Pop music star, Jidenna shot to limelight off the back of his hit single, ‘Classic man‘. The song was such an anthem, Kendrick Lamar jumped on the remix and ensured the song stayed in our consciousness for longer than was deemed possible.
Africa has recently been recognized as an emerging market for many American record labels as well as distribution companies. The result has been a wash of condescending attention to ‘African music’.
Every foreign artist has suddenly started to stake a claim to African-ness and in many of the cases, it has been a largely clutching at straws. For Jidenna, there really was something there since he grew up in Enugu state, Nigeria.
His infusion of Ankara into his ‘classic man’ outfits also helped rally some home support in Nigeria. It was a good ride until Jidenna started talking!
There definitely is some merit in the axiom that if a stupid man keeps quiet, he would be thought wise. Jidenna granted an interview to American Youtube channel, Vlad TV in 2015 and talked about attending his father’s funeral.
“I’m Nigerian-American and more specifically, I’m Igbo-American… it means when you go to your village, you’re the only person, one of the few people that looks like you. In my case, one of the only ones that was light skinned. Our family was light. Therefore when we go to our village, when I actually buried my father, I had to bring a lot of Ak-47’s, I had to employ military commandos.”
The interviewer who was confused at this point, asked him; ‘Why, cos it’s a war zone?’
Because when you’re light skinned, you;re a heavier target for being kidnapped
Becuase you’re seen as more valuable You’re seen as white, therefore you have more money. If you have money, you’re easy to kidnap.
For me being lightskinned in Nigeria, in our family, it was difficult, it was always challenging’
It’s been a year since the interview but the extent of the recklessness of his comments still irk. Was Jidenna trying to pander to a Western image of Africa and Africans?
I’ve had time to ponder on this but new evidence suggests that Jidenna is not part of a grand scheme or a tool of the West, he’s quite simply an idiot.
As part of his Nigerian tour, Jidenna was on The Juice with Dorcas Shola Fapson where he was armed with quips and proverbs from his late father. Ironic, considering how the interview took a sharp right into idiot-ville.
When the host asked him about his statements last year, Jidenna resorted to humor which fell on its face. First off, when you’re confronted with a serious issue, never make a joke out of it…
‘This time I brought some people, there’s a sniper on the roof there, there’s a helicopter that’s gonna come down’.
All the while, I was like…
And then he went on with a quip about his father telling him never to call himself half-caste, at which point I was like.
You won’t believe it but it gets worse, Jidenna then says, “When I was burying my father, the most amount of people had been kidnapped in Imo State. Even now, what is on the news?”
He then goes on about how his visit is boosting tourism in Nigeria, I really can’t help but blame those of you who paid 20k to go and see him at Hard rock Cafe. This is your ‘Na una f**k up moment, hold this L and say cheese‘.
If you think I’m exaggerating, watch the interview and well, let me know what you think!