BJ the Chicago Kid

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BJ the Chicago Kid
Background information
Birth name Bryan James Sledge
Also known as BJ
Born Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres R&B, soul, hip hop soul
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Years active 2000s-present
Labels Motown
Associated acts Ab-Soul, Dubb Union, Fly Union, Freddie Gibbs, Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q

Bryan James Sledge,[1] better known by his stage name BJ the Chicago Kid (or simply BJ), is an American singer-songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. Sledge is perhaps best known for frequently collaborating with Top Dawg Entertainment recording artists Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar, and Jay Rock. He has also worked with several other prominent rappers, such as Kanye West, Freddie Gibbs, Big K.R.I.T., Warren G, and GLC, among numerous others.

Sledge's first work in the industry was on a Dave Hollister record in 2001, titled "For You", which he co-wrote alongside Gerald Haddon. Sledge's vocals were first featured on a high-profile single in 2006; a song by Chicago-bred rapper Kanye West titled "Impossible", released in promotion for the 2006 American film Mission: Impossible III. In February 2012, he independently released his debut studio album, Pineapple Now-Laters. Sledge subsequently secured a record deal with Motown, in August 2012. The label then serviced the Pineapple Now-Laters song "Good Luv'n", as Sledge's commercial debut single.

Life and career[edit]

2001-2008: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Bryan Sledge was born to church choir directors in Chicago, Illinois. He became inspired to pursue a music career after seeing Janet Jackson perform on tour.[2] At the age of 19, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he became a backup singer for American gospel duo, Mary Mary. He also performed on Stevie Wonder's A Time to Love (2005). He later wrote for R&B and gospel artists such as Crystal Aikin, Shirley Caesar, Lalah Hathaway, Joe and Kindred the Family Soul.[3] Later performed on Kanye West's single "Impossible," which also features Twista and Keyshia Cole.[4]

2009-2011: Mixtapes[edit]

In 2009, Sledge released his debut mixtape, A Taste of Chicago, under the moniker BJ the Chicago Kid. Later that year, he followed up with The New Beginning. In 2011, he released his third mixtape, titled The Life of Love's Cupid.[5]

2012-present: Debut album and Motown record deal[edit]

In February 2012, Sledge independently released his debut studio album, titled Pineapple Now-Laters, under M.A.F.E MUSIC LLC. In August 2012, it was announced that Sledge signed a recording contract with American record company, Motown.[6] After inking his new deal with the label, Motown Label Services began promoting the Pineapple Now-Laters track "Good Luv'n," at Urban and Rhythmic radio formats in North America and released it as a single via digital distribution.[7]

In February 2013, Sledge released a track titled "Honey." Sledge's collaboration with American rappers Freddie Gibbs and Problem, titled "Smokin' and Ridin'", is featured on Radio Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto 5, the fifth installment in the critically acclaimed video game series. In October 2013, Sledge revealed he began working on his major label debut, which was announced to be released sometime in 2014.[8] Later that year, in December 2013, Sledge released a Christmas-themed extended play (EP), titled A Soulful Christmas, for free online.[9]

On April 22, 2014, West Coast rapper Schoolboy Q released "Studio", which features vocals from Sledge, as the fourth single from his album Oxymoron. "Studio" acquired Sledge Billboard chart placement and went on to chart in the Top 40 of the US Billboard Hot 100. On November 19, 2014, Sledge released his fourth mixtape, The M.A.F.E. Project. The mixtape features 12 songs and guest appearances from Freddie Gibbs, Sasha Go Hard, Schoolboy Q and Smoke DZA.[10] On December 23, 2014, Motown Records released a song from the The M.A.F.E. Project titled "It's True", which features a verse from Schoolboy Q, as a single. The single was accompanied by a music video directed by Verluxe.[11][12]


Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
Pineapple Now-Laters
  • To be released
  • Label: Motown
  • Format: CD, digital download
To be released
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.


List of extended-play, with selected details
Title Album details
A Soulful Christmas[14]


List of mixtapes, with selected details
Title Album details
A Taste of Chicago[15]
The New Beginning[16]
  • Released: September 8, 2009
  • Format: Free download
  • Label: Self-released
The Life of Love's Cupid[17]
  • Released: September 8, 2011
  • Format: Free download
  • Label: Self-released
The M.A.F.E. Project[10]
  • Released: November 19, 2014[18]
  • Format: Free download
  • Label: Self-released


As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as featured performer, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Good Luv'n"[19] 2012 Pineapple Now-Laters
"It's True"[20]
(featuring Schoolboy Q)
2014 The M.A.F.E. Project
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as featured performer, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
(Kanye West featuring Twista, Keyshia Cole and BJ)
2006 103 54 non-album singles
"In the Zone"[22]
(David Banner featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
"Crazy Generation"[23]
(Black Collar Biz featuring BJ the Chicago Kid, Muzicgeek and Cash Gotti)
2014 High Grade Artistry
(Schoolboy Q featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
38 10 Oxymoron
"Last Dance"[24]
(Rapper Big Pooh featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other performer(s) Album
"Welcome to the Majors" 2008 Dubb Union Snoop Dogg Presents: Dubb Union
"Westurn Union" Dubb Union, Daz Dillinger
"Struggle" Dubb Union
"Miles Away"
"Truly Yours" 2009 Diz Gibran Soon You'll Understand
"Faith" Kendrick Lamar Kendrick Lamar EP
"True Star" Warren G The G Files
"Fanatic" Xzibit, Poo Bear NBA Live 10 soundtrack
"All Eyez on Me (The Truth)" Young Dre The Truth, 2Pac
"The Coldest" 2010 Freddie Gibbs Str8 Killa
"R.O.T.C. (Interlude)" Kendrick Lamar Overly Dedicated
"So Real" GLC Love, Life & Loyalty
"Field Ni*#a Blues" Mikkey Halsted, Freddie Gibbs The Darkroom
"I'm Good" 2011 Schoolboy Q, Punch Setbacks
"Show You" Pac Div Mania
"Almost There" Ab-Soul Longterm Mentality
"Look Up to the Sky" Fly Union, P. Blackk TGTC (The Greater Than Club)
"Do It for You" Fly Union, Pac Div
"Barely M.A.D.E. It" Freddie Gibbs Cold Day In Hell
"Kush & Corinthians (His Pain)" Kendrick Lamar Section.80
"Finest Hour" Jay Rock, Rick Ross Follow Me Home
"Take a Look Around" Kindred the Family Soul, Bilal Love Has No Recession
"Lust Demons" 2012 Ab-Soul, Jay Rock Control System
"Shame" Freddie Gibbs, Madlib Shame
"Good Good Love" Rapsody The Idea of Beautiful
"We On (Must Be)"[25] Marcus Orelias Rebel of the Underground
"Love = Hate / Ulterior Motives" 2013 Casey Veggies Life Changes
"Life Is a Gamble" Big K.R.I.T. King Remembered In Time
"Everybody's Something" Chance the Rapper, Saba Acid Rap
"Smokin' and Ridin'" Freddie Gibbs, Problem The Music of Grand Theft Auto V
"Holy Holy" Vic Mensa, Ab-Soul INNANETAPE
"Shame"[26] 2014 Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Piñata
"A Project Mind"[27] Punch, Jay Rock N/A
"Lionheart"[28] Nefew Rise of the Antihero
"Like Me" 2015 Joey Bada$$ B4.Da.$$

Music videos[edit]

List of music videos, with directors, showing year released
Title Year Director(s)
"Good Luv'n"[29] 2012 Jerome D.
"Perfect"[30] 2014
(Nefew featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
"It's True"
(featuring Schoolboy Q)


  1. ^ "Bryan Sledge". AllMusic. Retrieved $1 $2.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ "Family - Who Is BJ the Chicago Kid? - Complex". Drake, David. Complex. 2013-05-05. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 
  3. ^ AllMusic Biography
  4. ^
  5. ^ Early Mixtapes
  6. ^
  7. ^ Motown Signing
  8. ^ Interview
  9. ^ A Soulful Christmas
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^ <
  13. ^ Major Label Debut
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^×
  19. ^ "Good Luv'n - Single by BJ the Chicago Kid". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  20. ^ "It's True - Single by BJ the Chicago Kid". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved December 23, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Impossible (feat. Twista, Keyshia Cole & BJ) - Single by Kanye West - United States". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  22. ^ "In the Zone (feat. BJ the Chicago Kid) - Single by David Banner". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Ortiz, Edwin (7 Feb 2014). "Here's the Cover Art and Tracklist for Freddie Gibbs and Madlib's Upcoming Album "Piñata"". Retrieved 7 Feb 2014. 
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ Good Luv'n Music Video
  30. ^ Perfect music video
  31. ^
  32. ^

External links[edit]