You guys, Jidenna is in love! Somebody carried his destiny during the pandemic and only God can save him now. The kind of love that makes grown men stand with a phone in one hand and broom in the other as they sweep the same spot on the ground for forty minutes — smiling like a sheep the whole time.
That’s what one lady somewhere has done to him. You know how they kept saying you people should better make sure you come out of the pandemic with at least one skill? Jidenna came out with a whole album about that transformative experience.
An African Man In Love
In ‘Summer Hunger’, Jidenna describes intimacy with this woman as one would a spiritual experience. It’s probably one of the most beautiful and respectful takes on love that I’ve seen from a mainstream American artist in a while.
Now Jidenna is also African, so maybe this trait stems from his African heritage. Or maybe he just has sense — who knows? Whatever the case, it’s been said that you will never see male Afrobeats artists disrespecting women in their music. They are quite unlike their American counterparts in this way, particularly their mainstream American rap brothers.
American rap as a genre seems to very often be very heavily mysoginistic. Male Afrobeats artists however, are usually too busy being confused by Folake and her tiny waist. African men are lover boys who sing so beautifully of women. From Ifunnaya, to Ada Ada, to Folake, to Obianuju to Beautiful Oninye, Adaobi, Caro, and Angelina. Nigerian men are sensitive and effusive creatures when it comes to adoring women in their music.
Whoever this Jidenna’s unnamed woman is, she has tied Jidenna’s destiny to her waist beads. This man writes songs about his lover as a typical African man would. He describes her as his home, his safe space, his peace, and the source of his infatuation.
Love that came at the right time
In ‘Ripe’, he tells her that “each season sends its best, and you are right on time”. Love is better when it comes at the right time, and when one is ready. This song is about meeting the top love of your life and knowing that you would happily fix whatever you need to in order to be in their presence.
If Bill Gates’ son decides that he loves you but he needs you to stop being a witch, nobody will need to tell you twice. He says that their love transformed and convicted him so much that he has no interest in doing the immature things he would’ve done before.
This man spent every single day of lockdown with this woman and didn’t get bored. Instead, he came out of lockdown saying to her ”you’re the most interesting woman on the planet” in his song ‘Safe’.
Safe is what everyone hopes someone will one day feel about them. Safe is how we all hope the people we love will feel with us. For those of you that already know what this feels like, it must be nice. We over here still day street, may God deliver us.
A love that might struggle sometimes
To listen to this album from beginning to end is to experience a holistic story of love, intimacy, and mistakes. Jidenna doesn’t just take us through the sweet parts of their love, but is honest with us about what can happen to love after two people have known each other for a while – they can let each other down.
In ‘Situation’, he talks about the realities of having fumbled the bag with this angelic love of his life and the hope he holds that she can forgive him.
This album is insanely beautiful, and we appreciate it when artists let us into such an intimate part of their lives in such a way.