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Weekend Earworms: Jidenna Embraces All Things

Weekend Earworms: Jidenna Embraces All Things

An estimated 92% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things, ever. We here at Nerdist are dead set on bringing you those types of songs—even if only for the weekend. So shove this into your grey matter!

Every so often, writing this column gives me real anxiety when I can’t figure out what music I want to share. There are weeks where I’ve simultaneously got Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube playlists going just to land on something worth sharing. Thankfully, this is not one of those weeks.

Instead, it’s pretty much the exact opposite situation where a particular artist just kept turning up in different ways and who am I to not take that as a sign to feature him. This week’s earworms are all from Jidenna, and let’s start with a recent performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Anyone familiar with the copious amounts of hip hop and ska I share in this column will not find it much of a stretch that I’d absolutely love this song. It feels almost as beautifully misplaced in time as a modern rocksteady song that I, not knowing any better, would’ve probably filed among legends like Desmond Dekker or Prince Buster. The official video is also a delight.

After his appearance on Colbert, it reminded me where I (and maybe some of you) already knew Jidenna from, Marvel’s Luke Cage.

Part of what I really enjoy about Jidenna’s music–other than how perfectly this song off his album The Chief works in the episode of Luke Cage–is how it doesn’t seem to conform to any set genre or style. His distinct style (in music and fashion) comes from embracing aspects from all manner of music, culture, and life experience which–in my book–is something a lot today’s artists tend to lack. Even his videos are cinematic and gorgeous to a point that makes me think Jidenna has a deep appreciation for cinema as well. All this has basically led to me being hooked on anything Jidenna produces. Not convinced yet? Well, let’s switch up genres again…

Rocksteady, rap, and now a dance track with hint of west-African style on it? What more could you want from one artist? How about a song that deals, quite honestly, with how we all act getting out of bars, clubs, or any event?

Alright, to be honest I really just wanted to share that for the brutal take-down to comparing yourself to Sean Connery and a rival to Roger Moore. Might be my favorite thing ever.

Alright, FINE! I also wanted to share the song since it’s the only one, to my knowledge, that expertly utilizes the word “testicles.”

Let’s finish with one of Jidenna’s songs I’ve not been able to get out of my head for months, really.

I could comment on the infectious beat, or surmise that you’re not going to be able to get the song out of your head either, but I’m not going to. This song, and the Brooklyn performance back in August of 2016, is so genuinely fun that I don’t need to do any sort of convincing. You’re already hooked like I am.

Have any favorite Jidenna songs that I didn’t share here? Share them in the comments below!

Image: Jidenna


Blake Rodgers writes for Nerdist from Chicago, IL where he lives happily with his Guinness World Record for High Fives. You can be his pal by following him on Twitter (@TheBlakeRodgers)

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