Out the the countless memorable performances from Saturday’s Oakland Music Festival, BJ The Chicago Kid stood out as one of the most impressive and exciting sets of the day. Over the past few years, BJ’s career has skyrocketed, as he has collaborated with some of the hottest names in the industry, from Schoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., Freddie Gibbs, Joey Badass, and most recently, Dr. Dre.
We had the chance to catch up with BJ after the show, and it turns out he is as great person as he is an artist. Here are a few of our burning questions.
Q: You have “Chicago” in your stage name, so it’s obviously a huge part of your identity. How has growing up in Chicago informed who you are as a person, your music?
A: That’s exactly why it’s in my name. Chicago is part of me – from my voice, to my music, to my soul. And that’s what created the person that writes and creates the music. Even the way I am off the stage – that’s Chicago.
Q: You’ve worked with a number of famous musicians, from Kanye to Schoolboy Q. What is your all time favorite project that you have been a part of?
A: As of recent, my favorite project has been the Compton album. Working with Dre and his crew was great because I got to learn everybody’s recipe to their award-winning dishes. I’ve learned and been able to see inside the kitchen of all those cooks. Now I’ve got my own restaurant, so come on down and eat, you know what I’m saying?
Q: Name some of you musical influences, both old and current.
A: I love Anderson Paak, that’s my homie, he was out here today, and he supports me and I support him. He’s got a new song that’s crazy as shit. My band: Keenan, Eric, Scooter, my brother, Aaron. Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Cee-Lo, Outkast, Scarface. I could keep going.
Q: What are some of your hidden talents or interests?
A: I love mob movies and mob documentaries. I love mafia shit, anything mafia. I think it’s just understanding how someone creates something out of nothing, and how to make someone change the way they think about you. That’s powerful to me. It’s also how the music industry is, so it helps inform how I move and operate in that world.
Q: You have an album called Pineapple Now and Laters. You also passed up the yellow Starburst because they’re nasty. What is your favorite candy?
A: My favorite candy right now are the Jolly Joes, the green apple joints. They go crazy.
Big shout out to BJ the Chicago Kid for coming through to OMF and showing The Town a great time. There is no doubt that the young artist’s future is bright, so stay tuned for more big things to come!
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