Classic Man

Album: The Eephus EP (2015)
Charted: 22
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  • Jidenna Mobisson is an artist signed to Janelle Monáe's Wondaland Records label, which is distributed through Epic Records. This is his first single, which features Roman GianArthur, another artist signed to Wondaland Records.
  • Jidenna is a founding member of Fear & Fancy, a social club that began in California in 2006. The society is a collective of entrepreneurs, educators, activists and recording and visual artists who host soirees, dinner parties, and demonstrations. This song came out of the men that the singer mixes with from the collective. Jidenna explained to Flavorpill: "It really celebrates the gentleman in the neighborhood that everyone knows, respects; [someone who] cares for people that are not necessarily his own blood."

    "I think its important that the Classic Man is the dignitary in that he really carries himself with a certain amount of poise and dignity wherever he goes."
  • Jidenna told Billboard magazine that he and director Alan Ferguson had a specific vision for the song's visual. "We wanted to create a video that was telling of the lifestyle I live as a man," he said. "Part of that lifestyle includes soirees and hosting these swank ceremonies, but another part of it is really just being a neighborhood man, a man that cares about people beyond his own blood."

    "The scene that you see with the youth being arrested by the police officers, that's straight out of the book of my own life," Jidenna continued. "We were very intentional about showing how you can co-operate with police officers and the youth. There's definitely a lot of scrutiny surrounding the militarized police that we have in the US right now. I don't want a world where the citizens and the police are fighting each other. I wanted to show a world where youth don't get shot when police run up on them. Afterwards you see those kids going to the chiefing academy where they learn arts and sciences. You witness the element of us serving the neighborhood youth, and later on you see us turning up."
  • This samples Iggy Azealia's hit single, "Fancy." All of "Fancy's" writers and four of its five producers are included in the credits for "Classic Man." Speaking to Hot 97, Jidenna explained that the writing credit was a cautionary move following the "Blurred Lines"/ Marvin Gaye lawsuit. "Ever since the decision of Robin Thicke and Pharrell, we believe that it was important to make sure that we are safe," Jidenna said. "When that Robin Thicke verdict came out, we realized the game had changed in music. I'm glad we were safe."

    Marvin Gaye's family filed a suit claiming that "Blurred Lines" contained "blatant copying of a constellation of distinctive and significant compositional elements of Marvin Gaye's classic #1 song, "Got To Give It Up". On March 10, 2015, a jury awarded Gaye's family $7.3 million in damages.
  • A remix of the song featuring American rapper Kendrick Lamar was included as a bonus track on the Wondaland Presents: The Eephus EP.
  • The music video for the remix features Jidenna and Kendrick Lamar rapping in various places. Rapper/singer Ty Dolla Sign and Janelle Monae make cameo appearances at a warehouse party.
  • A chopped and screwed version of the song plays during a pivotal scene near the end of the 2016 coming-of-age drama Moonlight, when it comes pounding through the protagonist's car speakers.

    "I couldn't see the music working and then, of course, they chopped and screwed it, and I was like, 'Ah, that's how you're making it work," Jidenna told Genius. "It was dope to have a record that, to a lot of the world and to myself obviously when I was writing it, was redefining masculinity and redefining manhood. The beautiful thing is that Moonlight was also redefining masculinity."
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