The Chief will be performing at Coachella 2018, and we can’t be anymore ecstatic about it. But for those who aren’t as ecstatic, here’s reasons why Jidenna is a must-see performer at the sold-out festival.
Jidenna was introduced to mainstream America in 2015 with his record “Classic Man” featuring Roman GianArthur and gained enough traction to capture a remix with Kendrick Lamar during his To Pimp A Butterfly wave. “Classic Man” eventually garnered a nomination for a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Performance in December 2015. Despite his high success during the year, Jidenna deflected mainstream attention in the same year he got it and pushed music that was more conscious; nothing that sounded like his hit single.
Towards the end of 2015 he presented a music video to his (arguably) most popular song “Long Live the Chief”, where Jidenna claps at rappers who fight for the crown and forget about his reign as the omnipotent chief of hip hop. The 16 million + viewed YouTube video appealed to Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, curator of the soundtrack for the Netflix series Marvel’s Luke Cage, who decided to throw Jidenna’s record on the tape in 2016.
The Classic Man made a guest appearance on the Netflix Original, performing “Long Live the Chief“.
Most recently, I saw Jidenna during his final United States show of his Long Live the Chief Tour, which included openers Mannywellz and Anik Khan. The Chief put on a masterful performance of his entire album. Though the show was safari themed, Jidenna performed in his classic clothing: a sleek grey suit, burgundy vest, and pure white shoes. I felt uncomfortable for him (considering I wouldn’t have the audacity to perform in his outfit), but he owned the stage with a combination of singing, rapping, dancing, and acting.
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His skillset blended perfectly during his performance of “Bambi”. The stage lit up with bright and dark green lights as Jidenna was confessing his love for his dear. He sipped on a green drink from a chalice and passed it along the crowd to hold. The show continued and Jidenna left the audience wanting more as soon as the curtains close.
Little did they know, the Chief planned to come back around quickly after his LLTC Tour. In November, Jidenna released his Boomerang EP – a 6-track project that reminds his fans (and haters) that he wouldn’t be gone for too long. The title track became an instant hit for his discography and hit nearly 3 million views in a short time. The EP as a whole includes features from Tiwa Savage, Maleek Berry, Sarkodie, Quave, Burna Boy, Dot Cromwell and Wale.
Jidenna made 2017 his year. Though the Chief decided to swerve from the popular sound resembling that of “Classic Man”, he sharpened his blade and swung towards a smaller audience that allowed his true sound to flourish. Much like Coachella, which sheds light on artists with an unquestionably unique sound, his Long Live the Chief tour solidified the Chief’s fanbase and their expectations of him as a boundless artist who fuses afro rap and singing, all over sounds on both dark and light sides of the instrumental spectrum.
Coachella is the perfect stage for Jidenna. His individual sound is enough to sell out his own shows and brings together anyone looking to party, get in their feels, or enjoy consciousness in one set.
The Chief don’t run, but you should make a run for the Chief at the 2018 Coachella.
(Photo Courtesy: Jidenna/Fear & Fancy/Whippa Wiley/Madem Kateri/Nana/George 2.0)