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7th Avenue
Artist: KJ-52 representing Sons of Intellect
Label: Essential Records
Length: 16 tracks/57:28 minutes

We Rock The Mic
The Hardway

KJ-52, a.k.a. Jonah Sorrentino, brings together an impressive cast of supporting characters for his debut record on Essential Records. Produced by Gotee Brothers' Todd Collins, guest appearances include rap talents Knowdaverbs, Deuce and Phanatik from Cross Movement, Bonafide of GRITS, and Amani. The result is an arresting, commanding experience in urban hip hop music. Mostly East Coast style, this Florida native sounds a bit like Eminem, but lifts up the Lord in his rhymes and even gives an altar call at the CD's end.

To get attention, Sorrentino has taken the liberty to write some new lyrics for DC Talk's song "The Hardway," and recorded it with a bouncy jam, hoping for radio play. Unfortunately this isn't the best cut on the joint. I like the harder cuts like "Do What I Do," "We Rock the Mic," and " It's The S.O.I," with guests Phanatik and Deuce. "Integrity" is a humorous track KJ-52 does with Bonafide. It looks at an interchange between a prideful rapper (played by KJ-52) who comes up against an established one (Bonafide) who answers the boasts of the newcomer by riffing on the need for Christ to be in control of every part of your rhyming.

7th Avenue is the name of the street in a Tampa area ghetto that KJ-52 grew up on and now it is the name of his first record. KJ-52, his label, and fan's of Christian hip hop are hoping that his music gets heard on all the streets that he desires to reach with the gospel.

Tony LaFianza 4/9/2000


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