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Jidenna on Wikipedia
Jidenna.jpgJidenna performing in 2015
Background information
Birth nameJidenna Theodore Mobisson
Born(1985-05-04) May 4, 1985 (age 32)
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, United States
  • Hip hop
  • R&B
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • producer
Years active2012–present
  • Wondaland
  • Epic
Associated acts
  • Janelle Monáe
  • Kendrick Lamar

Jidenna Theodore Mobisson (born May 4, 1985), known mononymously as Jidenna, is an American recording artist and record producer.[1] In 2015, Jidenna released two singles, "Classic Man" and "Yoga", promoting Janelle Monáe's label Wondaland Records' compilation EP The Eephus with Epic Records.[2] His debut album, The Chief was released on February 17, 2017.[3]


  • 1 Early life and education
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Style
  • 4 Appearances in popular media
  • 5 Discography
    • 5.1 Studio albums
    • 5.2 Extended plays
    • 5.3 Singles
      • 5.3.1 As lead artist
  • 6 Videography
  • 7 Awards and nominations
    • 7.1 Grammy Awards
    • 7.2 Soul Train Music Awards
  • 8 Notes
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links

Early life and education

Jidenna Theodore Mobisson was born on May 4, 1985 in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin,[4][5] to Tama Mobisson, a white accountant, and Oliver Mobisson, a Nigerian Igbo academic. Jidenna grew up partially in Nigeria, where his father was working as a professor of computer science at Enugu State University.[1] When Jidenna was 6 years old, the family moved back to the United States after they had suffered a kidnap attempt.[1] In 1995, the family moved to Norwood, Massachusetts, and then to Milton, Massachusetts in 2000.[6] His father passed away in 2010.[1]

In high school he became a co-founder of the rap group Black Spadez, and began producing, arranging and writing. Jidenna released his first album with Black Spadez as their final project at Milton Academy, where Jidenna graduated in 2003.[7] Jidenna was accepted to Harvard University, but decided to attend Stanford University, where he began studying sound engineering but eventually switched his major to "ritualistic arts".[2] In 2008, after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree, he pursued his music career while working full-time as a teacher, moving between Los Angeles, Oakland, Brooklyn and Atlanta, before signing a deal with recording artist Janelle Monáe's Wondaland Records.[8]


Jidenna is signed to Janelle Monáe's Wondaland Records label and distributed through Epic Records.[9][10] He has collaborated with a number of artists that are signed to this label; including Roman GianArthur, St. Beauty, Deep Cotton and Janelle Monáe herself, and then began recording a five-song compilation of its label's first extended play (EP), titled The Eephus.[11] In February 2015, Jidenna released his first official single, called "Classic Man"[12] featuring GianArthur. The song was in heavy rotation throughout the United States,[13] and debuted at number 49 on Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.[14]

On March 31, 2015, the second single from the EP was released – "Yoga" by Janelle Monáe and Jidenna.[15] His song "Classic Man" was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 58th Grammy Awards.[16] In June of the same year, Jidenna performed the song with Monáe at the BET Awards.[7] Jidenna also received an award for best new artist at the 2015 Soul Train Music Awards in November.[17]

Jidenna is a founding member of Fear & Fancy, a social club that began in California in 2006.[1] The society, reminiscent of the social aid and pleasure clubs of New Orleans, is an international collective of entrepreneurs, activists, educators, scientists, and artists who host soirees, dinner parties, and demonstrations.[18]

In June 2016 he released the single "Chief Don't Run". [19] On February 17, 2017, Jidenna released The Chief, his first studio album. The album cover pays homage to Boz Scaggs' Middle Man album.


Jidenna stated that his major influences include KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane,[20] as well as the Ghanaian Highlife music genre.[21]

Over the years, the singer developed his personal style in college, where he learned about the power of fashion from his psychology professor Philip Zimbardo. However, he would not adopt his signature dandy style until the death of his father in 2010.[7] Jidenna describes his look as "heavily inspired by the Harlem Renaissance with hints of traditional West African design," and a "marriage of European and African aesthetics."[22] Jidenna currently resides in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.[23]

Appearances in popular media

In September 2016, Jidenna was featured in an episode of the Netflix original series Luke Cage. Season 1 episode 5, "Just to Get a Rep", opens with Jidenna performing "Long Live the Chief" at the fictitious Harlem's Paradise. He performed "Long Live the Chief" and "Little Bit More" with a full band on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in October 2016.[24] Jidenna guest starred on Insecure in the episodes "Thirsty as Fuck," and "Shady as Fuck," which aired in November 2016.[25]

A Chopped and screwed version of "Classic Man" featured in the Academy Award winning 2016 film Moonlight.


  1. ^ "Long Live the Chief" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 10 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[37]


  1. ^ a b c d e Fitzmaurice, Larry (March 17, 2017). "Hail to the Chief: Jidenna will be performing at thw University of Minnesota-Duluth on April 29th. GO DOGS! Jidenna's Incredible, Globe-Spanning Journey". Noisey. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  2. ^ a b Brown, Harley (July 1, 2015). "Jidenna: The Classic Man With a (Semi-Secret) Plan". SPIN. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Jidenna Presents Debut Album at L.A. Listening Party". Rap-Up. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  4. ^ Forgenie, Cacy (March 20, 2015). "A Star Is Found: Jidenna Mobisson: A "Classic Man"". Flavorpill. Flavorpill Media. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ Amaya Mendizabal, "Tomorrow's Hits: Jidenna, Ashley Clark & Jasmine Thompson", Billboard, May 15, 2015: "Born in Wisconsin, and raised for a period in Nigeria, the nomadic singer has since resided in several stateside cites and is currently based in Brooklyn."
  6. ^ Drake, David (March 1, 2015). "Bout to Blow: 10 Dope Songs You Should Be Hearing Everywhere Soon". Complex. Retrieved March 12, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Murray, Nick. "'Classic Man' Singer Jidenna on How His Father's Death Inspired His Dandy Style: 'It Was My Way of Grieving'" 16 Jan 2016. Billboard Vol 128.1
  8. ^ "Janelle Monáe's Artist Jidenna Releases New Music Video 'Classic Man'". Necole Bithcie. February 23, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2015. 
  9. ^ Aswad, Jem (February 13, 2015). "Janelle Monáe Becomes a Mini-Mogul With Her Revamped Label". Billboard. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Diaz, Evelyn (21 February 2015). "Janelle Monáe Appears in Classic Man by Jidenna". BET. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Janelle Monáe: I Come in Peace, But I Mean Business". BET. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Classic Man feat Roman GianArthur". Soul Central Magazine. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Hot New Music! Jidenna - Classic Man". WJMN Jam'n 94.5. February 10, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  14. ^ Trust, Gary (March 23, 2015). "Chart Highlights: Madonna's Ghosttown Debuts on Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved March 30, 2015. 
  15. ^ Blistein, Jon (March 31, 2015). "Janelle Monae Flows Through New Song 'Yoga'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Grammy Nominations 2016: See the Full List of Nominees". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 7, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  17. ^ Mitchell, Gail (29 November 2015). "The Weeknd, 'Uptown Funk' and Jidenna Big Winners at 2015 Soul Train Awards". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  18. ^ "The Door That Opens You: Why Whippa Wiley Brings You Magic, Fear and Fancy". Afropunk. November 10, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  19. ^ Spanos, Brittany (28 June 2016). "Hear Jidenna's Confident New Song 'Chief Don't Run'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  20. ^ DJ Vlad. "Jidenna Details His Choice to Wear Tailored Suits as a Rapper". YouTube. VladTV. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  21. ^ Weiner, Natalie (11 September 2015). "Jidenna Talks Classic Men and How He's Influenced by Nigerian Music". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  22. ^ "Fashion Bomber of the Day: Jidenna from Brooklyn". Fashion Bomb Daily. The Fashion Bomb LLC. 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  23. ^ Coleman, C. Vernon (February 21, 2015). "Watch Jidenna and Roman GianArthur's 'Classic Man' Video". XXL Mag. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  24. ^ "Marvel's Luke Cage Music - S1E5: "Just To Get A Rep" - TuneFind". 
  25. ^ http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/issa-loses-momentum-stagnant-insecure-245087.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ "Jidenna – Chart history (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Jidenna – Chart history (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Jidenna – Chart history (Rap Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Jidenna – Chart history (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  30. ^ http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/jidenna-announces-release-date-for-debut-album-the-chief-news.28446.html
  31. ^ "Jidenna – Chart History: Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Jidenna Album & Song Chart History: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 23, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Chart Search for Jidenna, Hot R&B Songs". Billboard. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Jidenna - Chart History: Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 23, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Jidenna". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  36. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Jidenna – Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved October 19, 2016. 
  38. ^ "Classic Man - Jidenna - Vevo". VEVO. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  39. ^ "Yoga - Janelle Monáe & Jidenna - Vevo". VEVO. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  40. ^ "Jidenna Trending singer releases 'Classic man' remix with Kendrick Lamar ". Pulse.com.gh. Joey Akan. Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  41. ^ "Long Live the Chief - Jidenna - Vevo". VEVO. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  42. ^ "Knickers - Jidenna - Vevo". VEVO. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  43. ^ "Little Bit More - Jidenna - Vevo". Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  44. ^ "Grammy Nominees 2016: The Full List". 7 December 2013. Archived from the original on December 7, 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 

External links

  • Official website

Complete Video List

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