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BJ the Chicago Kid

BJ the Chicago Kid

American singer-songwriter
BJ the Chicago Kid
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American singer-songwriter
Is Songwriter Singer
From United States of America
Type Music
Gender male
Birth 23 November 1984, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, U.S.A.
Age 36 years
Star sign Sagittarius
The details


Bryan James Sledge, better known by his stage name BJ the Chicago Kid (or simply BJ), is an American singer and songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. Sledge is 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 Freddie Gibbs, Warren G, Big K.R.I.T., GLC and Kanye West among numerous others.

Sledge's first work in the music 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 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

2001–2008: Early life and career beginnings

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. 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. Later performed on Kanye West's single "Impossible," which also features Twista and Keyshia Cole.

2009–2011: Mixtapes

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.

2012–present: Debut album and Motown record deal

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. 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.

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 V, 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. Later that year, in December 2013, Sledge released a Christmas-themed extended play (EP), titled A Soulful Christmas, for free online.

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. 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.


Studio albums

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
Pineapple Now-Laters
  • Released: February 21, 2012
  • Label: M.A.F.E MUSIC LLC
  • Format: Digital download
  • US: 8,000
In My Mind
  • Released: February 19, 2016
  • Label: Motown
  • Format: CD, digital download
43 7
"—" 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
  • Released: December 24, 2013
  • Format: Free download
  • Label: Self-released


List of mixtapes, with selected details
Title Album details
A Taste of Chicago
  • Released: June 22, 2009
  • Format: Free download
  • Label: Self-released
The New Beginning
  • Released: September 8, 2009
  • Format: Free download
  • Label: Self-released
The Life of Love's Cupid
  • Released: September 8, 2011
  • Format: Free download
  • Label: Self-released
The M.A.F.E. Project
  • Released: November 19, 2014
  • Format: Free download
  • Label: Self-released


As lead artist

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" 2012 Pineapple Now-Laters
"It's True"
(featuring Schoolboy Q)
2014 The M.A.F.E. Project
"That Girl"
(featuring OG Maco)
2015 non-album single
(featuring Chance the Rapper and Buddy)
In My Mind
"The Resume"
(featuring Big K.R.I.T.)
"Love Inside"
(featuring Isabella)
"Woman's World"
"Turnin' Me Up"
"Man Down"
(featuring Buddy, Constantine and PJ Morton)
"The New Cupid"
(featuring Kendrick Lamar)
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist

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"
(David Banner featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
"Crazy Generation"
(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"
(Rapper Big Pooh featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
non-album single
"Ride Out"
(Koache featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
2016 Game Point
"Cookie Addiction"
(Jay IDK featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
non-album single
(DJ Carisma featuring BJ the Chicago Kid and Casey Veggies)
non-album single
(Gary Soulz featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
non-album single
"Cheating on Us"
(Salaam Remi featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
non-album single
"Lost Wild"
(Bobby Hagens featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
non-album single
"Forever Black America Again"
(Common featuring Gucci Mane, Pusha T and BJ the Chicago Kid)
non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances

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 The 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
"Dreams" CunninLynguists Oneirology
"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)" 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" 2014 Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Piñata
"A Project Mind" Punch, Jay Rock N/A
"Lionheart" Nefew Rise of the Antihero
"Like Me" 2015 Joey Bada$$ B4.Da.$$
"Down for You" Kehlani You Should Be Here
"To Be Young" Fashawn The Ecology
"Slip Slide" Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, B.o.B, Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monáe Surf
"Windows" Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, Raury
"Expressive" Slum Village, Illa J Yes!
"Khalil's Song" Skeme Ingleworld 2
"Beautiful Love" Jill Scott Woman
"It's All on Me" Dr. Dre, Justus Compton
"Life Song" Casey Veggies Live & Grow
"Can't Be Still" Big K.R.I.T. It's Better This Way
"Game Over" Omarion Care Package 3
"In the Streets" Busta Rhymes, MF Doom The Return of the Dragon (The Abstract Went On Vacation)
"The Waters" 2016 Anderson .Paak Malibu
"Real One" Achromatik Where Do I Belong
"Blessings" Chance the Rapper Coloring Book
"Harry's Code" Knox Brown Searching
"F.U.B.U." Solange, The-Dream A Seat at the Table
"Until I'm Gone" Derek Minor Reflection
"What Now" Chocolate Droppa, Wale, Chaz French Kevin Hart: What Now (The Mixtape Presents Chocolate Droppa)
"Way Hii" A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Buddy Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends
"The Day The Women Took Over" Common Black America Again
"Street Life" Lil Durk They Forgot
"Milestone" Smoke DZA, Pete Rock, Jadakiss, Styles P Don't Smoke Rock
"Be Great" Remix Kevin Ross Long Song Away
"Gotta Be More" 2017 Nick Grant Return of the Cool
"Everything" MoBo The Great Fuck The Public

Music videos

List of music videos, with directors, showing year released
Title Year Director(s)
"Good Luv'n" 2012 Jerome D.
"Perfect" 2014
"Real Love Never Dies"
"It's True"
(featuring Schoolboy Q)
"That Girl"
(featuring OG Maco)
2015 N/A
(featuring Chance the Rapper and Buddy)
Scott Lazes
"Nothin' But Love"
(featuring Joey Bada$$)
"The Resume"
(featuring Big K.R.I.T.)
Scott Lazes
"Love Inside"
(featuring Isabella)
2016 N/A
"Turnin' Me Up"
"The New Cupid"
(featuring Kendrick Lamar)
Matt Barnes
"Woman's World" N/A

Awards and nominations

Grammy Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2015 "Studio" (with Schoolboy Q) Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Nominated
2017 In My Mind Best R&B Album Nominated
"Turnin' Me Up" Best R&B Performance Nominated
"Woman's World" Best Traditional R&B Performance Nominated
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