Oh, the revelation that has struck me! (I am in my Renaissance period bag, stick with me 😂) The enchanting man with the rich melanated skin and fiery red hair, dressed impeccably in tailored suits and suspenders, has poured his heart and soul into his musical craft. Jidenna, his name is known by many, and his 2015 single "Classic Man" has achieved platinum status not once, but twice!
Through the stunning visuals in his music video, we see a celebration of melanated people and their impeccable fashion sense reminiscent of the Renaissance period. But there's more to Jidenna than meets the eye. His music tells his story, a story of a strong mother who raised him on her own after his Nigerian father's passing.
Yet, to me it seem as though some of you have dismissed his talent and dismissed him as irrelevant, not realizing that Jidenna's discography boasts more than just "Classic Man." His album "The Chief" features the captivating song "Chief Don't Run," which invites us to imagine ourselves in each other's shoes and learn from each other's experiences.
Oh, how I marvel at the depth of Jidenna's artistry and the power of his storytelling! Let it be known that Jidenna is a man of many talents and noble deeds. His illustrious career as a music artist, though certainly a cause for admiration but this only a piece of what he has done. Before his rise to musical stardom, Jidenna was a high school teacher that educated the youth of lower income neighborhoods. He understood the importance of education, and sought to provide it to those who were not fortunate enough to have access to it. Such a charitable act is truly the mark of a man who values the betterment of society above his own personal gain.
Jidenna's education is most impressive, for he attended none other than a prestigious institution of learning. This further speaks to his intellectual characteristics and his desire to attain excellence in all things. Indeed, it is said that he even declined an offer to study at Harvard, a decision that is a testament to his commitment to pursuing his own path in life. But Jidenna's admirable character is not limited to his educational and philanthropic pursuits alone, he is also a member of the illustrious social club known as Fear and Fancy.
I found Jidenna’s “Knickers” song to be one of my favorites because of his clever word play. He utilizes the word “Knickers” in place of saying “my nigga’s” he says “my knickers” and everyone in the video are wearing knicker pants.
He comes through with the first verse:
“Bought a new pair of pants, my knickers/ Papa got a brand new dance, my knickers/ Wanna cuff, wanna hem my knickers /In the school they be tryna suspend my knickers/ Their whole style, it depends on knickers / Y'all wanna talk, wanna dance like knickers /Fuck a mule, I want the land, my nigga/Villa lookin' like the south side of France, my nigga”.
The 85 to Africa album was also dope. Each track from the first track “Worth The Weight” to the last track “The Other Half”. The album had elements of soul, Afro beats, and funk.
The cover art of the album was most striking, depicting motorcars and omnibuses against the backdrop of a highway sign which bore the numeral "85" in the midst of the African continent. This is to promote unity amongst the African diaspora, encouraging all to come together in a spirit of camaraderie and solidarity.
In essence, this album is a call to action, for all to set aside their differences and to work towards a common goal of progress and advancement for all. The artistry contained therein is but a means to an end, a vehicle to convey a message of hope and inspiration that is sorely needed during these times.
Jidenna has recently graced us with a new composition entitled "Blush", in which he expounds upon the subject of masculinity. This song is a testimony to his creative genius and his ability to tackle weighty issues with grace and finesse.
“I mean your boys would call you gay when you crush on a girl/ That's the way we was raised, in a way we was hazed/Keep it cool pimpin' your feelings must stay in the shade”
Jidenna's lyrics speak to the heart of the matter, delving into the complexities of what it means to be a man in our modern age. He addresses the societal pressures that often lead men to repress their emotions, urging all to embrace their vulnerability and to reject the toxic masculinity that plagues our culture. (At least this is what I got from it and maybe Jidenna can tell me if I’m correct or not.)
Through his artistry, Jidenna has once again proven himself to be a true visionary, using his platform to bring awareness to important issues and to inspire change. "Blush" is the latest example of his commitment to promoting positive messages.
Verily, my heart is filled with eager anticipation at the prospect of attending Jidenna's next concert. Having had the great privilege of bearing witness to his 85 to Africa tour in November of 2019, I can attest to the fact that his performances are nothing short of mesmerizing.
Alas, the advent of the pandemic did put a damper on plans for a part two tour, but I will document Jidenna's journey and I will share it with others. For his music is not merely a source of entertainment, but a reflection of the human experience, and as such, it is worthy of our attention and our appreciation. I am going to attend his listening party in DC, I am manifesting this.
So I extend to you, dear friends, colleagues. and those in between an invitation to join me on this exhilarating ride, as we bear witness to the artistry of a true genius and the transformative power of music.
Follow Jidenna's Journey: