When Jidenna stepped on the scene back in 2015 with his debut single, “Classic Man”, one couldn’t help but love his confidence, dashing looks and voice. Based on first impressions, it was clear to see that this “classic man” was different- a good different.
“85 to Africa”
In August of this year, Jidenna released his third studio album “85 to Africa”. The album peaked at NO. 112 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, making it his least selling album to date. Jidenna stated that the album was a “love letter” to those who are descendants of Africa. I would describe the album as a compilation filled with the sounds of Africa and hip-hop. Despite what the statistics show concerning the success of the album, “85 to Africa” is one of my favorite compositions released this year. When I heard that Jidenna would be touring for the album and that he would be at the Fillmore in Charlotte, I knew I had to make sure that I was front and center. There are some concerts and shows that can make a person fall in love with an artist; Unfortunately, Jidenna’s show was not one of them.
Whatever Happens, Happens!
The stage set up was great. I could feel Jidenna’s attempt to connect the African/Hip-hop theme found in his album, with the audience. He started things off with the opening song from the album: “Worth the Weight”, and the crowd was live. Jidenna performed every song from the “85 to Africa” album and also included some of his more popular tunes from previous albums. Jidenna walked throughout the crowd, speaking to fans and even brought fans on stage. Now, the concert wasn’t “BAD”! I just expected more. There wasn’t much structure to the show. Call me old fashioned and closed-minded, but I like to feel as though each note, dance, riff, and lyric should be intentional. I didn’t feel that at the show. I got a “whatever happens, happens”, vibe. And to be honest, I didn’t pay for a “whatever happens, happens” experience.
The “85 to Africa” tour was at best, cool. Nothing more and nothing less. Just cool.