Motown’s Newest Prodigy: BJ the Chicago Kid

The Chicago Kid takes it to the streets and church with "In My Mind" album

Many missed the hot new album In My Mind by BJ the Chicago Kid because it dropped the same day as Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo but, be assured, it’s straight fire. Using a mix of traditional soul and new-age hip-hop BJ, or Bryan J. Sledge, is Motown’s newest young star On The Ryse.

The album has songs from romantic slow dances to feisty jams and features hot artists like Big K.R.I.T., Chance the Rapper, and Kendrick Lamar. BJ focuses on the motif of love throughout the album and unlike many albums today, In My Mind works as a cohesive unified work of art.

Many wonder where BJ’s old-school voice and style come from, which brings us to his Chicago youth, brought up by church choir directors. BJ was surrounded by music from a young age and decided it was his calling after seeing Janet Jackson perform live. The mix of the gospel music that surrounded him and the vibrant hip-hop scene of Chicago in the early 2000s led BJ to push the boundaries of both genres. BJ often says he “grew up in the Church and on the street” and, “thugs go to church too”.

BJ the Chicago Kid

BJ the Chicago Kid “In My Mind” (source)


It is no secret that BJ has a fascination for love and its presence in our modern world. He has now released his 2nd album surrounding the theme and has had many songs along the way that tackle the issue of the seeming apathy within modern romance. The songs Love Inside, The New Cupid, and Shine off BJ’s new album all wrestle with love’s presence in society and BJ’s life.

BJ has no problem with being different and he makes it look good. Whether it’s his emotional lyricism, mix of genres, or willingness to be, as he calls it, “edgy,” BJ is getting much attention by bringing a new sound.

BJ joins the list of phenomenal revolutionary artists under the Motown label and all should give his new album, In My Mind, multiple listens.

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