Though deserved attention has been paid to the quasi-gimmicky steampunk aura of the singer Jidenna, the two songs he has out — “Classic Man” and “Hail to the Chief” — are flames. While he is almost certainly standing on the other side of a rebrand by the hands of Janelle Monae, the thump of “Classic Man” has established Jidenna as an easy radio fixture. There’s more to this Classic Man that meets the eye, though.
Jidenna’s father is Oliver Mobisson, the designer of the first PC ever designed and made in Africa. When Jidenna was 5, his family was robbed and he was shot — he writes about the experience in this well-written open letter. He went to Milton Academy, one of the country’s most prestigious boarding schools. Jidenna, from everything I’m seeing online, seems to be a pretty smart guy.