In my exclusive interview with KJ-52 for WatchUsPlayGames.com, I discuss a range of questions and topics with the white Christian rapper, who’s been going strong for a whole decade now.
In it KJ-52 is extremely candid, and you can get a really good sense of his laid-back personality, as well as the sense that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. His comedic manner shines bright throughout and he answers a deluge of questions I put together. I tried to ask non-typical questions in order to get some interesting answers, and I’m extremely happy with the results.
Important topics of discussion include:
* How KJ-52 and LeCrae met. Whether or not they are friends.
* KJ-52’s Top 10 Favorite Videogames.
* What does KJ-52 think of metal, is he a headbanger?
* Did KJ-52 ever think he’d be working on his SEVENTH album?
* What is the story behind KJ-52’s one-off 2003 rockband “Peace of Mind”. Will they ever perform or release another album?
* What KJ-52 thinks of the Kickstarter revolution.
* What are KJ-52’s favorite and least favorite songs from Dangerous.
* What genre outside of hip-hop is KJ-52’s favorite?
* What are KJ-52’s favorite artists and bands of all time?
* Do you live in a bubble when recording a new album?
* What is “Goldinchild” up to these days?
* What are some exclusive, fun tidbits regarding KJ-52s StorySongs like “#1 Fan” or “Dangerous”?
* MUCH MORE!
KJ-52 fits a ton of information into a packed 16 minutes of audio. So sit back, pop some popcorn, and enjoy in WatchUsPlayGames’ first exclusive interview! :)
Sadly KJ-52 did skip a few questions and didn’t answer my most burning question… Does he really like Mountain Dew? If so what is his favorite flavor? :P
Below you can see my full original interview as it was originally sent to him. You’ll notice that most of the questions are fully intact in the video and he did a really good job answering the vast majority of what I asked, with a few exceptions. I was sad to see him skip Question #19 though, which asked him what he thought of piracy in the music industry. I think it was simply too long of a question so he just skipped to the next one! OH well!
Hello KJ-52, thank you SO much for agreeing to this interview. I really, really appreciate it. And this is actually my first major exclusive interview to “go to print”, as they say. I got several others lined up, but you get FIRSTS!
So right off the bat, I just had to get this off my chest… Do you really love Mountain Dew? And if so, WHICH flavor is your favorite? Is it original? Code Red? Whiteout? Baja Blast? Voltage? Livewire? ANSWER ME!!!!!!!! :P I actually love to mix Mountain Dew with raspberry Brisk tea…. whenever I go to Taco Bell I get Mountain Dew: Baja Blast mixed with Brisk…. Mmmmmm
And while we’re on the topic… outside of Mountain Dew, what is your favorite soda?
Pepsi or Coke?
Okay I’m done.
So “Dangerous” marks your SEVENTH full-length album. I’ve actually been a fan of you myself since Collaborations, yet I hadn’t picked up one of your albums since Behind the Musik. So I was quite surprised to find out how busy you’ve been in the intervening years. You keep on trucking no matter what, and that’s something I respect you for so much. To reach seven full-length albums (and I mean full length, one thing you’ve never done is shortchanged buyers, your albums are always PACKED to the gills with tons of tracks) is quite the monumental achievement! How did the writing process and the production process of this album, “Dangerous”, compare to previous albums? Btw after finishing “Dangerous”, I’m totally hyped on your music and going back listening to your old albums. I’ve now made it a mission to buy and listen to everything you’ve ever done…. I may even review all of them. :D
What would you say is your favorite song from “Dangerous”? And what is your least favorite? I’d have to say that my favorite song is Shake Em Up. My least favorite is Facemelt….
One area you really excel at is in blending genres. Were you always interested in rock music for example? Or is that something that evolved naturally due to your collaborations, such as your early collaborations with Trevor of “Thousand Foot Krutch”?
How do you feel about working in other genres outside of rock, like pop, worship and doing songs with contemporary Christian artists and female vocalists. I always find these tracks to be extremely refreshing, and I think you really put a unique mark on the industry because you do songs that I don’t think anyone else would think of attempting.
Outside of rap music, what genre would you say is your favorite?
When listening to music leisurely, are you someone who sticks primarily to rap and hip-hop, or do you mostly listen to stuff outside of the genre you perform in?
Do you listen to any metal music? My favorite three bands are “Demon Hunter”, “Becoming the Archetype” and “The Showdown”, all of them are Christian metal bands on the Solid State label.
What would you say are your favorite artists/bands of all time, and what would you say are some of your favorite modern bands, secular or Christian?
Here’s a question you might be able to relate with. Me and my brother are pretty much the only two people I know or have ever met who listen to metal and rap music equally. We both LOVE both genres, and we don’t miss a beat when going straight from a heavy metal song to a rap or hip-hop track. What do you think of this? Do you know anyone in the rap scene who listens to metal regularly and bumps hip-hop one second while headbanging the next?
Walk me through the writing process or the creative process of a typical KJ-52 song. What is the process that you’ve come to know and what serves as your major inspiriation for the songs you come up, in a general sense?
In my humble opinion, you are at your best when you are creating interesting story songs, such as the “Dangerous” title track. And you’ve really mastered that craft in my opinon. One of my favorite songs of yours of all time is “#1 Fan” from “It’s Pronounced Five Two”. “Life After Death” is another good story song. What are your favorite story songs you’ve done, and can you give me an exclusive tidbit or two about what inspired some of these songs; or how they came about?
Looking at your past, did you ever imagine you’d find the success that you have found? Did you ever imagine that you’d “make it” and be talking to me right now about your SEVENTH album?
I thought I knew quite a bit about you while I was reviewing “Dangerous”, but like with a lot of bands and artists, it is very easy to fall away and get sidetracked and not get around to an album you meant to get for whatever reason. Case in point, I never got around to picking up LaCrae’s “Overdose” album. I meant to, but it just didn’t happen and I’ve still yet to get to it. Same thing for Matisyahu’s last album, so it’s something that I think happens even to people who are fans of a certain artist. One reason is simply because of the over-saturation of media and music out there. Before I go off on some wild tangent, to the question: I discovered in my research (and while making mental notes of what to purchase in the future that I haven’t listened to yet from you) that you actually formed a legimate rock band in 2003 called “Peace of Mind”. I discovered it online, and found one track and it blew my mind. I mean it was seriously amazing stuff. I plan on buying that album as soon I have the cash. So the question is, whatever happened to “Peace of Mind”? I notice you’ve done quite a bit of sideprojects, was “Peace of Mind” always going to be a one-off deal, where you’d just make one album?
Any chance “Peace of Mind” will reform or do another album? It’s been quite a long time since 2003, so I imagine the answer is no. But what about forming another rockband or trying out for another collabo where you form another legitimate, dedicated rock or rock-rap/nu-metal band? Or create an album with someone like TFK? Imagine a TFK/KJ-52 split-album… I’m getting chills right now. lol. And you know TFK is independant atm…. So technically they can do whatever they want next…..
Following a thread from Question 14, what do you think about the oversaturation of media these days? How does one who is IN the industry themselves keep abreast of all the stuff happening and all the new music coming out? Is it possible to even keep up with other artists, or do you live in a bubble while recording and working on your own new material?
I remember being proud when you did the Videogames song, since my site is technically a videogame website… I had to ask this question. Are you a gamer yourself? If so, what are your favorite videogame genres and what are you favorite videogame franchises?
If you are a gamer, can you give me your top-ten favorite videogames just off the top of your head? If not, give me a list of your top ten movies or TV shows…. OR BOTH!
Are you a reader? Do you read often? If so what kind of books do you read, anything interesting you read recently that you’d like to share? For me personally, I read almost exclusively non-fiction. I love to read books written by Muslim-women, because it’s such a different culture and lifestyle from my own and I love biographies and books on history and politics.
What do you think about the current state of the music industry? Do you find piracy and places like youtube where most of your songs can be found, to be a bad thing or a good thing? Do you believe music piracy has seriously hurt you as an artist, or hurt the industry? Or do you think there’s enough legitimate, good people out there willing to pay for new music or who want to own it outright (or in hardcopy form) that it negates the fact that you can get most music for free if you really want to?
I’ve always thought that youtube and spotify and other ways of getting free music is really no different than listening to something on the radio. If I see a movie on TV, that doesn’t effect whether I want to go out and buy that movie. Because owning it and sitting it on my shelf or paying for it is a different experience entirely than watching it on TV.
And outside of that, a whole heck of a lot of bands that I now follow and buy their new albums, I wouldn’t have known about if I didn’t find them on youtube. In fact, I discovered you because a church friend from years and years ago gave me a burned copy of “Collaborations”. I was so impressed I went out and bought it later on, and I’ve followed you ever since, buying each new album at launch. So I’ve never seen music sharing as a negative thing… but I am not in the business myself, and I can see the other side of the argument…
What do you think of the whole Kickstarter revolution. Do you ever see yourself doing a Kickstarter project? A lot of bands have left their labels in favor of Kickstarter, like “Project 86” and TFK. Have you thought of maybe reviving “Peace of Mind” through Kickstarter or doing a Kickstarter rock project? *hint hint* *nudge nudge*
What was it like working with “LeCrae”? Personally I found his last album to be disappointing (“Rehab”, not “Overdose” which I’ve yet to hear), but I think he is one of the most exciting people the Christian rap scene has ever witnessed. I think he has big things ahead of him. Really big. And I was thrilled to see you collaborate with him for this album. Would you say you guys are friends now? Had you met before the collabo? Think they’ll be more collaborations with LeCrae or other 116 Clique members in the future?
What is “Goldinchild” up to these days? Do you still work with him and did you work with him on “Dangerous”? Do you think he’ll ever put out an album of his own? Forgive me if he has and I just don’t know about it….
Chocolate or Vanilla?
What is your favorite kind of food? (Mexican, Asian, Seafood, etc.)
What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
McDonalds or Burger King?
If you could only pick one of your past album’s (excluding “Dangerous”), which album would you say you are most proud of and why?
Tell me a bit about your wife… how did you guys meet? What does she do and what does she think of your career path? Would you say she is a “fan”? What kind of music is she into?
Do you have a favorite Bible passage or Bible verse? What gave you the confidence to be so public in your faith and to be able to produce songs and face people who may criticize you for it or try and pick arguments with you or deflate you?
Finally, what advice would you give to someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps and live their dream. There were probably a lot of people who said you couldn’t make it as a rapper, much less make it into a career. MUCH LESS into seven albums. You’ve defied all your critics, and I’d say your still going as strong as ever.
To close, tell me what kind of tour planes you have going and some recent dates coming up where people can see you live. Give me some final thoughts, let my readers know where or how they can interact with you (Twitter, blog, website, Facebook, etc.) and is there anything else you’d like to say?
Any projects you have currently in the works or ideas kicking around in your head you’d like to share?
Thank you and God bless! Keep doing what you’re doing. You’ve found an audience and it’ll only continue to grow as you steamroll ahead towards 10 albums! But first get some much needed rest! :)
Previous Songs of the Day
* Misconception By LeCrae Featuring Propaganda, Braille and Odd Thomas
* Fearless by For Today
* One Sixteen by Trip Lee Featuring LeCrae
* MAD by E.B.R.U. Featuring Durrty Goodz
* Through Struggle By As I Lay Dying
* School of Hard Knocks By P.O.D.
* Infected By 12 Stones
* The Sphere of Hip-Hop By Mars iLL
* God of Nothing By MyChildren MyBride
* Silent Hill 1 Videogame Soundtrack Full Download
* Rush By Aly & AJ
* Dreamdecipher by Miseration
* Let You Down By P.O.D.
* They Like Me By KJ-52 Featuring LeCrae
* Heavy Prey By Lacey Mosley Strum of Flyleaf From Underworld: Awakening Soundtrack
* KJ-52 Exclusive WatchUsPlayGames Interview
* Four Wall Blackmail by Dead Poetic
* Fighter By Manafest
* Immortal By War of Ages
* Crowns By Phinehas
* Hell March Remix From Red Alert 3
* The Latest and the Last and Grand Finale By Demon Hunter
* Storm the Gates of Hell and Lead Us Home By Demon Hunter
* Feel As Though You Could by Demon Hunter
* The Wind By Demon Hunter
* Get Well By Icon For Hire
* The Science of Lies By Demon Hunter
* Hounds of Love By Eivor
* The Gauntlet By Demon Hunter
* Pokerap Pokemon Anime Theme Song Season 1
* Perfect Weapon By Black Veil Brides
* Trollabundin By Eivor
* No Reason To Exist By Demon Hunter
* Tie This Around Your Neck By Demon Hunter
* I Play Dead By Demon Hunter
* Goodbye For Now By P.O.D.