Jidenna finally dropped his urban dandy look for a short-sleeved, woven button-up and jeans in his Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR offices. Jidenna is still best known for his “Classic Man” single and duds, despite his rather excellent album, The Chief, departing from that style earlier this year, so you’d be forgiven for not immediately recognizing him and/or doing a double take.
The Nigerian chief-descended singer/rapper’s new dressed-down look suits him — no pun intended — as he launches into some of his harder, more boisterous tracks from his debut album. He and his brassy backing band then bring some swing to his jazzed-out ode to exotic dancers, “Trampoline,” then picked up the tempo with an upbeat rendition of “Long Live The Chief,” which you may remember from his appearance on Netflix’s Luke Cage last year, before closing on a more mellow note with his lost-love lullaby, “Bambi.”
Despite not sporting his usual fancy fashions, Jidenna is just as as composed and charismatic as always. He even helps out his band with a little tambourine action on the slower songs, charming the NPR staff with his thousand-watt smile, and performing with a toy microphone, all while taking sips from a bottle of cognac he brought to keep it classy. Check out the video above.