From Jonathan Long
God works in mysterious ways and Tampa, Florida-based emcee Jonathan Long knows that first hand. Jonathan Long’s Grandfather left behind a Bible that God used to spark a journey that’s eternal. After his grandfather passed away, Long read what his grandpa was reading in that Bible because at the time it was one of the few things to do, being he was living in an apartment with no TV. God revealed his love to Jonathan causing him to surrender his life to the Lord. He quit selling pills, got baptized and eventually began using his love of Hip Hop as a tool to spread the Gospel.
It was his big brother Richard who originally planted the seed of Hip Hop culture by introducing him to tracks by emcees like DMX, Wu-Tang Clan, and Tupac, among others. After Jon became a Christian in 2011, his brother introduced him to Grammy award-winning Hip Hop artist Lecrae’s music and it influenced him to take his low-key writing sessions in a more professional direction. Jonathan and friends began working on lyrics and building musical confidence. The Tampa, Florida-based emcee has used Hip Hop to minister to people at house parties in his local area. “Once I got saved I had things to get off my heart,” Long said in a recent interview. “I had purpose and something to speak. I had a stance. It’s not just confidence I have in myself. It’s really a confidence I found in Christ. He showed me who to be. He revealed to me who I am. I use to listen to other people’s perception of me. It’s definitely not a confidence I found in myself.” In 2014, Jonathan developed a working relationship with record breaking Hip Hop artist Sicily after they improved their local church studio and went to various bible studies. They eventually founded Run With Zeal Records LLC and are planning to release projects in 2015. Jonathan Long, who Rapzilla.com recognized for his Legacy Hot 16, wants to encourage people through his imprint. “I really tend to write music that reflects what’s going on in my mind,” says Jonathan. “I want to be real and be genuine about my life. A lot of people have a facade of what a Christian is. I want to be able to encourage believers to continue their race and fight. Life is going to be a struggle sometimes. For people who aren’t believers, I want to give them a realistic example of what it’s like to walk with Christ because they have this façade of what is shown on TV.” Jonathan was raised by his parents along with his two older siblings in a middle class family, which taught him core values like hard work and honesty. Long graduated from high school in 2010. He is currently serving as a Youth Leader at his Church. Be on the lookout for more dope music from the lyricist.