Jidenna isn’t just the man behind the hit single “Classic Man,” he’s embraced the retro style lock, stock, and barrel. But for the rising rapper, style isn’t just about the clothes that you wear—it’s a form of protest.
So how did Jidenna end up with his now signature look? As he said in a recent interview with FADER, after studying the Antebellum and Jim Crow south, he modeled his look after the freedmen who ultimately started their own lives separated from slavery and racism. But when it comes down to it, Jidenna wears a suit on the regular to remember:
“For me, I wear a suit because I need to remember what’s happened before me. I wear what I want every day. Our generation is super individualistic and that’s cool, but it only gets you so far—you need people. We’re social beings and I need to know and remember where I came from.”
More importantly, Jidenna sees style as a form of silent resistance. Whether you’re working at McDonald’s or in a white-collar corporation, the way you choose to dress is a physical form of small-scale protest. Ultimately, no matter how you choose to dress yourself, it’s a personal choice.
“When I was a boy, I was sagging my pants like everyone else. Some boys become men and continue to sag their pants because that’s their form of rebellion. Like ‘I don’t want to wear a suit. I don’t want to dress up. I don’t want to pull up my pants. This is who I am, I’m resisting against that world, and I don’t want to live that life.’ So, absolutely—I think everybody resists some other culture when they dress.”
That kind of perspective should be all too familiar to those who saw Jidenna the 2015 BET Awards, where the artist used his performance to hold a pay tribute to the American Civil Rights movement.
But speaking of revolutionary style icons, Jidenna has a lot of respect for Young Thug’s unique style choices. As Jidenna says, “I think a lot of people try to be someone else, and Young Thug really is who he is. I love his melodies, how he dresses, how he carries himself.”
Read the whole interview over at FADER.
source: complex.com BY GREGORY BABCOCK