After years in the musical shadows of some of your favorite artists, including Mary Mary, Kanye West and Stevie Wonder, BJ the Chicago Kid has come front and center and is now basking in a well-deserved spotlight.
At Hot 97's Who's Next Live on Tuesday night, BJ took the stage after his opening act, New Jersey native Jay Watts, and delivered an unforgettable set for every fan in the audience.
Full of confidence, the Motown signee jumped right onto the stage and right into his first selection, the album's lead single "Church," incorporating and exposing his drumming skills throughout the performance. The sexy tune was just the tip of the iceberg for what was going to follow.
With his raspy, church-nurtured voice, he delivered every R&B track from his debut album In My Mind, spilling his heart with performances of "Woman's World," "Love Inside" and "Turnin' Me Up." He also covered Michael Jackson's "Rock With You" and briefly did a few lines from R. Kelly's "Feelin' on Your Booty" before joking about how it's not his song so he was going to move on to what the people wanted to hear.
In an unplanned turn of events, BJ the Chicago Kid was called back to the stage by the night's host foran encore. At that point his band set back up and he hopped on the mic and performed his verses and the hook from ScHoolboy Q's "Studio" before heading to the back of the bar to sign physical copies of his album and take pictures with fans.
If anything was learned by the end of the night, it was the sheer fact that in a world full of Auto-Tune using singers, BJ the Chicago Kid is the real, stripped-down deal. And with talent like this, longevity is inevitable.