After this Wednesday’s class, I started to play my music on shuffle and was reintroduced to the album “The Chief” by Jidenna which is in my opinion the perfect example of Afro-futurism. The album is classified under the genre of rap but it has very traditional Afrocentric beats melded into classic boom-bap of the present. The album opens with an old Nigerian guru telling a story with the hidden moral of being careful who you call your family, because family are only closest to you to so that they can kill you easier; then it smoothly slides into the second part of a song with a simple African drums keeping the rhythm and rigid powerful rap. Another song on the album named “Long Live the Chief” does the same thing, opening with tribal/techno esque drums that meld shockingly well with the kind of “Kanye” tone of his voice; Rapping about his successful from nothing with such vivid afrocentric metaphors with terms that are relatable to today’s current climate. This song takes from the previous generation by paying homage to Nigerian culture in such a beautiful way, building on the music of the past and to make the music of the future.
I have struggled in finding things that are Afrofuturistic, because I think like many people I find it difficult to pin down an exact definition of this topic (shout out to one of my classmates posts from last week) yet as Professor Lytton Smith has suggested (please excuse any inaccuracy in my paraphrasing) Afrofuturism is an ever-evolving area of study, thought, art, etc thus its definition is surely frequently being altered and added to.