With a boastful, cocky ego and fashion sense from 2056, Jidenna has easily earned his spot as one of my Top 20 music artists. “A Bull’s Tale” is one of my favorite tracks off of his debut album The Chief.
It starts with a skit featuring Uncle Palmwine, a caricature of the classic drunk uncle who seems to just be rambling nonsense, but is actually speaking unexpected wisdom. In this case, Uncle Palmwine is telling Jidenna to be careful of who he trusts, especially his own family, as he returns home to bury his deceased father, a notable Nigerian chief. (“You are with your family, but your family might not be with you.”) Chief Obi, a comedian that earned his fame on Instagram and Vine, voices the character. However, I believe Jidenna has what it takes to take on his own theatrical pursuits. His frequent collaborator, Janelle Monáe was a lead in a film he had a small cameo in. Maybe you’ve heard of Moonlight? It was kind of a big deal.
What I love most about this song is it shows me that Jidenna is more than an inflated ego and charming smile. He has serious depth that songs such as “Classic Man” don’t usually reveal. This song is essentially about how Jidenna has to watch his back after his father, Chief Oliver Mobisson‘s death. Mobisson was a revolutionary activist in the Nigerian Civil War and by 2005, he was appointed chief in his home village.
My favorite line is:
Pops would say,
“Oncé you’re bitten by a snake,
Paranoia make you
Pop a lizard In his face
This was a side of Jidenna’s story the masses don’t usually get to hear. It’s an intimate tale of a man’s strength to endure tough times in the face of systematic oppression. He didn’t let his hardships stop him from staying on his A-game. He’s had to overcome homelessness, kidnappings, and death threats, yet he still has the drive to not let his past circumstances hinder him from his craft and passion. He’s earned his “Classic Man” bragging rights in my opinion.