Can we all just take a moment to stop, and appreciate Miss Jhené Aiko for once again coming through with her dreamy, trancing vibes in her second studio album, “Trip,” which was released two days ago. Now, if you are anything like me, then you have been waiting for another solo album from Aiko, who hasn’t released an album since “Souled Out” (which has still been playing on repeat since 2014 by the way).
If I had to label this album in one word, it would be “trippy-R&B” (and, yes, I just made that up, in case you can’t tell). As she shared in her Breakfast Club interview this past January, Aiko wanted to express every side of herself with her next project, which she clearly does as she covers different types of love, loss, and self-medication through a collection of work she calls MAP — movie, album, poetry book. The album features a few familiar faces like Swae Lee (creating one of my personal favorites from the album, “Sativa”), Kurupt, Brandy, Big Sean and TWENTY88. By the way, I’m actually unsure of the difference between the latter two features…but I digress. There is also a touching song featuring her daughter, Namiko, entitled “Sing To Me,” that expresses the deep love and connection that Aiko shares with her eight year old. The 22-track album, as well as the 23-minute long short film of the same name, intends to take the audience on a trip with Aiko in every way possible — mentally, physically, spiritually.
In an emotional mission statement, posted on Aiko’s Soundcloud, she expresses her motivation for creating this MAP that guides the audience through her ongoing struggles of dealing with the loss of her brother and looking for fulfillment in lovers and “controlled substances.” Aiko continues to outdo herself with the amount of vulnerability that she displays in her art, which is truly just a visual and audio rendition of her pain and ongoing journey of healing and finding peace.
Jhené mentioned to Billboard that her hope for this album is that people will “take their time with it”; which is exactly what I plan to do to continue putting together the puzzle pieces that she has laid out, and I suggest others do the same. Much love and positive energy to Jhené Aiko, and all who may be searching for peace…
P.S. Comment below with any thoughts or feelings you have about the album!