If you ever wanted to know what home cooking sounded like, BJ The Chicago Kid has been serving that type of music for over a decade. The new album Gravy from this old soul, retrofitted for the digital age, resulted from years of experience working with every artist you can think of in every capacity.

“His girlfriend at the time heard me singing and told Kanye [West], ‘You need him to do that.’ He told me to go in there and do it. If it wasn’t for her, who knows if I would’ve had that solo-ish part at the end [of Kanye’s song ‘Impossible’],” BJ The Chicago Kid told REVOLT.

In this installment of “Studio Sessions,” the Grammy Award-nominated artist explains why he made his new album at Al Green’s old studio in Memphis, the surprising skill Dr. Dre taught him, and working on the unreleased Kendrick Lamar/J. Cole album. Read the exclusive below.

Gravy is your first full-length project in five years, and you and Yeti Beats made 85 percent of it in five days. When did you know you were making an album?

We knew we were making it before we left LA. That was one of the easier decisions. It was an idea for years. It finally came to fruition maybe three years after we talked about it and came up with a semi-plan. That plan grew into us going to Memphis. It was Yeti Beats’ idea for us to record the album in [Al Green’s] studio. I thought it was a genius idea, too. It was like recording in a musical museum. Every original instrument was still there. The walls were still the same. The ceiling was still the same. The smell was still the same.

Tracks like “Liquor Store In The Sky” sound incredibly personal. What was the last real-life experience you turned into a song for this album?

“Never Change,” “We’ll Be Alright,” and “Best Night Of Your Life.” For “Never Change,” there are some people you don’t fall out of love with, even if you all are not together. For “Best Night Of Your Life,” I can’t tell you that (laughs).

You recorded “Never Change” with the legendary Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire. He’s been making music longer than you’ve been alive, but “Never Change” was still your song, so what instructions did you give him?

He immediately started cutting the background vocals when he first got in the booth. He did not need any instructions. He knew what the song called for because it was in their style of music. He knew exactly what part to play. He started stacking the harmonies first and then the background vocals. The lyric, “Seasons change/ Nothing remains the same/ The only exemption is love/ It just keeps growing insane,” he kept stacking. He gave that Earth, Wind & Fire sound that almost sounds like trumpets. When he started doing that, I got chills because that is the epitome of the sound we grew up having.

After he did the background vocals, I wanted him to sing the second verse. I already sang both verses, and he told me, “You’re singing that second verse in the way that you do. Let me do the bridge.” I told him, “I'm not mad at that.”

How many songs did you and Yeti Beats record for this album?

I can't remember the exact number, but maybe 23 songs.

So, are fans getting a deluxe?

Don't depend on me for that one (laughs).

What was the first session that made you feel like you made it in the industry?

Kanye West for “Impossible.” I used to work on the choirs for Kanye back in the day. They called me for the choirs for that song. After the choir did their part, I stayed around because my homies were the ones who linked me with that. From that point, I was off work. I was just chilling and learning. His girlfriend at the time heard me singing and told Kanye, “You need him to do that.” He told me to go in there and do it. If it wasn’t for her, who knows if I would’ve had that solo-ish part at the end?

What do you need to make your best music?

Anything I need at the studio, I bring myself. I don’t depend on anybody. Whether it’s the [weed], water, Pedialyte, tequila, or phone charger, I have it with me. I bring my little studio bag. Sometimes, if I cook [the night] before, I might bring some leftovers just to make you feel even more at home. I’ll have the studio smelling like the house the night before (laughs).

What’s one of the most memorable studio sessions you’ve been in?

Anytime I'm in the studio with Dr. Dre because you never know who’ll pull up. You never know what's going to happen. It's always one of the illest surprises you've ever had before.

Who pulled up?

I can't tell you (laughs). We’ve had a lot of fun. Dr. Dre taught me how to shoot archery at his house. Dr. Dre himself taught me. He had the professional version of the bow. He had the target and the bow.

How long ago was that?

Uh… I don't know (laughs). It's a really eye-opening learning experience with beautiful inspiration to be around somebody of such stature.

What’s an unreleased song you were on that you hope comes out one day?

That album that J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar were supposed to do back in the day, I was on one of those songs (laughs). A song called “Shock The World” was supposed to be on that, too. Kendrick previewed that song on a video on YouTube somewhere. I know I had some songs that they really f**ked with.

What do you have coming for the rest of 2024?

New music, new music, new music.