‘Classic Man’ rapper-singer Jidenna is opening up about his past treatment of women in romantic situations. He’s admitted to acting “manipulative” and feeling ashamed of it.
Jidenna made the comments during a guest appearance on the “What’s Underneath: Masculinity” podcast by Man Enough. The outlet published the 23-minute episode on Nov. 9. It highlights Jidenna’s career and personal life, including patterns he’s worked to break.
He told the outlet he “used to lie for sport just cause it was fun,” adding that he didn’t realize he “just enjoyed manipulation.” The artist admitted to formerly being “an excellent manipulator” and not understanding “how to relate to women in a way that wasn’t explorative.”
“You know, I remember different quotes I said. Just like really manipulative things to say like, ‘No one’s going to love you the way I do.’ My god, how could I do that to Black women? I’m ashamed of it, and that’s what makes me angry when I see my brothers do that. I understand it, but I can’t have that anymore. We can’t do that to the women that have done so much for us to even exist.”
He went on to say he mastered how to manipulate women, including one instance where he pretended to cry to see a woman’s reaction.
“I robbed some women of their baby-making years. Dragging them along. They build me up. Look at me now, and look at them. If you were a creative, I folded you into my artwork. If you were in my artwork, I gave you a job,” Jidenna said, describing past behavior. “I mastered your life, I gave you a house, food. Everything you needed. I protected and provided for you. I did what men are supposed to do.”
Jidenna Talks Breaking His “Manipulative” Behaviors With Women
He hit “rock bottom” and had a coming-to-the-truth moment while in a polyamorous relationship. At the time, he felt like he “made it.” After the relationship ended, he says he felt multiple heartbreaks, and it made him feel unworthy of love.
“And I saw myself for the first time. All the things I’m saying now, whew, horror!”
Jidenna says that heartbreak also influenced him to change his outlook on masculinity. The person he is today is a result of re-invention, he said.
“Bit by bit, I stripped myself of my former self. And I swore that the next relationship that I would get in, I would work as hard at love as I worked in my career.”
In May, Jidenna told Ebro Darden for Apple Music that he’s left the multi-women past behind. He’s in love with his current partner. He says they met on a beach, and it “was a wrap” the moment they did. Though they both had a past with polyamorous relationships, Jidenna said at the time that they were exclusive.
His new approach these days in his relationship involves lots of reflection and discussion — asking what he could do better often.
“I’m thinking about every moment, and I’m replaying it a lot,” he said. “I’m a little neurotic with it, and she tells me and reminds me. But that’s what you do in business, that’s what you do as an athlete. They have press conferences every day…so every night, I have my own little press conference, ‘What did you do today? Whatever ‘do better’ is, what does that look like tomorrow?”
He added that the “constant work” has allowed him to feel “a lot of joy in this relationship.”
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