Jidenna is making his mark on the game in the best way for his debut album, The Chief. By channeling various themes on love and righteousness through genre-bending beats, the artist finds a friendly bridge listeners will love to hang on.
Dropping on Thursday (Feb. 16), the album features his latest single, “The Let Out” sans-Quavo. There’s also the popular tracks “Little Bit More” and the dynamic “Chief Don’t Run.” His Wondaland partners Roman GianArthur, Janelle Monaé and St. Beauty also serve as special guests on the project. The Stanford University alumni pays tribute to his Nigerian roots on the opener “A Bull’s Take” and experiments with Caribbean blends on the aforementioned, “A Little Bit More.”
Speaking to VIBE last year, the singer says he remained in solace for the creation of the album. “Finding myself was a combination of being alone for different periods of time,” he said. “Even when I made this album, I was alone for the holiday season. I didn’t go see my family. It’s that and then combining that with returning back to your community. You see it all the time is rites of passage rituals. That’s just standard. You go and come back with new knowledge. That’s how you can find yourself.”
Jidenna enjoys the wonders of love and mystery on the magical “Bambi” and transforms to club mode on cuts like “Trampolines” and “Helicopters.” When asked about the theme of this album after his Sound Drop concert celebration on the eve of the album’s debut, he shared, “Most songs, besides “Let Out” are nostalgic. They draw on previous inspirations of previous genres, Most music is inherently nostalgic. All these are odes to different [musical] paths but in an attempt to modernize that. While I believe in being vintage, I don’t believe in being retro. Vintage, to me, is acquiring something from the past and then folding it into the future. Retro is just a complete copy of the past. It doesn’t forward humanity. I detest it. I’m always trying to forward and mix the gumbo pot and mix the soup right, so that people feel like they’re progressing in life.”
Spin the album down below or on Apple Music and Tidal.