change the Game" (2005)
  • tobyMac - Hip Hope Hits 2009 - "One World (Liquid Remix)" (2009)
  • R-Swift - Anthem - "Flava of Forever" (2009)
  • Newsboys - Born Again - "Jesus Freak" (2010)
  • Sean Slaughter - The Prototype - "I'm Gone" (2010)
  • big AL - The Balancing Act - "Lookin' @ Us" (2011)
  • muzeONE - Cold War - "Lights On" (2011)
  • Research - Cerca Trova - "The Struggle" (2011)
  • Jai - Culture Shock - "Incredible (Remix)" (2011)
  • The Ambassador - Stop the Funeral - "Your Love" (2011)
  • Canton Jones - The Live Experience - "I Am (Live)" (2012)
  • E Tizz - What I Gotta Say - "I'm Tellin' 'Em All" (2012)
  • Rawsrvnt - Love Deluxe - "Jesus Jam" (2012)
  • Emcee One - Introducing Again for the First Time - "Introducing Again for the First Time" (2012)
  • Viktory - R4 (Relentless 4ever) - "God Is Amazing" (2012)
  • George Moss - It's Time - "Ridin' Windows Up" (2012)
  • Lincoln Brewster - Joy to the World (A Christmas Collection) - "Little Drummer Boy" (2012)
  • For a Season - Lion Hearted - EP - "Let It Out" (2013)
  • V. Rose - Electro-Pop (Deluxe) - "Turn Up Your Light" (2013)


GMA Dove Awards

Year Award Result
2003 Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year (Collaborations) Nominated
2004 Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year ("Dear Slim Pt. 2") Nominated
Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year (It's Pronounced Five Two) Won
Short Form Music Video of the Year ("Dear Slim") Nominated
2006 Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year ("Are You Real?") Nominated
Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year (Behind the Musik (A Boy Named Jonah)) Won
2007 Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song of the Year ("Never Look Away") Won
Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year (KJ-52 Remixed) Won
2008 Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song of the Year ("Wake Up") Nominated
Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year (The Yearbook) Nominated
2009 Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song of the Year ("Do Yo Thang") Won
Short Form Music Video of the Year ("Fan Mail") Nominated
2010 Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song of the Year ("End of My Rope") Nominated
Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year (Five-Two Television) Won
2011 Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song of the Year ("Calling You") Nominated
2013 Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year (Dangerous) Nominated


  1. ^ DeBoer, Terry (April 7, 2010). "Christian rap/hip-hop artist KJ-52 performs with Group 1 Crew". MLIVE.com. Booth Newspapers. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ [1] Archived July 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "kj52's Podcast". Kj52podcast.com. Retrieved 2011.
  4. ^ "KJ-52 - Push Up Lyrics". Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ "38th Annual GMA Dove Awards Album of the Year Nominees & Winners". Christianmusic.about.com. April 25, 2007. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  6. ^ "Nominees for the 34th Annual Dove Awards". Published by the Gospel Music Association. Retrieved January 22, 2007. Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Dove Award Recipients for Rap/Hip Hop Album. Published by the Gospel Music Association. Retrieved January 22, 2007. Archived December 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "38th Annual Dove Award Recipients". Published by the Gospel Music Association. Retrieved April 26, 2007. Archived January 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "'Behind the Musik' with KJ-52". Published by CBN News Retrieved May 27, 2007.
  10. ^ "41st Annual GMA Dove Awards on Gospel Music Channel". Doveawards.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ "KJ-52 RELEASES 24 TRACK FIVE-TWO TELEVISION TODAY || JOINS PILLAR & RUN KID RUN ON CONFESSIONS TOUR". Fusemix.com. September 22, 2009. Retrieved 2011.
  12. ^ "Jesus freak guest feature". YouTube. July 5, 2010. Retrieved 2011.
  13. ^ "kj52: the Jonah album". PledgeMusic.
  14. ^ "The KJ52 Documentary". Kickstarter.
  15. ^ Sarachik, Justin. "KJ-52 Releases 'Jonah Pt. 2' and 'The Jonah Movie'".
  16. ^ "The Christian Slim Shady? | Teens". Christianitytoday.com. January 3, 2001. Retrieved 2011.
  17. ^ "ChristianMusicToday.com: KJ-52 Interview -- Getting It Right". Christianitytoday.com. Retrieved 2011.
  18. ^ "KJ-52, "Dangerous" Review". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved 2012.
  19. ^ "KJ-52 'Mental' Cover Art & Tracklist". JamTheHype.com. Retrieved 2014.
  20. ^ "KJ-52 Announces Release Date for 'Jonah'". Rapzilla.com. Retrieved 2018.
  21. ^ "KJ-52 Releases 'Jonah Pt. 2' and 'The Jonah Movie'". Rapzilla.com. Retrieved 2018.

External links

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