BJ the Chicago Kid, “Good Karma”

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 10.16.14 in Listen to This

Bryan Sledge’s gospel upbringing helps set him apart from other go-to rap guest vocalists. As BJ the Chicago Kid, the soul scholar has already taken Schoolboy Q’s “Studio” and Chance the Rapper‘s “Good Ass Intro” to church with his exuberant expressiveness. “Good Karma” (via Stereogum) has less to do with Buddhism or Hinduism than the concept’s everyday secular use, but it luxuriates in the temple of Technicolor orchestration. Draped in swirling strings, Sledge’s conversational come-ons — “You really deserve this,” he insists — bring to mind another Chicago singer with roots in a church choir, R. Kelly, particularly the dapper classic-soul constructions of 2012′s Write Me Back and 2010′s Love Letter. We all must have done something pretty nice in a past life to deserve something so warm and reassuring.