BJ The Chicago Kid on the Chicago Bulls and why the White Sox are Chicago's true MLB team
The rare artist that can collaborate with Mary J Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Dre and Chance the Rapper, BJ the Chicago Kid has amassed over 100 million streams.
Beyond those aforementioned streaming numbers and artist endorsements, BJ also stands out in having received rave reviews from the likes of the New York Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, Noisey, Vibe, Vice and Ebony alike. A follow-up to 2016's In My Mind full-length -- after which he dueted with Marvin Gaye on an estate-sanctioned recording of "What's Going On" -- BJ's latest Motown Records release is The Opening Ceremony, which hit stores on May 11th.
I had the pleasure of speaking with BJ The Chicago Kid on behalf of Sportskeeda. A Chicago native, the popular singer is a lifelong fan of the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox, and within our chat he explained why that is the case. More on BJ can be found online at www.bjthechicagokid.com.
Your name is "BJ The Chicago Kid" and you're known to be a big fan of Bulls. Was B.J. Armstrong one of your favorite players way back when?
BJ The Chicago Kid: Mainly because of the name and the consistency. But yeah B.J. Armstrong, has a special place in my heart just because of the name itself.
When did you first get into the Bulls?
BJ The Chicago Kid: Since remembering that "Red and Black" existed. In my household, we were always big Bulls fans. So there was no way around it. I remember hearing the games as a kid from my dad even though I wasn’t in the same room as him watching it. The games were just always on in my house.
Do you have a favorite Bull of all time?
BJ The Chicago Kid: Michael Jordan, of course. Hands down.
Where do you stand on the debate about Michael Jordan being the greatest NBA player of all time?
BJ The Chicago Kid: To me he will always be the greatest player of all time, but it’s hard to have that argument. Number one I would say because Mike did it first. To me that makes him the greatest player. If you do it after it doesn’t make you the greatest. It just means you could do what I did. To do it first makes you the greatest.
Do Kobe Bryant or LeBron James come anywhere close to Michael Jordan?
BJ The Chicago Kid: Oh my god yes. Michael Jordan is amazing but the evolution of basketball and the legacy that Michael left for them to study and make them greater, I think it’s been sufficient.
How do you feel about the 2017-18 season of the Bulls?
BJ The Chicago Kid: I still think we are suffering from the Michael Jordan curse. I still feel like having one of the greatest players ever, you’re not going to get the next greatest player right after. It’s impossible. The basketball gods will not let that happen.
Did you see any Bulls games in-person this season?
BJ The Chicago Kid: I haven’t seen any this season. I’ve been in L.A. most of the time.
Is there another Chicago team that you feel anywhere near as strongly about as the Bulls?
BJ The Chicago Kid: The White Sox. I’m a southsider. You also gotta understand that the White Sox logo is such a staple in the hip-hop and R&B community, from Dr. Dre to Jodeci. So many artists love the Sox for what they represent. It’s that nostalgic feeling that comes from the logo and the hat and the whole swag.
I’ll add this, too. The Cubs were the team to make it into all of the baseball movies and the Sox never made the movies. You know what I’m saying? There’s that movie with the kid where he was the pitcher [Rookie Of The Year]. He was for the Cubs. He wasn’t for the Sox. So the Cubs have always been the team that people like to show but the Sox are the heart of the city.
Sports talk aside, what is coming up in your career?
BJ The Chicago Kid: All man so many amazing things. New music, of course. A new album coming this year. I love movies so I’m getting more into the more musical aspect of movies and TV shows like sitcoms. There are so many other things that I love to do. I’m getting more into my fashion sense. I used to work in retail in Chicago. It’s just so many things that are branches on my tree that I just can’t wait for people to actually see.
Is there a career accomplishment you are most proud of?
BJ The Chicago Kid: Man quite a few. Signing to Motown Records. Singing for the president. Doing Lollapalooza. There are so many cool things. Man just traveling the world from just saying, "hell I’m going to go just try it and see what happens." Look where we are right now. I’m on a tour bus traveling the world. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s the coolest thing just saying let’s do it and see what happens.
You released three new songs last for a project known as The Opening Ceremony. Do you have a favorite of this batch?
BJ The Chicago Kid: Oh man that’s like asking me to choose my favorite child. That’s very difficult, but if I could just pick one today it’ll be “Rather Be With You”.
Finally, BJ, any last words for the kids?
BJ The Chicago Kid: Stay focused. Give it your all every time because every time counts. As simple as that.