Ahead of his current tour, the year-old singer spoke to EW about creating an album that "felt accessible to anyone in the black diaspora. Naturally, the making of the record, which came out in late August, did start with a lengthy travel experience. Forced to leave the apartment, Jidenna began mulling over how he would make his next project a truly holistic display of his evolution. Still, neither element has ever been set in stone. Its success later affected his work on his debut record, The Chief. Not all of those compromises felt like me. This time around it was really important for me to create from a place that felt genuine. Like distant family coming together for a yearly reunion, the song sees Jidenna employing a tongue-twisting flow to take aim at everything from the dissolution of colonial histories to the numbered days of oyinbo the Igbo word for white person interference in melanated affairs. From there, Kwabena and Jidenna build out a soundscape that canters through the West Indies, borrows from Southern rap tropes, winks at East Africa via Malhun, and references Sufi music, while also indulging in the layered poly-rhythms of highlife music, and even jazz. I was realizing that as conscious as I tried to be of certain things I was still playing into certain roles and expectations.
Lessons gleaned from his demanding father inspire "Classic Man" singer Jidenna to push beyond one-hit-wonder status. Next, he moved all the way to the suburbs of Boston, where blending in was again not an option. He barely had time to get publicity photos taken before it came out. But the artist himself never feared that fate. I knew I had a width and a depth that was just waiting to go out. As with his other suits, his up-and-downs are bespoke. I walked through the hood dressed in suits with a finger-curl in my hair, man. In February, he finally dropped The Chief, a debut album that more than justifies his confidence.
Jidenna Theodore Mobisson born May 4, , better known mononymously as Jidenna , is a Nigerian-American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer. Jidenna grew up partially in Nigeria, where his father was working as a professor of computer science at Enugu State University. In high school he became a co-founder of the rap group Black Spadez, and began producing, arranging and writing. Jidenna released his first album with Black Spadez as their final project at Milton Academy , where Jidenna graduated in In June he released the single "Chief Don't Run". The lead singles "Sufi Woman" and "Tribe" were released on July 26, and will appear on his second studio album 85 to Africa. In Jidenna released his second album, 85 to Africa. Over the years, the singer developed his personal style in college, where he learned about the power of fashion from his psychology professor Philip Zimbardo. However, he would not adopt his signature dandy style until the death of his father in
Sitting in the Soho Grand Hotel, Jidenna is well-dressed as expected, sipping on tea with whiskey to calm his nerves from the eventual rollout of his second studio album 85 to Africa. When I bring up topics of a post-racial society, religion, and his journeys in Africa, he's careful and deliberate with his words — a culture nerd who can also be the life of a party. During our discussion, I reflected on the duality of someone who can make Billboard-charting pop singles but also dedicate a song to interracial marriages in America. I'm proud about it. The first album was a good showcase, but I did so much promo just to break in.