If you would have told me this morning that I’d be penning a Holy Shit piece on the guy that made “Classic Man,” I think I justifiably would’ve let out—at the very least—a small chuckle.
The Janelle Monáe affiliate has until recently made his musical mark with pop-leaning dance tracks, so I think I'm forgiven in not immediately thinking of lyrical fire when I think of Jidenna.
My perception of Jidenna just blew wide open, however, with the release of his freestyle for Funkmaster Flex’s show on Hot 97.
Seriously, press play.
Donning his signature dapper attire, Jidenna proceeds to rip DJ Khaled’s “I Got The Keys” track to shreds, dropping lyrical gems left and right with poignant references to his upbringing, his knowledge of the game, and racial inequality within the prison industrial complex.
They slang a gang of yay / but they never went to jail / Well my negroes caught a case / for an eigth they went to hell, and well / house nigga in the field tryina get my funds right / while the homies in the shadows moochin' off of my sunlight
The freestyle has notes of André 3000 and Big K.R.I.T.'s Southern-inspired lyrical insights, with an increasingly passionate delivery that sinks its teeth into every well-placed punchline. This freestyle is legitimately fire.
Whether this is the beginning of a new, more rap-focused artistic direction for Jidenna or just a reminder that you should never judge a book by its cover, only time will tell. For now, though, this freestyle is worthy of at least a share on social media.
Who knew The Classic Man had it like that?
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: YouTube