After a few pushbacks and a handful of singles, Jidenna’s debut album The Chief has arrived. Finally.
Fans got their first taste of the project at the end of 2015, when the 31-year-old artist dropped its lead single “Long Live the Chief”—followed by “Chief Don’t Run,” “Little Bit More,” “The Let Out,” and “Babmi.” Jidenna also held a listening party back in August, when he addressed his intentions for the album, as well as its delay.
“They say that it takes your whole life to write your first album,” he said. “To me, it takes many years. I know I look like an overnight sensation. It feels great to be done and to have something that I believe will change, not just this world or this era, but eras to come.”
The Wisconsin native hit the scene with his 2015 commercial debut single “Classic Man.” The song eventually went platinum and earned Jidenna his first Grammy nomination (Best Rap/Sung Collaboration with Roman GianArthur).
Last October, Jidenna spoke to Vibe about his debut album, discussing the project’s layers.
“It has a range of emotions, which now a days there are definitely artists that do, but I like when I explore both the shallow and the deep end of my mind—my lowest self and my highest self,” he explained. “I try to put things together that are polar opposites. I think that’s what makes the best artists, that contrast. I emphasize different parts of myself [like] my vulnerability and my might. Some songs feel like the world is on top of me. Other times, I’m on top of the world. I highlighted the African and American sides of me, the Nigerian side.”
The Chief, which includes appearances by Quavo and Janelle Monáe, is available now on iTunes.