Much like most hip-hop released in 2016, Jidenna isn’t easy to categorise. Despite a limited discography, the nomadic MC has shrugged off convention and trends in favour of a YOLO beat buffet, drawing as much inspiration from Afrobeat as it does contemporary hip-hop. Similarly, it’s as easy to hear the influence of KRS-One in Jidenna’s approach as it is Fela Kuti.
At his core, Jidenna is a throwback to an era long past, when Africa medallions and stoic black fists populated the rap landscape. An educated, eloquent and determined rapper delivering his message with no compromise. The message is nothing new, but in 2016 is most definitely different. In a crowd of Sad Boys and nihilistic rappers, Jidenna preaches ambition and education.
Despite having only a handful of singles and a Luke Cage cameo to his name, Jidenna has the life experience of a man decades-deep in the game. We took a few minutes of his time to get to better understand one of the most interesting a promising rappers from the class of 2016.