Thursday, October 2, 2014

Who is BJ The Chicago Kid?

The Chicago music scene has been buzzing lately. While Los Angeles, New York, and more recently Atlanta have all been giant rap hubs, Chicago has been on the come up recently. After spawning legends like Kanye West, Common, and Twista, a multitude of new rappers have been getting the spotlight in the last few years. Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Rockie Fresh, are all talented spitters from Chitown, all without even an album out yet but major national attention. Additionally, a new genre of street rap has been born in "Chiraq": drill music, which is headlined by artists such as Chief Keef, Lil Durk, Fredo Santana, and Young Chop. But very little attention is on the singers of Chicago, and one of the newest and best out of the city is BJ the Chicago Kid. There is a very good chance you have heard him at some point. He's been featured on tracks with Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., Ab-Soul, Ty Dolla $ign, Jay Rock, Vic Mensa, Freddie Gibbs, Chance the Rapper, and most recently, ScHoolboy Q's overly blatant sexual single. But who is this guy? In short, what Joey Bada$$ has been doing for classic East Coast rap, BJ is doing for old school Motown music. He blends hip hop elements with beautiful harmonies and slow, instrument-driven production.

But BJ The Chicago Kid is more than just a feature artist. His online-only album, Pineapple Now-Laters was one of the best albums of 2012, and included a moving story on "His Pain II" with Kendrick Lamar. One way that BJ separates himself from other R&B artists is his perspective on women. He doesn't call them "bitches", but instead croons about their love, beauty, and perfection. BJ falls closer on the spectrum to John Legend than the Weeknd or Ty Dolla $ign. BJ the Chicago said last year that he was gearing up to release a proper debut album, through Motown Records, actually. And in the last month, he has unexpectedly dropped six individual songs. Most sound like the gorgeously crafted tracks BJ crafted on Pineapple Now-Laters, but a few, such as "Go Girl" seem a bit too poppy, and sound somewhat tacky and cliche. All the songs are free, and can be found on Keep a look out for BJ The Chicago Kid's debut, and definitely don't sleep on the Chicago crooner.

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