We’ve All Been Invited on a ‘Trip’ to the Land of Jhené Aiko’s Earnest Introspection

Jhené Aiko Trip

If we’re honest, we were all hoping Jhené Aiko would have new music on the way soon. And since her short-film ‘Trip’ gave us a taste of just how spot on our hopes were, we should have also hoped for it to arrive before year end. A twenty-two track LP that shares the film’s moniker where the angelic songstress exposes her own shortcomings and laments the back-to-back obstacles her life has presented is one of the most deeply and personally intimate project’s this year has, so far, offered. In a candid confrontation with her admitted drug abuse and the realization of how unhealthy her relationships were, it seems the LA native’s desperate attempt for a way out only continued to drag her down. But with friends as close as family, she would be reeled back in by a voicemail from friend-turned-brother (and fellow Los Angeles-hailing artist) Kurupt which she shared on “Never Call Me.” As the chapters of Jhené’s audio memoir play out, like in the transition from “Nobody” to “Overstimulated” to “Bad Trip,” the protectively stern passion in Kurupt’s tone is immediately understood.

Trip’s pensive theme is the chaotic story of a girl who “lost the only thing she ever loved” and is further estranged from herself as she desperately searches for something or someone or any place at all to love again. Alongside fame and feaux happiness, the girl pretends to be ok as she continues on a downward spiral to rock bottom. After a bout of jaded apathy, and upon regaining control enough to discontinue her unhealthy lifestyle, Aiko’s autobiographical album ends with her in better spirits as she continues elvoving into who the Penny of her childhood was destined to be.

The dreamily seraphic, Brandy-assisted “Ascension,” my personal favorite “Frequency,” the tear-tugging “Sing to Me” featuring Jhené’s daughter Namiko Love, two Dr. Chill collabs, cameos from Swae Lee, Big Sean and TWENTY88 (respectively), and the hauntingly relatable “[I] made it out alive” refrain on “Jukai” are just a small portion of the artful appeal of Trip’s LP and film. So as we continue unpacking the messages she shared throughout the album, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that copies of its accompanying poetry book are also on the way.

Stream Jhené’s unguardedly earnest Trip album below and click here for its visual/short.

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