Saturday, July 25, 2020

(Nigerian-American rapper/singer) Jidenna - Sufi Woman (partial lyrics, video, and general comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a three part pancocojams series on the 2019 song "Sufi Woman" by Nigerian-American rapper/singer Jidenna.

Part I presents partial lyrics for Jidenna's song "Sufi Woman: and showcases the official YouTube video of that song. Part I also presents selected general comments about that singer/rapper and that song/video from the discussion thread of that video's official YouTube video.

Click for Part II of this pancocojams series. Part II presents selected comments about Sufism, and other mystical religious beliefs and practices from the discussion thread of Jidenna's official YouTube video "Sufi Woman". That post also includes examples of comments about the referent "Gypsy". 

Click for Part III of this pancocojams series. Part III presents selected comments from Nigerians and other Africans from the discussion thread of Jidenna's official YouTube video of "Sufi Woman."

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes. All copyrights remain with their owners. Thanks to Jidenna for his musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who were associated with this music and this video. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube. -snip- Biographical information on Jidenna is included in the 2020 pancocojams post entitled "Jidenna - Chief Don't Run (information, video, & lyrics)"

Click for an article about Jidenna's "Sufi Woman" for an article about Jidenna's "Sufi Woman"

Click the complete lyrics to that song. Here's a brief summary of that song that is found on that page:

" In “Sufi Woman,” Jidenna references real world mysticism from across cultures to illustrate his hazy-eyed and doting devotion to women; a love letter to loving them, and the hold they have on him. The Spanish guitar riffs blend with the soca drum pattern to induce a sleek and sultry sensation–ripe for making all sorts of dangerous decisions."-snip- Instead of a "soca drum pattern", some commenters in the discussion thread for the official YouTube video of "Sufi Woman"l (such as comment #5 below) refer to Jidenna's "85 to Africa" album and/or to the song "Sufi Woman" as being an example of "Afro-fusion" music. A number of other Nigerian commenters* categorize Jidenna's "Sufi Woman" as being a new form of Nigeria's Afrobeats music.

*Some of these comments are found in Part III of this pancocojams series. **** PARTIAL LYRICS - "SUFI WOMAN) (Jidenna)
Yeah, yeah, yeah

[Chorus]Sufi woman, read me Rumi 'til I fall asleep upon your bosom (Yeah, yeah, yeah)

Sufi woman, you’re a lion, but you walk around so unassuming

You go shine your eyes, you go put it on me
Put a lickle spell on me
Wetin you do to me?
E no go work on me
You go, you go see
You go, you go ni, ni, ni
You go, you go shekere
You gon' see that God is in la bruja, la bruja

Shedebedice Ebi die mah
In la bruja, la bruja
Shedebedice Ebi die mah in la bruja, la bruja
Shedebedice Ebi die ah in ya layla, ya layla (Ahhhhh)

Sufi woman, read me Rumi ’til I fall asleep upon your bosom
Sufi woman, you’re a lion, but you walk around so unassuming (Ahh, Genie)"...

Most of the lyrics for Jidenna's "Sufi Woman" are in standard American English. Some of the lyrics are in Nigerian Pidgin English. The word "shekere" refers to a beaded gourd musical instrument of West African origin. "Shekere" is probably the English spelling/pronunciation of the Yoruba  (Nigeria) word "sekere". Jidenna's "Sufi Woman" also includes the Spanish term "la bruja" meaning "the witch" and refers to the 13th century Persian Sufi poet Rumi . 
The word "Shedebedice" that is found in Jidenna's song "Sufi Woman" may be a scatting type word that Jidenna made up. The other words in the line "Shedebedice Ebi die ah in ya layla, ya layla" may also be words that Jidenna made up.

Additions and corrections are welcome.

1. Olga James
"Another hit Jidenna. I keep coming back for more!  :)   Love love love the diversity......"

"Captivating video encapsulating a wide range of cultures/ world views."

3. tnoizy09
"The visuals..... STUNNING."

4. Taylor
"I really love how he shows women in a strong, positive light with power. It’s refreshing."

"Cheif is back with another Afro fusion album."

"Geez!!! The Chief did NOT disappoint πŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎ #sufiwoman"
"Chief" is one of the referents/nickname that fans have given to Jidenna. That nickname is a reference  to Jidenna's father's status as an Igbo (Nigerian) chief and also refers to song tracks that Jidenna wrote and performed such as "Hail To The Chief" and "Chief Don't Run".

Keia T
"I love when the song is so good that i dont even mind the unknown language πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸΎπŸ’ƒπŸΏπŸ’ƒπŸΏπŸ’ƒπŸΏπŸ’ƒπŸΏπŸ’ƒπŸΏπŸ’ƒπŸΏ"

8. veronicajade20
"Love Jidenna and his style!"

9. Linda Mitchell
"Thank you Jidenna giving us a beautiful video celebrating black and brown women."

10. Micheline Caldwell
"I love it thank u for praising black women in a positive way..& yes Jimena is fine"

11. Destiny A.
"I saw a shirtless Jidenna I came runnin😍"

12. Taylor
"I really love how he shows women in a strong, positive light with power. It’s refreshing."

13. uscoe

14. Glo Kash
"Love how Jidenna stays true to his identity in all his songs"

15. EclecticFlavor.
"Jidenna is really for the culture....Beautiful work"

16. Pat Ata
"Jidenna's style is just on a whole different level although I think he's highly underrated. Keep up the good work bro.🎼😎"

17. Raymond Mutsiwa
"i like how so many African-American artist now understand that before they are who they are today, they are all from Africa..... #roots #sonofthesoil"

Jasmine Pearls
"He is Nigerian American."
..."Jidenna Theodore Mobisson was born on May 4, 1985 in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin  to Tama Mobisson, to Tama Mobisson, a Caucasian accountant and Oliver Mobisson, a Nigerian Igbo academic. Jidenna grew up partially in Nigeria, where his father was working as a professor of computer science at Enugu State University..[3] When Jidenna was 6 years old, the family moved back to the United States" ...

19.  Ayana Wright
"I loving all the brown skin in this video!!! Sexy"

20. June the Goon
"What’s up with the Polynesian tattoo? Is he Polynesian?"

21. foxylady246
"He explained his tats in his most recent breakfast club interview"

22. ha chid
"Fr tho what differentiates this art from the White man's gaze towards "exotic" eastern women and spirituality"
“Fr”= probably abbreviation for “for real”

Kat Mor
"Difference is that he is as exotic as these women. A completley different lens than that of the stereotypical white man"
24. Jalisa Collins
"Loving the whole concept of the song and video ! Spirituality, and all these beautiful women"

25. Boitshoko Kebakile
"Such a stunning celebration of the divine feminine .Loved every second!styling is amazing too"

26. nikkisahota89
"Is the woman at 0:46 transgender?

27. foxylady246
"No. @sonicwav is her ig and she appears to be a genuine female...even though she does have a masculine aesthetic
IG= instagram

There were LOTS of comments-mostly negative- about the inclusion of this singer in this video. Most of the commenters mistakenly thought that That model/singer was a man or a transgender woman.

King Ino
"Amazing track another big one from Nigerian Americana πŸ‡³πŸ‡¬πŸ‡±πŸ‡·πŸ‡³πŸ‡¬πŸ™πŸΎπŸ˜"

29. Nwoke Godswill
"jidenna don join bad guyz……... imao"
This is an indirect reference to Jidenna's former brand as “Classic man”, as exemplified in his massive hit 2015 song "Classic Man"

"From Classic man to African king"

31. Kofi Adjei
"He went back to his roots and took his music and re-brand to a whole new level."
32. Goddess 444
"Indeed he did. He returned to his roots FoSHO!!!!"
FoSHO" = for sure

33. Benjamin Glucksman
"What ever happened to the classic man stuff? This gimmick is more like island brah"
"brah" = bro (short for "brother")

tt roberts
"πŸ₯° I have been thoroughly enjoying this whole album as well as his promotional interviews. It's more than just "go buy my album"; it's about his growth, our history as Black/African people. 🀩"

35. Addy Reyzah
"For God's sake. Why is jidenna not trending as much he should. This is super fresh"

36. Zac Miller
"cos he out there preaching pan african unity and economic development, not satanic gangbanging sh&t.*"
*This word is fully spelled out in this comment.

37. peachesandpoets
"Respects women, isn't anti LGBTQ, speaks on african unity, doesn't embrace toxic masculinity and reckless violence. . Come on, you know why."

38. Joel D, 2020
It's a paradox. The music and video are a work of art and a celebration of culture. On the flip side, the "Sufi woman" to my understanding is a mystic Muslim. Opinions on the Sufi's and Islam aside, there are expectations and here this Sufi woman could be seen in somewhat intimate dancing, also the use of "Haram" instruments. This means it caters to a rather taboo audience..."cultural" or "lapse" Muslim Africans. Granted, anyone could "enjoy" the song, but it will touch those who give meaning or importance to Sufis, enjoy African / Nigerian music, and don't mind the fact that Haram instruments are used. Didn't stop me from enjoying this track, but I can see why "Jidenna not trending as much as he should".

39. Kymberly Courage, 2020
"Anything that praises the ‘others’ beauty, history and culture isn’t often celebrated."

40. The Emperor Vevo.
"CARIBBEAN,BLACK LATINOS,WEST,NORTH,SOUTH,EAST AND CANTRAL AFRICAN.We are all one ,time to rediscover ourselves is now.To me 2019 is a year of rediscovering and also a year of return to all who share the same root. MOTHER AFRICA I still remain humble and people under one umbrella."
41. danyellwar77
"I love love the look and sound of this video!!!. Coming from an african American that only listens to African music for many yrs. Now im noticing more American music sounding like this with an african beat and i LOVE IT!! And African artist coming to America!! I hope many more artist come out with tgus sound. Then people will be use yo it and wont look at me crazy for listen to artist like Davido, Tekno, Castro, Flavour bisa kdei, burna boy, chief obi, Duncan Almighty, Mr Eazi, Afro B. Right now the actor Rotimi love his new song. And the list goes on. Catch on yall."

42. the legend
"I wish my mother to be alive to withness the black girl/ ppl winning streek.. not just for myself. But growing up they allways bullied me trying to shame me for being African..not being afro latina or exotic enough. My mother told me to be proud and told me about our background and strength. I found myself in her words in her wisdom. She died before being able to see movies like Black Panther and hearing songs like brown skin girl by Beyonce. And seeing videos like this one , thank you all for being so beautiful , wise and strong. And Asante Sana Jidenna for accepting me and mine❤ and yours. Love love love this album"

43. ActiveServo12
"Big ups to the beat artist. Very refreshing"
44. Nicole Williams
"And that is how you celebrate black women .....😳"

45. Sabrina Black
"I am loving these new tracks. Each of them are unique and individual showing us  different layers of Jidenna"


46. VeganSistaGirl Tameka
"Omg Jimena...bruh...what an homage to black women 😍 side note: the darker skin queen is ABSOLUTELY stunning! Sheesh!"

47. jasmine johnson
"Hears song
**immediately goes to iTunes to purchase album beacuse I realize the importance of supporting. Black. artists."

48. Mendiii
"Jidenna ALWAYS makes a bangerπŸ”₯

JayJay Ghatt
"I love that he got a "Sufi Woman" with a look from North, West & East Africa and the dancers looked to be South African! Good job representing the continent, my man! "

50. Sina Ala
"Misnomer. No Sufism here. But catchy tune nonetheless."
**** This concludes Part I of this three part pancocojams series. Thanks for visiting pancocojams. Visitor comments are welcome.


  1. Here's a comment from the discussion thread of the official video for Jidenna's song "Sufi Woman" that explains the beginning scene of the video when a man is walking out the door and greets Jidenna who is walking in:

    WAZIH, 2019
    "My man Nana Kwabena is in the intro. Big fan of you Nana
    Jidenna for King of Africa πŸ™Œ"
    Here's information about Nana Kwabena from
    "Nana Kwabena Tuffuor (born March 25, 1986), better known by his stage name NANA KWABENA,[1] is an American record producer, rapper, singer, songwriter, DJ and sound engineer.[2] He is most noted for co-producing Jidenna's certified platinum single, "Classic Man."[3] In 2015, the song was nominated for a Grammy at the 58th annual Grammy Awards for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.[4] Tuffuor also co-produced "Made To Love" by John Legend and "Yoga," featuring Jidenna and Janelle MonΓ‘e.[5]

    As a music producer, Nana Kwabena has collaborated with Jidenna, Janelle MonΓ‘e, John Legend, Kanye West, Rick Ross, Kimbra, Kendrick Lamar, Seun Kuti, Mr Eazi, Goldlink and Quavo.[4][5][6][2]"
    As his name suggests, Nana Kwabena family comes from Ghana.
    Nana is an honorific title and "Kwabena" is an Akan day name that means "male born on Tuesday".

    1. indicates that Nana Kwabena was also the producer for Jidenna's son "Sufi Woman".

  2. Here's a link to a 2015 article about Jidenna that discusses an interview that Nigerian-American rapper/singer had about being a light skinned man in Nigeria: "Jidenna: To All My Nigerian Brothers And Sisters" by Allyssa Klein, July 16, 2015

    Another part of that article provides the meaning for the Igbo name "Jidenna"- “to hold or embrace the father”.