All hail the Chief. Wondaland Records’ very own “Classic Man” is back with his studio-backed sophomore effort. Coming two years after his debut album, plenty has unfolded since then. In the lead-up to the release of 85 to Africa, Jidenna has dropped a lushly-shot trailer that expounds upon the inspiration that spawned the project. Jidenna takes us on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean that finds the Wisconsin-born Nigerian tracing back to his roots after he was unceremoniously evicted from the mansion he was renting in Atlanta three years ago.
With his culs-de-sac dreams dashed, Jidenna decided to hit the road and not return to the United States. He out on a spiritual journey to come to terms with his position as Black man in present day America. “Where could I go where my land was my land? Where my home was my home? In desperation and panic, I hopped on the high 85” he concludes in the trailer, “and went straight to Africa.”
Jidenna hasn’t been shy about showcasing his Nigerian heritage high and proud, so an Afrobeats-inspired album from the “Bambi” singer feels like a long time coming. Expect some bangers mixed in with a few socially conscious deep cuts.
In an interview with MTV previewing his latest studio project, Jidenna explained the cultural significance of the album’s name, “I wanted this album to be a highway that you could take to Africa. We’re living in a time where there’s a lot less borders between people. There’s 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 has admittedly been notably quiet on the music-front but he dropped two singles to prove he’s still on his A-game, a trap confection, “Tribe,” and an Afrobeats-inspired “Sufi Woman,” as the first offerings off his sophomore project. The two singles play off of each other like two sides of the same coin that artfully show off Jidenna’s versatility.
Watch the trailer and listen to the two songs below. The album drops August 23.
(Screenshot via YouTube)