Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, May 17th, 2017

Jidenna: The Chief

The Chief
(Wondaland Records/Epic)

Buy it at Amazon!

Jidenna shouldn’t only be a name, but a description of a style. Jidenna, who grew up partially in Nigeria to a mother who worked as an accountant and a father who was a professor, must have a very interesting life. He began writing, arranging, and producing in high school. He’s also brilliant! Being accepted into Harvard University, but deciding to attend Stanford University instead, he went on to graduate and travel to the west coast, east coast, and down south before landing a deal with Janelle Monáe and Wondaland Records. The Chief is whimsical. He raps on his time in Africa and sings sweetly and coyly about very scandalous behavior. It’s taunting, but entertaining. I was looking for the “Classic Man” featuring Giant Arthur vibe. That song broke out on Billboard’s R&B/hip-hop chart and was a smash in February of 2015. He’s popping up everywhere with his unique style and infectious smile. “Adaora” is a catchy African pop/hip-hop fusion of ideas. He’s extremely clever with his wordplay, but you may need to rewind and catch a few sly words that went past you. “Trampoline” is smooth, but humorous and witty. The production is jazzy and hip-hop-laced with a hypnotic horn section. “Bambi” is cute and has an interesting perspective on the “one that got away”. I love how he playfully uses his intellect to address certain topics. “Long Live the Chief” is one of my faves; I just like his approach to rap vs singing. I get where he was going conceptually and it was successful.

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Jidenna: The Chief