Jhene Aiko takes us on a “Trip” through her life


Image: Wikimedia Commons

Jhene Aiko has been captivating audiences with not only her voice but a mystique that makes her so mysterious and intriguing.

Jabril Edmondson, Staff Writer

With a large amount of artists producing music consistently it’s hard for an artist to stay relevant without consistently being in the public eye. It’s normal for newer artist to keep releasing music regularly in order to ride their wave until it dies.

Though some artists have a persona and an aura that is undeniably delighting, Jhene Aiko has been captivating audiences with not only her voice but a mystique that makes her so mysterious and intriguing.

The “The Worst” singer has managed to attract me to her music since 2013. Her collaboration with Drake’s “From Time” introduced me to what was one of the most unique voices I had heard in awhile.  

Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo, also known as Jhene Aiko, titled her album “Trip” to allude to the psychedelic phenomenon that occurs in reaction to taking a hallucinogen drug. I believe it references that event to correlate how the journey of life can provide euphoria as well as bad experiences.

Her musical selection is diverse yet it blends well into an album. Throughout her album, Aiko discusses relationships, love, and drugs.

In the song “Jukai”, Aiko mentions the importance of love in this world. She says, “Hell is other people, or the lack thereof and their lack of love.” Peace, love and compassion are motifs that persist throughout the entire album.

“Trip” features a multitude of artists such as Big Sean, Swae Lee and Brandy, but my favorite featuring artist on the album is only 9 years old and unsigned. It’s her daughter, Namiko Aiko.

One of the most beautiful things to see done is the inclusion of an artist’s child in their music. There is a pureness and innocence only attainable by a child. Aiko’s daughter, Namiko, is featured on one of my favorite songs on the album, “Sing to Me.”

This is not the first time Aiko has included her daughter on one of her songs. Namiko Aiko was featured on the song “Promises” off the 2014 album “Souled Out.” Namiko Aiko helps her mom out on the hook of the song.

Namiko Aiko sings “Mommy sing to me,” repetitively, and Aiko responds with “I love you,” in a harmonic fashion outlining the beautiful relationship between Aiko and her daughter. Jhene Aiko combined her love for the people in her life with her love for music.

Big Sean assists Aiko on my favorite song of the album, “Moments.” On a song that references love as the only remedy for the calamities of the world, it would make sense that Big Sean, her boyfriend, would help her on this song.

Lyrics such as “Cause, baby, in a world full of cancer, Where everyone needs a ransom, My mama said ‘love is the answer'” give Aiko an outlet to express true emotion.

Aiko is one of my favorite Soul/R&B artists. She has an ability to make you feel exactly how she intends. It never fails. Each and everyone of her beautiful songs manages to take me on a passionate and melodic “Trip.”