Music Articles

Jidenna- More than a Classic Man

“I think they wanna end my knickers
Discontinue the trend, my knickers
Tryna bleach, tryna blend my knickers
Need to slow clap and command my knickers
They don’t even understand my knickers
Back in the day they used to brand my knickers
And now they wanna ban my niggas
Even though they got a Grammy in their hand, my niggas”

-Jidenna, “Knickers”

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Don’t let the slick hair, pocket watch and the colorful suits fool you. Jidenna is not just a Classic Man but also a Conscious Man. I remember the first time I saw the Classic Man video. I immediately fell in love with the song because it was so different. Someone actually talking about having respect for yourself? In this day and age? Wow! Imagine that 😀 The beat was so addictive, the hook was so catchy and Janelle Monae’s stamp of approval made it official. Before my eyes I saw this young man, dressed in what looked like attire from the early 1900s, walking around with swag out of this world. He was weird but cool at the same time. As we know, Classic Man went on to be a huge hit, winning a Soul Train and gaining a Grammy Nomination (I really hope he wins this weekend). So who is Jidenna?

Jidenna is a 30 year old Nigerian-American who was born in Italy, raised in Nigeria and moved to the states in 1995. In High School he was apart of a hip hop group where he first began writing and producing. After graduating from Stanford University in 2008, he decided to pursue his music career full time. Eight or Nine Years ago, Jidenna was hosting a masquerade ball where he ran into Janelle Monae who was performing that night. They kept in contact and the rest is history.

Jidenna-Long-Live-the-Chief-music-video

Earlier I said that Jidenna was not just a classic man, but a conscious man as well. This is why. In first clicking on this post you read some lyrics from his new song, “Knickers”. Knickers is a play on words, just say the word out loud and you will hear what it sounds like. In that excerpt he urges black people to stop trying to  assimilate to mainstream culture. “Tryna bleach, tryna blend my knickers
Need to slow clap and command my knickers“.  Why? Because mainstream culture has been “borrowing” from the black culture. ” This is seen in the first verse of “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 mil’, I want the Lamb’, my nigga”

Tell the truth Jidenna! A society that rejects blacks but accepts the cultural movement. After hearing those lyrics, I knew that Jidenna was a very intelligent man. He gives you a clear message but in a way that is still commercial. He tells it like it is without apology. Something that is very much needed in the music industry today.

“Mama put a little money in the mattress
Taught me how to make a silver spoon out of plastic
You can either sink, swim or be the captain
Get the last word Ima get the last laugh in
Now they say “Jidenna why you dressing so classic?”635711240896268405-Jidenna-Final-Marc-Baptiste-HR
I don’t want my best dressed day in a casket”

Those are my favorite lines from his song, “Long live the Chief”.  I know a lot of people can’t get over Jidenna’s look. New and different things can make us uncomfortable and I get that. However do not throw him away. Jidenna is a very dope artist and I am looking forward to his album dropping and hopefully a tour. For now you can check out all of Jidenna’s catalog on iTunes, Tidal, Spotify and more!

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