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"85 to Africa" album art.

Listen to Jidenna's New Album, '85 to Africa'

Plus watch the music video for his latest single "Worth the Weight" featuring Seun Kuti.

It's been two years since Jidenna dropped his debut album, The Chief, today, the artist shares his latest studio album 85 to Africa.

In the lead-up to the album's release, the artist dropped the singles "Tribe," "Sufi Woman" "Sou Sou," and "Zodi" featuring fellow Nigerian artist Mr Eazi. He also held several listening parties across the US ahead of its release, and from what we can tell from videos that have been circulating on social media—they've been a really great time for both Jidenna and his fans.


The 11-track album also boasts features from Seun Kuti, who appears on the opening track "Worth the Weight." American rapper Goldlink on the hip hop-leaning "Babouche," as well as St. Beauty and Mereba, who both appear on the album's final track "The Other Half."

The artist has also dropped the music video for the politically-charged track "Worth the Weight," directed by Wesley Isaías Walker. Check it out below.

Jidenna - Worth the Weight ft. Seun Kuti www.youtube.com


With 85 to Africa, the artist wanted to share a message of unity across the African diaspora. The title refers to the interstate-85 which goes directly to the airport where people can take direct flights to African cities like Johannesburg and Lagos. "The idea was having a highway across the Atlantic Ocean," said the artist in an interview with LA's Real 92.3. "it's important for the diaspora to reach back and connect," adding that the album is like a musical roadtrip, meant to take listeners on a cross-genre sonic journey as they move through it.

Listen to 85 to Africa below. You can head to Okay Shop now to pre-order the album on vinyl.


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A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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