Monday, April 2, 2012

KJ-52: Dangerous Review

KJ-52 is one of the most respected artists in the Christian hip-hop industry, selling over 575,000 albums and watching several of his tracks, including “Dear Slim” “Never Gonna Look Away” and “End of My Rope,” become chart-toppers or award-winners. I personally have been a pick-and-choose fan of KJ-52 ever since the release of his Behind the Musik album in 2006. However, several of the songs on Dangerous follow a more electronic pop sound and KJ also experiments with several covers, which makes this album easily his best project yet!
“It’s Goin’ Down” opens the album with a hand-clapping beat, a very fun partying track – “we’ve come to party, it’s going down/ we’ve come to party, now jump around/ do something crazy, it’s going down/ do something crazy, now jump around!” Renowned hip-hip artist Lecrae appears in “They Like Me,” speaking of how we are “all related through the Lamb.” It is a bit humorous, but also addresses modern topics with fantastic lyrics, including my personal favorite rhetoric at the beginning of the track: “I don’t do black music/ I don’t do white music/ I do fight music, unified in Christ music!”

“Superhero” is probably the track off Dangerous most like KJ-52’s previous albums, declaring that Jesus outdoes every other human-created superhero. The title track follows, absolutely astounding. KJ sings the chorus of this track, a very serious track about the danger of complacency. With a softer tune, this is simply an incredible single and phenomenal title track – definitely one of the best tracks I’ve ever heard from KJ-52.

Sounding much like Thousand Foot Krutch, “Facemelt” follows, a track of gratitude for the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. I was quite surprised that KJ delivered such a heavy rock track such as this, even containing electronic and futuristic effects throughout the bridge. “Shake ‘Em Up” follows with a nice melody, and begins with a short snippet of a message, preaching that Jesus came to give us life and give it more abundantly. And for those who most enjoy KJ-52’s hilarious meaningless tracks, “Do the Bill Cosby” follows interestingly, as KJ had the chance to meet this star a while back.

I was personally very delighted with the second half off the album Dangerous, which features a couple of treats along the way. For one, “So Far Apart” is actually a cover of Plumb’s 90s hit “Stranded”! Remember years ago when he covered “Flood” by Jars of Clay with his own hip-hop verses? That’s what he does here, and, because I am a big fan of Plumb, this was one of my personal favorites off this album. “Brand New Day” has a strong electronic dance/pop tempo, and, mixed with KJ-52’s rhythmic rap lines, it’s quite breathtaking as is the message that we will never be the same when Christ changes us.

With a message of shining Christ’s light to the world comes “Speed That Light,” which features Rhema Soul. Following, “That Was My Life” seems to be KJ-52’s twist on Lecrae’s “Don’t Waste Your Life,” as he changes the lyrics to his testimony of how Jesus saved Him. “I’m not that person anymore, that was my life,” he declares, sharing what Jesus saved him from through the verses. And closing the album, KJ-52 does his pop-infused cover of Hillsong United’s “Go,” much stronger. I dare say this closing track is ten times better than the original version, because of it’s tempo, and hearing KJ-52 sing straight through the whole thing was quite enjoyable as well.

Dangerous is hands down KJ-52’s best project to date. The eclectic album features everything from hip-hop covers, to dance/pop anthems, hilarious and fun tracks, and even poignant challenging tracks such as the title track. It’s plain and simple that KJ-52 poured himself into this project 110%. If you’re a long-time fan of KJ-52, don’t miss this project!!

Rating: 4.5/5
Release date: April 3, 2012

Track listing:
1. It’s Goin’ Down
2. They Like Me
3. Superhero
4. Dangerous
5. Facemelt
6. Shake ‘Em Up
7. Do the Bill Crosby
8. So Far Apart
9. Brand New Day
10. Speed That Light
11. That Was My Life
12. Go

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