C.J King is a church boy from the east side of Atlanta, a Pastor’s kid, and a rapper whose music is full of melodies and harmonies. He’s going to talk about love, relationships, and a lot of experiences about growing in the church.
This artistry is what led Rapzilla to choose C.J as a 2018 Freshmen.
“The last two years, it was on my radar,” he shared. “In recent times, I’ve realized a lot of people don’t know who I am. The artists do, but the fans don’t. Now I get my name thrown in the mix and people are taking notice.”
Now that his name is in the mix, his journey into music is pretty amazing. He seemingly had a lot of odds stacked up against him, but God brought him to where he was called to be.
Growing up in the church, he started singing first.
“I wasn’t allowed to listen to rap. I was singing in church, but I was a horrible singer,” he said with a laugh. “It didn’t work out. ‘Let me try this rap thing’ I said.”
He continued, “I would sneak the portable CD player in my pocket and get it on the bus and listen to my 1st CD – Eminem Curtain Call. The NBA video games had the soundtrack CDs, so I would listen to those. I would listen anyway I could.”
C.J said he wanted his parents to know how good Hip-hop was so he picked up a copy of T-bone’s gospelalphamegafunkyboogiediscomusic. He played it for his parents, and they thought it was different but couldn’t find any fault in it. His next purchase was a KJ-52 CD.
“Then I wanted to rap in church and they let me try it,” said King. “It was over the Young Joc song, ‘It’s Going Down’. It was the worst rap I have ever written, but it was a start,” he explained. “Church played a huge role in how my music was crafted. It was based on church experiences. Even to this day, I rap about what I know. I didn’t get into trouble or anything like that.”
When it was time to go to college, CJ enrolled in Liberty University, the largest Christian College in the country. It was there that his path to music changed exponentially.
“My junior year, my parents’ identity was stolen. In turn, their finances were messed up. A lot was thrown out of proportion. I got a letter that Liberty couldn’t verify our financial status, so I couldn’t attend anymore,” he said. “Shortly after, Liberty hit me up and said they had heard of my name and had seen me around and were looking to add hip-hop to the mix. I wasn’t expecting anything in return.”
King explained that he couldn’t attend school. They contacted him two days later and said, “Would it work out if we gave you a full scholarship just to rap.”
“It blessed my parents, it blessed me. They had never done that before. I went from sitting in a huge arena to being on the stage. Now they added hip-hop, so I get to be someone like me in the audience,” King said. “I toured a lot of schools. It was great for my career.”
He would go to classes and on weekends would travel. It was also part of recruiting.
“I never thought rapping 16 bars would be worth my education.”
The emcee’s first foray into dropping music was when he sent The Session to Rapzilla. It got a decent response. When he released his follow-up, “Swervin'”, which is now over 28,000 plays – it went crazy.
“I was always nervous about how I’d follow up. It was DJ Wade-O’s single of the year and got me a Kingdom Choice Award nomination for breakout artist.”
As far as exposure and charting, his best track was “ChurchBoi,” and it was done all organically with no promo.
Now he’s working on his next project Broken Melodies. We’ll have more info on this in another article.
Lastly, C.J King took the time to explain who Jesus is to him.
“More than anything, He’s been my backbone. Being an independent artist and trying to do music is hard enough by itself. It is particularly challenging doing art with a wife and a child,” he said. “I did my own graphics, my own photos on a tripod, I do my own recording and engineering. Doing all of that while maintaining family plus a radio show I host on Sunday’s can be a lot.”
He continued, “To have someone to fall back on and let things out to is amazing. In these past two years my relationship with Jesus has grown just as a confidant. I talk to him constantly, just venting with stuff. Jesus is here for you to talk to. I can’t imagine being in the secular mainstream industry and not having someone I can call on for times of help. I see why these young dudes be popping xans and doing crazy things. It’ll drive you up a wall.