Saturday, May 17, 2008

Recap: KJ-52 - Fellowship of the Woodlands (05/16/08)

I was working at home yesterday and got a text message telling me to call KJ-52. Turns out he was in town on the "Cross The Line" tour with Superchic[K] and some other cats and wanted to invite me out. What a pleasant surprise.

So when Kim got home we headed to the Fellowship of the Woodlands church (not too far from our house) and got a little backstage treatment.

89.3 KSBJ sponsored the event and drew a good crowd of a 1,000 or more. We arrived just as KJ, DJ X, and drummer Jamie were finishing up a Bible study. Kim and I joined them for the wrap up prayer and then hung out with KJ in the backstage lounge before he went on.

Dude rocked a 20-25 minute set and had 'em all pumping their fists. Photos and more details below.

KJ sported a sweet Transformers running jacket that glowed in the dark. Even the dudes from the rock band Disciple were giving him props.

Lights down, hands up.

Jamie and X kept playing 80's jams in the background of KJ's speech so he told them to hit the bricks (More on that later.) The walkout didn't last long though as they turned right around with smiles on their faces and went into hits from "The Yearbook."

"Push up the 5 / push up the 2 / but it ain't about me / it's about You"

As is tradition, KJ played "Stump the Rapper" by having DJ X take up three random items from the crowd that he would freestyle into a song. This shot is at the end where he's wearing some girl's pink bandana, holding a water bottle, and preparing to put one of KSBJ's "Dios Escucha" bumper stickers on his shirt.


Other notes:
  • Kim and I discovered that the brick wall we've seen on stage at FOTW is indeed fake and made of styrofoam. We also witnessed a near catasrophe when said wall was accidentally bumped by one of the guys from Disciple and nearly toppled over. Thankfully some stage hands were able to remedy the situation with some nearby cardboard and helped us avoid what would have been a very embarrassing moment as KJ's on-stage guests.
  • Yes, KJ performs his unescapable "Mountain Dew" song at every show. It's perhaps his silliest, yet most requested, song. At least he's put the "Planet Rock" beat underneath it now to make it a little more bearable.
  • My man has found a goldmind in the 80's slit shades he sells at the merch table. Dude's got 'em in all different colors and the kids love 'em. Thank you Kanye.
  • During the freestyle session, KJ took off his shoe and then sock and threatened to rub it in some kid's face. The boy nearly ran under the stage (really, who wants KJ's sweaty sock in their grill?) and when KJ's set was done he forgot the sock. Unfortunately that was right at the same time as the transitional WorldVision pitch so KJ had to stand off stage with one Nike and one barefoot for about 10 minutes until it was over.
  • KJ is definitely a cat other Christian rappers can look at as a role model. He's committed, he understands his market like none other, and he's willing to give back to his fans and peers through things like the 52 Academy, his weekly podcast, and through his 52 Television channel on YouTube. If he's in your area you need to go check him out. Even if you don't cut for all his music, there's undoubtedly something you can learn from him.
I was lazy with the camera last night and failed to get any shots of KJ and the band backstage or with Kim and me so this shot from his last trip to town will have to do.

1 comment:

Jelani Greenidge, a.k.a G*Natural said...

Man you are definitely right about 52... I think about 3-4 years ago folx started really hatin' on him, either because they were jealous of all the exposure and the sales, or because they felt like he had changed his style (he did... just like any artist would, over time). But you're right... he understands his market/audience, he's authentic, and he still holds it down on the mic.

(I'm hoping that Fivetweezy thing was just a phase tho)