Just a couple of months ago I wrote my first review of rising musical
star Jidenna, an artist who
fluidly transitions from rapping to singing and back again. He seems to be
this decade's version of Wyclef
Jean in terms of his musical vision and worldbeat crossover appeal, and
the unexpected surprise "Boomerang" album continues that trend with a couple
of remixes and some hot new songs including the booming J-Kits produced opener "Decibels."
"She ready for the weekend, goin Mozambican
Black passports, we ain't takin meetings
Don't gotta lotta life, for a lotta words
And when they call her b---- that's when I'm proud of hers
Chiefy, chiefy, chiefer, now I vape my reefer
That s--t be too loud, s--t could blow a speaker
Chiefy, chiefy, chiefer, that's my queen of shisha
She my Smokahontas, but they just see a diva"
"The Chief" changes it up to a more Carribean feel and flow with a little help
from Diplo for the "Boomerang" title track and a music video that will inspire copycat dance
moves. It's likely to replace current favorites like "Little Bit More" and "The
Let Out" in rotation on the airwaves and at whatever dancehall or club you frequent.
Even though "Bambi" was not an official single from "Long Live the Chief" and was
technically a promotional vehicle for the album, Jidenna's pseudo AutoTune croon and
playful metaphors about lions and jungles definitely caught my ear. Nothing about the
Nate "Rocket" Wonder, Nana Kwabena, Horowitz and Jidenna produced original has changed
on the sequel "Bambi Too" other than the guest stars -- Sarkodie, Maleek Berry and Quavo.
Speaking of "Little Bit More" though, the album updates the stomping Afro-pop original
from Roman GianArthur, Nana Kwabena and Mark Williams with a remix that brings in Burna Boy.
As with the new take on "Bambi" nothing is different about the song musically, but the
line-up for the other song gives it more of a new feel. This one comes across like taking
an established hit, adding one cameo and sticking it on "Boomerang" to pad out the album.
The album peaks with the heavy booming bass bottom of "Out of Body" featuring Dot Cromwell,
Wale, and a very angry woman who thinks she's being played by Jidenna and doesn't want
to put up with him any more. It feels like a leftover from "Long Live the Chief," and that's
a good thing, but then again most of "Boomerang" feels that way and that might NOT
be such a good thing. While Jidenna seemed innovative and trendsetting before, he feels
comfortable and established here, revisiting old hits and putting a new spin on a formula
that already works for him. It's still a good effort but it's not that next level I'm
still hoping that Jidenna will take it to.
Music Vibes: 6.5 of 10
Lyric Vibes: 6.5 of 10TOTAL Vibes: 6.5 of 10