Jidenna on The Breakfast Club
Wondaland records acts Janelle Monae, Jidenna and Deep Cotton made an appearance on Hot 97’s The Breakfast Club.
Following the aftermath of the disastrous Vlad TV interview, it was expected that host Charlemagne the god would ask Jidenna about Nigeria again.
The Classic Man singer came prepared this time, and spoke about Nigerians and their constant strive for excellence.
“Nigeria is a very proud place, and it’s also a place where you try to humiliate if you don’t see excellence. I always tell the story of my father. I remember coming to America, in the US you get a highest score on the test and your teacher says “bring it home to your parents. show your parents.”
“So I brought it home to my father like “Dad I got a 98 on my math exam”, and he said “ah ah 98? Where are the other two points? Go there and bring them back, then I will celebrate with you” narrated Jidenna.
“And that’s how I grew up with everything I did, basketball, soccer, football. Everything that I played. In Nigeria its standard to try to check somebody if you see them making misstep. With the words that I said I didn’t make a miscalculation in my experience, but I can see how certain people perceive that.”
Jidenna, who had previously written an open letter to Nigerians over his kidnapping comments, further clarified them.
“What I said was…I was referring to my mixed heritage, and being a man who may be perceived as more valuable because you are light skinned, because you look really closer to a white man which all around the world, a white man, the white man is perceived as more valuable.”
“Unfortunately light skinned is often perceived as more valuable. So my comments were referring to that. When I went home to bury my father it was the highest kidnapping time in our area, the area that I am from, the South East Nigeria.”
“So my family in the village was concerned about me burying my father so they said “look you have to take extra precautions this time because one-you are a foreigner, you are coming from America, and then two, your appearance is going to make you a target”” he said.
“So my comments were revolving around that but some people took it as me believing that I am more valuable or believing that light skinned people are kidnapped more than others, and it wasn’t really about that. It was about a perception of wealth” he further explained.