Jidenna Takes It Back To Africa In New Album ’85 To Africa’
It’s been a few years since Jidenna came up with his beautiful vision of vintage style and masculinity – all three-piece suits and tight haircuts.
It was exactly what the African music scene needed at that point. The gimmick did find its sweet spot, giving Jidenna a kind of cultural juice, enough to blend the right amount of African culture with a little bit of American culture, establishing his fan base and setting the Wisconsin-born Nigerian-American singer apart from a crowded field of pop-minded singing rappers.
Pour out a little liquor for the classic man as Jidenna returns with ‘85 to Africa’ – the long-awaited follow-up to his 2017 debut album The Chief. His West African roots have occasionally been evident in his music – Jidenna partially grew up in Nigeria, where his father was born – but this album leans even harder on old Afrobeat and high life music, with a splash of Caribbean rhythms for good measure. The light guitar licks of ‘Sufi Woman’ offer an ideal backdrop for Jidenna’s easy-breezy melodies. The summertime song ‘Vaporiza’, another highlight, benefits from a great production.
In a recent interview with MTV, the singer-songwriter explained the project’s overall message as well as the significance of its title. The numeral refers to Interstate 85 in Georgia which leads to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport where travellers can take flights directly to Africa.
“I wanted this album to be a highway that you could take to Africa,” he explained.
“We’re living in a time where there’s a lot less borders between people. There are some people to build borders and make walls but the rest of us know that we are in a time where global culture is it. This album is a mixture of all of that.”
Jidenna’s latest album, 85 to Africa spans 11 tracks and boasts guest appearances by GoldLink, St. Beauty, Mereba, Mr Eazi and Seun Kuti. Along with the release, Jidenna has shared the official music video for ‘Worth the Weight’, directed by Wes Walker.
Watch the video of Worth the Weight here…
Photo credit: Instagram | Jidenna
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