BJ the Chicago Kid – “Turnin Me Up” (Singles Going Steady)

"Turnin Me Up" is a great single for what's proving to be one of the best R&B albums of 2016.

Emmanuel Elone: After a ton of features for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, and a slew of other rappers, BJ the Chicago Kid finally has a new album coming down the pipeline. Though I had a lukewarm reaction to his debut release Pineapple Now-Laters, “Turnin Me Up” reminded me once again why every popular hip-hop act wants him to feature on their songs. His silky, sensual voice and the jazzy R&B instrumental meld together fantastically. It’s a great tribute to Marvin Gaye, and a great single for what’s proving to be one of the best R&B albums of 2016. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: First things first — listen to this thing on a nice set of headphones and follow the title’s advice. Comes off as a bit too slick for my tastes — it’s more George Benson than Marvin Gaye — but it’s hard to deny the skill involved in creating something with such fresh, organic instrumentation and what sounds like a top-shelf crew of session musicians. Funky rhythm guitar, cool retro keyboards, some modest and not overly flashy horns all wrapped up in a warm analog vibe. Run this through the car’s Bluetooth the next time you’re stuck in a traffic jam and wait for your stress level to plummet. [7/10]

Pryor Stroud: More in-step with the soulful classicism of Ne-Yo than the salacious, roof-down R&B of Chris Brown, BJ the Chicago Kid is able to dovetail erotic intensity and monogamous devotion without breaking a sweat. The track is erected upon a self-compounding groove of swooning horns, accent-hungry guitar chomps, and hallway-strutting bass, with BJ often punctuating his swelling desires with an ecstatic, mouth-wide-open “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” It’s a groove that carries you away with it; BJ’s gone from the beginning, though, lost in hot-blooded rhapsodies that bloom from the marrow outward. It’s so intoxicatingly laid-back and sure-of-itself, both as a piece of music and an unequivocal paean to sensual enjoyment, that it’s no stretch of the imagination to guess where Brown’s ex-lovers go when their loyalty is questioned. [7/10]

Chad Miller: Feel good R&B track that draws a lot of success from its fun brass and saxophone section and the notable vocals. [7/10]

SCORE: 7.25


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