Jidenna is currently on press runs promoting his latest album 85 to Africa, and he’s expanding minds and horizons along the way.
Jidenna stopped by Sway in the Morning on August 26, and the interview addressed multiple things and aspects in African and Black culture. On the album, and during the interview, Jidenna spoke on his growth as a man, what he learned, and toxic masculinity. During this conversation, co-host Tracy G. brought up the story of 20-year-old known Reese. Reese went viral for a video defending his relationship with his transgender girlfriend Faith Palmer.
Last week, Reese committed suicide, and many people assumed it was due to him being bullied for his relationship with Palmer. However, The Marsha P. Johnson Institute reported that Reese was abusive to Palmer, and when she refused to go back to him, he allegedly overdosed on drugs.
Jidenna spoke on Reese, and stated that you have to know why behind his reasoning. “Why was he addicted to drugs? Why was his mental health pushed that far? Why did he beat her? It’s because of the persecution.” He spoke on the importance of mental health, and history of Black and African culture involving homosexuaity and beyond.
“The whole idea that Black people, that our traditions to be Black; even Africans. You hear these African leaders who are dressed in three piece suits, got an iPhone, speaking in English and not their native tongue, are saying that it’s ‘un-African to be homosexual, we don’t have it, that was brought as a European import’ is not true. It’s not true at all. In Uganda, the kingdom of Buganda at the time before Uganda, there was an openly gay king. If you go to the original cave paintings of South Africa…Zimbabwe actually, the Bushmen as they call them…the cave paintings, you’ll see homosexual acts in the cave paintings.
If you go to different communities in West Africa, there were different rights of passage where if a woman was with a woman or a man was with a man that they were thought to be more powerful. There was never a time where this didn’t exist. Or where it was just hands down homosexuals were wrong. That’s not actually an African thing, which means it’s not a Black thing.”
Check out the full interview below. The conversation about toxic masculinity, Reese and homosexuality in African culture begins at 18 minute mark.