I enjoy Jidenna’s rude boy anthem, ‘Classic Man,’ despite it sampling one of Iggy Appropriator’s mediocre tracks. He wears ankara and Janelle Monáe likes him. So I don’t dislike him. I even tucked in my hotep….
Until, I watched the bumbling VladTV interview he did recently. Not only did Jidenna lump together women, Africans, and homosexuals as “misfits” having “a strike” against them, but when asked about colorism, Jidenna had this to say about being
Edward Cullen light-skinned in Nigeria:
Jidenna: When we go to our village, and when I actually buried my father, we had to bring a lot of AK47s. I had to employ military commandos…..
Vlad: You had to bring AK47s to go to Nigeria….why cuz it’s a war zone?
Jidenna: Because when you’re light-skinned you’re a heavier target for being kidnapped….because you’re seen as more valuable.
Jidenna: You’re seen as White, therefore you have money. You’re American, therefore you have more money. If you have more money you’re easier to kidnap. And if you’re easy to kidnap we’re gonna getchu. That’s how it is for me being light-skinned in Nigeria and our family. It was difficult. We’d be hounded. We were robbed. Our family’s been assaulted. We’ve had a lot of issues.
I travel to Nigeria often and it’s always a good stay. I never even have to use my AK. But, I digress. It is no secret that Nigeria isn’t perfect; just last year nearly 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped in Chibok and villages up North continue to be terrorized by religious extremists. Nigeria is still a developing economy with social and leadership issues (the fruits of European colonization) to deal with. But the wide ranging effects of Nigeria’s broken infrastructures don’t disproportionately affect light-skinned people. Excluding the neanderthals preying on albino communities, light-skinned Nigerians aren’t being abducted, held for ransom, or overwhelmingly discriminated against. Not. At. All. Fair skin does have positive social connotations in Nigeria which has lead to an epidemic of skin bleaching especially among women. But Nigerians aren’t disproportionately benefiting from any financial system or assimilating to America by passing a paper bag test. In a country where every shade of melanin is naturally present, these assertions would be absurd. There really is no basis for the sweeping claims Jidenna is making other than, as my brother put it, “his ancestors beating talking drum in his head.”
As expected, Nigerians clapped back and Jidenna has since phoned home.
What did you think of the interview? Should Nigerians be offended or is Jidenna’s point valid? Let me know your reaction below.