11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“One of my goals was to make it cool to be African in America and to make it cool to be American, internationally,” Jidenna tells Apple Music’s Ebro Darden. “Because I think it's important for all black and brown people so you could feel like you're part of the black global culture.” The Wisconsin-born MC spoke with Ebro just ahead of the release of his second full-length project, 85 to Africa, but was referring to the legacy he’d been building since 2017’s The Chief. In the time since that album’s release, an increasing number of American and British artists began including contemporary popular African sounds into their own—something the Nigerian-American Jidenna is hesitant to take full credit for, but also proud to see unfolding.

With 85 to Africa, the singer and MC continues this mission of unification as he gives a name to the musical road he and his peers are traveling. Within it, Jidenna is able to celebrate a woman’s mysticism across cultures on “Sufi Woman,” flip the Caribbean tradition of contributing to an informal savings account into a sexual metaphor on “Sou Sou,” and encourage fans to rep their sets on “Tribe.” He’s reached out to global African stars Seun Kuti and Mr Eazi for features—as well as D.C.’s GoldLink—but also seems comfortable in the knowledge that he’s far from the only one doing this work. “The highway is built,” he says. “We didn't need any other governments to contract it. We didn't need nobody else. It was built by people of African descent, and it wasn't even built by politicians. It was built by people in the creative industry.”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

“One of my goals was to make it cool to be African in America and to make it cool to be American, internationally,” Jidenna tells Apple Music’s Ebro Darden. “Because I think it's important for all black and brown people so you could feel like you're part of the black global culture.” The Wisconsin-born MC spoke with Ebro just ahead of the release of his second full-length project, 85 to Africa, but was referring to the legacy he’d been building since 2017’s The Chief. In the time since that album’s release, an increasing number of American and British artists began including contemporary popular African sounds into their own—something the Nigerian-American Jidenna is hesitant to take full credit for, but also proud to see unfolding.

With 85 to Africa, the singer and MC continues this mission of unification as he gives a name to the musical road he and his peers are traveling. Within it, Jidenna is able to celebrate a woman’s mysticism across cultures on “Sufi Woman,” flip the Caribbean tradition of contributing to an informal savings account into a sexual metaphor on “Sou Sou,” and encourage fans to rep their sets on “Tribe.” He’s reached out to global African stars Seun Kuti and Mr Eazi for features—as well as D.C.’s GoldLink—but also seems comfortable in the knowledge that he’s far from the only one doing this work. “The highway is built,” he says. “We didn't need any other governments to contract it. We didn't need nobody else. It was built by people of African descent, and it wasn't even built by politicians. It was built by people in the creative industry.”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
54 Ratings

54 Ratings

SixPathsSage ,

Inspired by the roots

My boy hit a whole nother level with this one. His sound is unmatched. I felt heated up just by looking at the album cover. My speaker was spotting out sounds I’ve never heard.

85? More like a hundred. This album is so good it breaks speed limits...or maybe I did? Point is your gonna play this and it’ll be an experience.

Simply put, it’s his best work.

ninernation2013 ,

Wow

Totally sounds like trash

Freddie Fredricksen ,

#freddieradio approved 🏅

Jidenna immerses the listener in plain #African bliss. Tackling topics of love, life and more so gracefully. I mean, if you have an excellent taste that is. 👏🏾

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