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Christian rapper Json was born Jason Watson in St. Louis, Missouri. Following a tumultuous upbringing involving gangs, drug addiction, and incarceration, Watson became a born-again Christian, and eventually a minister. He started his rap career in 2005, joining with Dallas-based Christian rap collective 116 Clique and additionally releasing his debut solo album, The Seasoning, on Hid in Christ Ministries. He signed to Lamp Mode Recordings in 2008, and began releasing a series of increasingly successful solo albums, starting with Life on Life. Arriving in 2010, City Lights charted on Billboard's Christian and Gospel album charts, as did follow-ups Growing Pains (2012) and Braille (2013). Watson was hired as president of Lamp Mode Recordings in 2014, and released his next album, No Filter, in 2015.