Janelle Monae’s New Artist Jidenna Attempts New Hip Hop Genre With “Classic Man” Video

This looked fun.

I just got introduced to Brooklyn-based artist Jidenna’s music last month sometime when I heard “Classic Man” for the first time. It wasn’t quite what I expected to hear given that he is the first artist to release music via Janelle Monae’s new Wondaland label deal with Epic Records. Not to pigeonhole their creativity or anything, but I thought buddy was going to come out sounding like The Harlem James Gang. Remember them? That “throw-back Neo Vaudevillian performance troupe” that John Legend signed back in 2006?

I’m guilty of judging a book by its sleeves because he came out rapping/singing like Future on a DJ Mustard-esque beat talking shit. The song is danceable and catchy enough to get a party started if any DJ’s out there are willing to throw it in the mix. I can’t stop watching it being amazed at the power of imagery though.

Sonically (and depending on how you look at it), you can say that this song sounds exactly like everything that’s come out over the last 18 months. But because the imagery associated with it, it makes you feel like you are really hearing something that doesn’t sound like what you’ve heard on the radio. Yeah, him and Roman GianArthur said “nigga” a couple times but there wasn’t all the “I’ll take you bitch and spend more money” type stuff that usually follows.

Maybe Jidenna is doing that on purpose? He says that his style of music is “Swank” meaning “an elegant and funky take on hip-hop that transforms ordinary parties into sweaty soirĂ©es” which is pretty much what happened in the video.

What do you think?

Oh yeah, shoutout to the guy from Brooklyn Circus making a cameo in the video.

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