Christian rapper's musical career starts in jail
2007: Norwich Christian rapper Jon Jones (JonJon) has started out on a musical career in the secure surrounding of Norwich prison.
JonJon performed his first two gigs in Norwich at the Youth Offenders Institute on June 21 and 22. The gigs included material written by JonJon drawing upon his experiences of being bullied and abused, later battling drug addiction and then being saved when he found Christianity at the King Centre in Norwich.
With his heart-felt lyrics JonJon's first gig reached out to those who can relate to his experience and inspire inmates with hope.
At 26, JonJon’s life was spiralling out of control. He was battling addictions to crack cocaine and heroin, no job, no prospects and no hope of escaping the spiral. Just four years later his life has turned around and is looking brighter than ever.
The seeds of his life changing were planted at a chance meeting when an African missionary visited in his Bedford home. Later, after abandoning his UEA degree course in its early stages JonJon, still heavily addicted to drugs, reluctantly walked into the King Centre in Norwich’s former red-light district.
Now, thanks to support from many of his new friends at the Centre, JonJon is looking forward to a bright future using his experiences and lyrical gifts to reach out to people. Having recorded his first tracks at Purple Studios in Trowse, JonJon is looking forward to releasing his debut album later this year entitled The Beginning.
The first track, which will be released in June, is Mug Life. It’s about the life on the street, alone, without hope and how the draw of drugs and crime takes people away from feeling being alive. It’s an honest testimony inspiring people to find a way out of a life that they may be addicted to but want to escape from.
Comparisons have already been made between JonJon’s style and that of Eminem, but JonJon insists the anger and passion may be comparable, but the outcome is very different.
JonJon insists: “Some rap or hip-hop may talk about emotions in one sentence then violence and guns in the next. I wanted to do something more positive than simply making angry people angrier about their lives. I wanted to give them hope, tell them that I understand but give them other options than focus on violence as an escape route.”
JonJon is already reaching out to inspire people across Norfolk and Suffolk who feel they are without hope or society has excluded them. He is looking to tour East Anglian schools and prisons sharing his words and music.