BJ the Chicago Kid Will Provide a ‘Hearty Meal’ With Next Album, Talks Chance the Rapper Collaboration
In February 2012, BJ the Chicago Kid released his independent album, 'Pineapple Now Laters,' and he knew he had something special on his hands -- even before the Motown Records contract was presented to him and praise from critics started rolling in.
At the ASCAP/BET Music Matters show in Austin on Thursday (March 14), BJ told TheDrop.fm that he had a specific goal in mind while creating that LP. "From day one, I wanted to create [a certain] vibe," says the Motown signee. "It didn’t naturally come. I had to really understand what I was doing and really know what I wanted to say. I think that the way it came together was really incredible."
The 'Good Love' creator admits to being a bit bullheaded while constructing the album. Between himself and his team, they had an unwavering idea of what they wanted to create with 'Pineapple Now Laters.' So they refrained from even turning on the radio. "It was a very selfish project," BJ admits. "I’m just blessed that the people loved it. We didn’t listen to the radio, we didn’t care what people loved and yeah, we just did what we loved and we’re just, man, blessed that people love it."
His forthcoming Motown album will be a mix of the substantial tunes that BJ's known for and maybe a few new ideas stylistically, but his intention is to have the album flow the same way 'Pineapple Now Laters' did in its playback. "I feel like the difference in the new album is my evolution," he says. "I’ma have you dance a little more, put some up-tempos on there."
"I’m still keeping the same vibe with the stories and giving you what you’ve always loved from me," he adds. "I’m just giving you that in another way. I’m giving you that on another level. I’m giving you more of the meat than the bread, lettuce and all that. I’ll let you provide your own sides but I’m giving you the most hearty meal I can give you."
The crooner purposely sticks with his creative team for the production of the project. "I haven’t really been reaching out to big names," he admits. "I feel like I’ve waited for this time my whole life and I know who would be team players and understand to get the gold."
Fans of 'Pineapple' heralded the body of work for its versatility while maintaining the cohesiveness missing from quite a few projects from other new artists. "There are so many levels of enjoying it," BJ shares. "I just saw a certain level that I know people are going to enjoy it forever and the ways that they do it’s up to them to have those magical moments. I’m just happy that people are taking advantage of those moments."
According to the Southside Chicago native, his new project is as good as done because he never stopped grinding after 'Pineapple Now Laters.' "I just work," he says simply. "I just create. I never stopped recording songs since closing 'Pineapple Now Laters' out. I kept recording the whole time, so my momentum never stopped."
In addition to his upcoming LP, BJ is also a part of Chance the Rapper's 'Acid Rap' project. He claims the two will have the Windy City on lock in no time. Their average studio session has been 50 percent work and 50 percent play. "He’s full of energy, full of jokes," he says of Chance. "I’m the same way but what’s crazy is that when the music plays and we’re back into it, nothing else matters."
"The jokes in the room stop," he continues. "Just him understanding that is crazy. I’m the same way, when that music is back on, I’m dead serious. I’ll sit there for 30 minutes and figure it out if I have to and that’s what it’s about. Figuring out those moments and vibing with it."
It would appear that BJ the Chicago Kid has already won -- even before dropping his first major label album. His fan base is steadily growing and his music is consistently garnering accolades but the singer-songwriter still works as if he's not even signed. "It’s like if the Bulls won a championship," he explains. "They keep playing through the summer till the season comes back... Aww man, y’all in a world of trouble and that’s all I wanna cause -- trouble."