BJ The Chicago Kid: "Growing up in church, of course, I would get the gospel. Being in the crib with my pops I would get the soul. But being on the block, man, it’s real. That’s where I heard ‘The Block is Hot,’ ‘Money, Cash, Hoes,’ ‘Money and the Power.’ 

"I remember one time, my boy bought a brand new Pathfinder. He put sounds in it and he played [Dawn Penn’s ‘No No No’] all day. The only way you knew he was around, you’d hear [bangs beat on table]. This is years old and I’m stunned by that. I understand that now when I create music. Even if I’m talking about love, let’s throw an 808 on there because I know my guys like that. Let’s make it tangible. Let’s make it grasp-able. Let’s put it right in front of them.

"If you like broccoli, but you’ve never had asparagus, you’re probably going to aspargus, cause it tastes a little bit like broccoli. But your same steak is there, seasoned well, same good potatoes there, still got your same glass of wine, your beer right there next to it, or your water. Everything you love is still there, it’s just a slight niche up from what you doing.

I feel like that’s what I’m bringing to the game, that niche up. I’m a fan of hip-hop, how could I not do it aggressively? Some of my best friends are Gangster Disciples, Black Stones, Vice Lords, Four Corner Hustlers; I come from an aggressive environment. So, because I’m a professional and because I do music, I have aggression to me in certain ways. That inspires to me to take things by force, musically.

 

Some of my best friends are Gangster Disciples, Black Stones, Vice Lords, Four Corner Hustlers; I come from an aggressive environment. So, because I’m a professional and because I do music, I have aggression to me in certain ways.

 

"That’s a part of what I’m doing, because I’m really trying to bring something real back. When I was growing up, kids could actually go outside and play. Kids on the computer now. ‘Go outside? Yeah maybe tomorrow. Y’all going to the gym, I might hoop, but I’m on WorldStar, nigga.’ That’s the generation. So I believe even in bringing this kind of music back, at least bring back that feeling. If I could just do that, I’ll feel like I’ve done something. Because that feeling is untouched, it’s missed.

"But this is the same feeling that we sampling, these records that T.I doing, that Ross doing, that Ye doing. It’s the same shit. So y’all going to mean to tell me when this nigga do ‘White Dress,’ it’s not another knock for these motherfuckas to open that soul door when I come? I come from that same cloth. I’m singing the same sample, that’s who I am. So he ain’t doing nothing but letting you know I’m coming. And he a rapper. So I appreciate it. Every rapper that keep soul samples going and all that shit, I appreciate that. Because that soul thing is different. It scares a lot of people.

"I’m not scared of it, but this my way of looking at it. I’m going to live up to it, but I’m not going to live in it. Most soul singers is tragic-enders, man, straight up. Tragic enders. Whether it’s death or they still living, and it’s just a fucked-up situation. So I’m going to live up to, I’m going to give y’all all this shit. But I ain’t going to live in it."