To me, Jhené Aiko was just an amazing voice I heard on three tracks I heard in 2013.
The first is Big Sean’s “Beware”. Her sweet and amazing vocals made me almost forget that Lil Wayne was also a featured artist on the track. This young woman is just that melodic. I also enjoyed her vocals alongside J. Cole on the bonus track “Sparks Will Fly”. The way she sang the hook seemed to increase the value of the track by at least ten points.
But the song where she really killed it was Drake’s “From Time”. If you haven’t heard that hook yet, let me bless you with it.
I love me, I love me enough for the both of us
That's why you trust me, I know you been through more than most of us
So what are you? What are you, what are you so afraid of?
Darling you, you give but you cannot take love
Armed with these songs as an idea of her I ventured into her EP Sail Out. It’s a seven song EP that is filled with both great features but amazing vocals.
“The Vapors” is a double entrendre at its absolute best. Throughout the song she compares a man to marijuana in an exceedingly clever way. As the song goes you are often wonder which she speaks of when she repeats the hook, a sultry inquiry that basically says this: can I hit it again? Vince Staples comes through with a strong verse that makes this song that much more worth the listen.
“Bed Peace” is a love song in probably the loosest meaning of the word. She [Aiko] speaks of making love to a guy and being left to her own devices, an idea that truly appeals to many if not all men. But the way she sings it makes it sound so beautiful that it seems like something perfect. Childish Gambino provides lyrical reinforcement and adds to the ideas that has been shared flawlessly.
“The Worst” is a break-up song with a rare twist. Most songs of the like speak ill of the guy in question without speaking of the most obvious truth of a break-up: sometimes you miss the guy (or girl in some cases). Before she gets to that point Aiko delivers a line that is telling and sure to be repeated by the female population for quite a while.
Please don't take this personal
But you ain't shit
And you weren't special
‘Til I made you so
You better act like you know
The hook acknowledges that although she has no need for him, she still wants him. This is a dilemma that many people find themselves in, making this song so relatable.
“Comfort Inn Ending (Freestyle)” is my favorite track. This is a song of regrets and hindsight. In the song Aiko regrets her dealings with on particular guy she met. Her sweet voice belies the fact that she regrets having sex with the guy and laments hearing certain things she from a close friend. This one is an honest view of regretting a guy that you cannot get anywhere else.
The other three tracks are definitely worth listening to so check those out.
Jhené Aiko murders with this EP, seven songs that were so well crafted that I scarcely have the words to describe it. All I know is that I am anxious for her debut studio album next year.
-written by Lucius Black for Street Thoughts/Royalty Magazine 2013