Among today’s lead vocalists associated with Hip Hop is BJ The Chicago Kid, his smooth voice notably appearing on Kendrick Lamar’s “His Pain,” “Kush & Corinthians” and Diz Gibran’s “Truly Yours” to name a few selections. Signed to famed Motown Records, he has risen to prominence from the most humbling beginnings singing as a child at his kitchen table, now living out his dreams as a professional. Following a recent SXSW performance, BJ was gracious enough to speak with HipHopDX regarding his experiences to date and greater visions down the line.
Though his heavy ties to Top Dawg Entertainment have opened doors for a number of guest features, BJ The Chicago Kid makes certain to distinguish himself as a solo act telling DX “The highlight of my career has been seeing the world on my own as an artist versus with other artists that I’ve traveled with.” Grateful for how far he has come, he isn’t satisfied just yet stating “The deal [with Motown Records] isn’t the big part, getting the Grammy [Award] is the conclusion of having the deal. This is the opportunity and the bigger stage to do that, but it feels incredible to be signed to Motown. It’s a legendary label with huge standards.” Speaking to the idea of pressure on his shoulders, BJ says “Im going to live up to it, but not live in it. A lot of soul singers have had sad endings, Im not with that vibe, but I’m with the good music vibe”.
Proving he can match wits creatively with all sorts of talent, BJ The Chicago Kid lets a surprising cat out of the bag, saying “Busta Rhymes is a big brother of mine. I got a joint with Busta Rhymes and MF DOOM on a [J] Dilla beat that ain’t came out yet. The song is recorded and done, if it doesn’t come out on anything I’m gonna try to grab it.”
Having recently guested on Chance The Rapper’s “Good Ass Intro,” BJ The Chicago Kid suggested the possibility of forthcoming work with Joey Bada$$, with an extensive wish list for future collaborations. He said, “I’d love to work with Little Dragon, Cee-Lo Green, Natasha Bedingfield, Aretha Franklin even today, Stevie Wonder, The Broken Bells and quite a few artists that aren’t so big such as the group Half Moon Run.” Never one to collaborate without a higher purpose in mind, BJ closed the conversation noting, “We handpick each feature for the sake of evolution. We don’t just see someone and offer to work with them, we have to have a mutual understanding to make things come to pass.”