The Chief

The Chief

by JidennaJidenna


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Rapping, singing, writing, and producing Nigerian-American Jidenna Mobisson, a slick fit for Janelle Monáe's Wondaland organization, debuted in early 2015 with "Classic Man." Months passed before the modern dandy's theme took hold, but it threatened the pop Top 20, went platinum, and was nominated for a Grammy. Two years to the month, the official video for "Classic Man" was uploaded, and Jidenna finally released his first LP, its sleeve an homage to that of Middle Man, the 1980 album by fellow one-time Wisconsinite Boz Scaggs. During the intervening period, Jidenna released several individual cuts in an array of styles, from the EDM-trap hybrid "Extraordinaire," wisely excluded here, to the pounding/prodding "Long Live the Chief," a deceptively old-school inclusion and highlight. On The Chief, Jidenna is accompanied most frequently by "Classic Man" co-producers Nana Kwabena (ten tracks) and Nate "Rocket" Wonder (three), with an additional supporting cast of over a dozen, from Hit-Boy to Andrew Horowitz. In a way, Jidenna's a Kid Creole for the 2010s, mixing and matching old and new cross-continental sounds with a twinkle in his eye, a glide in his stride, and a special knack for storybook-style narration. Likewise, beneath the flash, there are cunning lyrical and musical details that don't translate until third and fourth plays. Beyond "Long Live the Chief," a bright future is indicated in several cuts, including a front-loaded pair of adventurous tales over pulse-quickening rhythms intensified with electronic blips and blaring horns. Beyond all the swashbuckling, most notably there's "Bambi," a Laba Sosseh-sampling doo wop/trap fusion about a lost love. There's also the soul-dipped table-turner "White N****s," as well as a grand finale in which Jidenna contemplates personal development and institutional racism and addresses his late father: "I remember in '08, when you cried for Obama/If you were here today, you would cry for tomorrow." The grim truths and fantastical tales are almost equally vivid.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/17/2017
Label: Epic
UPC: 0889853030620
catalogNumber: 530306
Rank: 102678


  1. A Bull's Tale
  2. Chief Don't Run
  3. Trampoline
  4. Bambi
  5. Helicopters I Beware
  6. Long Live the Chief
  7. 2 Points
  8. The Let Out
  9. Safari
  10. Adaora
  11. Little Bit More
  12. Some Kind of Way
  13. White N****s
  14. Bully of the Earth

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jidenna   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Vocals,Background Vocals
Leslie Gray   Background Vocals
Jerry Freeman   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Adrian Johnson   Background Vocals
Kebbi Williams   Tenor Saxophone
Jason Freeman   Trombone,Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Andrew Horowitz   Organ,Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards
Nate "Rocket" Wonder   Organ,Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Background Vocals
Dan Edinberg   Guitar
Spree Wilson   Background Vocals
Christopher Burns   Trombone
Alex Page   Violin,Viola
Mike-Mike   Synthesizer
Nick Seeley   Organ,Guitar,Percussion,Vibes
Ashley Edwards   Background Vocals
Janelle Monáe Robinson   Vocals,Background Vocals
Grace Shim   Cello
Mark Williams   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Jon Jon Traxx   Synthesizer
Chauncey Hollis   Keyboards
Grant Newsome   Synthesizer
St. Beauty   Background Vocals
Roman Gianarthur Irvin   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Nana Kwabena Tuffuor   Synthesizer,Percussion,Vocals,Background Vocals
Jidenna Mobisson   Organ,Synthesizer,Vocals,Background Vocals,Wurlitzer
Eleanor Tannis   Background Vocals
Joshua Dean   Background Vocals
Nana O Afriyie   Vocals,Background Vocals
Desiré Lynn Gaston   Background Vocals
Amaka Izuchi   Background Vocals
Madam Kateri   Background Vocals
Patrease Sherrer   Background Vocals
Ra Olusegun Amen   Electric Guitar
Eric Matthew-Estrada   Electric Guitar
Henry Obiefule   Vocals,Narrator

Technical Credits

Jack Keller   Composer
Leslie Gray   Composer,Engineer
Carl Taylor   Composer
Noel Sherman   Composer
Andrew Horowitz   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,String Arrangements,drum programming,Additional Production
Nate "Rocket" Wonder   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements,drum programming,Brass Arrangment,Vocal Producer
Eric Frederic   Composer
Hit Boy   Arranger,Programming,Producer,drum programming
Kevin Nishimura   Composer
James Roh   Composer
Jae Choung   Composer
Mike-Mike   Producer
Frank Dukes   Producer
Nick Seeley   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements
Janelle Monáe Robinson   Composer
Nathaniel Irvin   Composer
Mark Williams   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,drum programming
Matthew Bair   Composer
Sonny Corey Uwaezuoke   Composer
Kyle Owens   Composer
Jon Jon Traxx   Arranger,Programming,Producer,drum programming
John Webb   Composer
DJ Virman Coquia   Composer
Brandon Wood   Engineer
Chauncey Hollis   Composer
Andreas Schüller   Composer
Michael Williams   Composer
Craig Balmoris   Composer
Julian Nixon   Composer
Joseph Young   Composer
Adam Feeney   Composer
Jaramye Daniels   Composer
Grant Newsome   Composer
Alexander Mathew Lipinski   Composer
Akil King   Composer
Carlos St. John   Composer
Jidenna   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Engineer,drum programming,Vocal Producer
Roman Gianarthur Irvin   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Vocal Producer
Nana Kwabena Tuffuor   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Sound Effects,Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,drum programming,Vocal Producer,Additional Production
Milan Wiley   Composer
Eleanor Kateri Tannis   Composer
Jidenna Mobisson   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Sound Effects,Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,String Arrangements,Vocal Producer
Lee Stashenko   Arranger,Composer
Brandon Hamlin   Composer
Raul Cubina   Composer
Eddy Kenzo   Composer
Nana O Afriyie   Composer
Desiré Lynn Gaston   Composer
Ellis Martin   Additional Production
Amaka Izuchi   Composer
Kathryn Buford   Composer
Madam Kateri   Art Direction
Brandon Cromwell   Composer
Ra Olusegun Amen   Composer
Laconte Tennant   Composer
Emmanuel Quist-Fianyeku   Composer
Henry Obiefule   Composer

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