Jidenna’s Bambi: A Love Song with a Twist
Jidenna is a Nigerian-American singer, songwriter and rapper who rose to fame with his hit single “Classic Man” in 2015. He released his debut album The Chief in 2017, which featured a variety of musical styles and influences, from hip hop and R&B to Afrobeat and highlife.
One of the standout tracks from The Chief is “Bambi”, a love song where Jidenna laments on the complications that keep him away from the one he loves. The song is a west African high life song with impressive vocals and a catchy chorus that references the deer “Bambi,” the main character of both the original book by Felix Salten and the 1942 Walt Disney film adaptation.
Throughout the song, Jidenna uses homophones representing animals in the hierarchy of a jungle, while also addressing his “dear,” and things he can’t be to maintain a relationship: a liar or cheater. He also sings about his grandfather who had seven wives, implying that he inherited his polygamous tendencies from him.
The song has a twist at the end, when Jidenna reveals that he received a wedding invitation from his beloved Bambi, who is marrying someone else. He expresses his regret and desperation, saying that he might run up in the church and scream her name, or that no one can take her from him.
“Bambi” is a unique and captivating song that showcases Jidenna’s versatility and storytelling skills. It is a love song with a tragic ending, but also with a hint of humor and irony. It is one of Jidenna’s most popular songs, with over 30 million views on YouTube and positive reviews from critics and fans alike.
Jidenna’s musical career began in earnest when he moved to Los Angeles and met Janelle MonÃ¡e, a Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter who signed him to her label Wondaland Records. He became part of the Wondaland collective, collaborating with other artists such as Roman GianArthur, St. Beauty and Deep Cotton.
He made his debut on MonÃ¡e’s 2013 album The Electric Lady, appearing on the track “What an Experience”. He also co-wrote the song “Q.U.E.E.N.” with MonÃ¡e and GianArthur. He later appeared on MonÃ¡e’s 2018 album Dirty Computer, featuring on the songs “I Got the Juice” and “Screwed”.
Jidenna’s own debut album, The Chief, was released in February 2017, after being delayed for several reasons. The album was inspired by his father’s death and his Nigerian heritage, blending elements of hip hop, R&B, Afrobeat and highlife. It received positive reviews from critics and debuted at number 38 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The album spawned several singles, including “Long Live the Chief”, “Little Bit More”, “The Let Out” and “Bambi”. The latter was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 2018 Grammy Awards, but lost to Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna’s “Loyalty”. Jidenna also performed “Bambi” at the 2017 BET Awards with a live band and dancers.
In November 2017, Jidenna released an EP titled Boomerang, which featured remixes of some of his songs from The Chief, as well as new tracks. The EP featured guest appearances from artists such as Quavo, Tiwa Savage, Sarkodie and Maleek Berry. The title track was released as a single and became a hit in Nigeria.
In August 2019, Jidenna released his second studio album, 85 to Africa, which was inspired by his travels across the continent. The album showcased his versatility and experimentation with different genres and sounds, such as dancehall, reggae, Afrobeat and trap. It also featured collaborations with artists such as Seun Kuti, Mr Eazi, GoldLink and Mereba.
The album received critical acclaim and debuted at number 113 on the Billboard 200 chart. It also reached number one on the iTunes World Albums chart. Some of the singles from the album include “Tribe”, “Sufi Woman”, “Zodi” and “Worth the Weight”. Jidenna also embarked on a tour to promote the album in North America and Africa.