Jidenna Theodore Mobisson, better known as Jidenna, is a Nigerian-American rapper, singer, and producer. Jidenna’s father is Igbo from Nigeria. Although born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, USA, he was partially raised in Nigeria. Growing up with an African father who was an educator at Enugu State University instilled within him the importance of understanding that knowledge is power. This also taught him to be proud of his African heritage and to always present the best version of himself. In his high school years, he arranged his first rap album with his rap group, Black Spadez. He continued his spirit of education and creativity while studying Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University
He is repped by the highly acclaimed actress and singer Janelle Monae’s record Wondaland label. He gained great success and recognition with his first two singles with the record label, Yoga with. Janelle Monae and Classic Man ft. Roman GianArthur. Since then, he has released two albums under the label. The first, The Chief (2017) was successful with strong African influences and references. Most recently, 85 to Africa (2019) also did well, especially with the top singles, Sufi Woman and Tribe.
Tribe did well as one of the singles from this album. It describes his love for his tribe or close inner circle of loved ones. He makes many references to his experience navigating the Black diaspora overall as well as his African pride. These specific bolded lyrics represent his desire to be totally surrounded by African people, culture, and art. His reference to the Black Panther film with “vibranium” also aligns with his brand which constantly highlights the beauty and luxury of Africa. The last lyric alludes to colonialism. With this line, he dictates that his tribe, his people, and Africa will not be separated. A full transcript of the lyrics are listed below.
Who you with? Who your crew, who your clique? Who your fam, who your set? Who your gang, who you rep? Fuck 'em all, fuck 'em all? That my tribe That my crew, that my clique That my fam, that my set That my gang, that my rep Fuck 'em all, fuck 'em all That my tribe (yeah, ayy) That my tribe (yeah, ayy) That my tribe (ayy, yeah) That my tribe (yeah, ayy) Feel like one of the crew, feel like one of the crew Ain't got nothin' to do, ain't got nothin' to do Feel like super glue, feel like one of the crew And I'm runnin' with you, we got money to move Put your pride in a trash bin Too much ego in the captions Don't get swept up, like a Tesla You ain't really need the gassin' Hate to see my niggas clashin' Hate the plot, love the casting Tryna catch a nigga lackin' Bet the tribe will outlast him Every nigga got a accent And a funky way of dancin' And we give the world our passion And they still afraid of black skin Niggas tryna split a fraction It's mo' money for the trappin' Stadiums full of vibranium in the land of the black skin And it's time that we cash in Fill the hunger like I'm fastin' Less thinkin', more action I'm so motherfuckin' tapped in Black star on the cap and Babylonian assassin Fake woke niggas nappin' Tuck 'em in like a napkin That my tribe That my crew, that my clique That my fam, that my set That my gang, that my rep Fuck 'em all, fuck 'em all That my tribe (yeah, ayy) That my tribe (yeah, ayy) That my tribe (ayy, yeah) That my tribe (yeah) "Travel wide, travel wide" That should be my battle cry That should be my alibi, now (yeah) Travel wide, travel wide I and I, by and by that my tribe They tryna conquer all the tribe We laugh and multiply, divide Let 'em try, let 'em try, let 'em try Fuck 'em all, fuck 'em all That my tribe (yeah, ayy) That my tribe (yeah, ayy) That my tribe (yeah, ayy) That my tribe (yeah, ayy)
Jidenna’s unique style also brought him a lot of popularity. He is always seen wearing strictly three piece suits with elements of West African fabrics. Jidenna was influenced by fashion from the Harlem Renaissance as well as his traditional Nigerian garments and fashion. He describes his style as a “marriage of European and African aesthetics.”. He truly embodies his identity through his fashion, especially with him being half-white and half-Black.
Overall, Jidenna continues to collaborate with African artists such as Mr. Eazi, Nasty C, Ice Prince, and many more. He continues to celebrate his Africna identity through his heart while uplifting Black and African women in his songs and music videos. His social media is linked above.