I liked 'Classic Man', it was one of key sounds of Summer 15', and even with a Kendrick Lamar remix I didn't get who or what Jidenna was. Whether he was an R&B dude or something more. Whether he was here for a minute or if was going to go the distance and evolve into one of the great ones.
Having heard the album and connected with him for this podcast it’s clear that although 'Classic Man' was a smash, it was also very misleading. Jidenna is a much deeper artist than the Summer 15' classic. Born in Nigeria, moving to America, raised on a diet of Hip Hop, R&B, and Naija sounds has given him a greater creative edge and perspective than other US artists.
There is no doubt that Jidenna is talented, has his own swank, and will be successful, but what's more interesting is that he could be the artist that bridges the gap between intercontinental genres, to mix the US sounds and African sounds with integrity. It's cool that artists like Drake have featured Wizkid on a track, or Akon merged sounds a while ago, but the end result was still leaning to a more US sound.
As a rapper/singer/producer Jidenna can go in the studio with Kanye West in the US, or with Team Salut in the UK. He can have a hit in the US, but launch his debut album in Nigeria, unheard of moves by a new US artist. Jidenna could be that artistic ambassador to successfully cross cultures.