Jhenè Aiko : Trip
Written by Delmar Napue
No matter the gender or ethnicity one of the most common things humans do, is somehow manage to relate everything we come across in this world back to ourselves. It’s natural, this is one of the best tools we use to help us process and understand information. In my case, running through Jhenè Aiko’s album “Trip” time and time again has reinforced that, I am no different from anyone else. In this album Jhenè hits on many topics, some being the continuing process of coping from her brothers passing, love and its many forms, along with her brief marriage last year to producer, Dot da genius. But what immediately caught my attention was the idea of love, attachment, and complacency. And that’s all I’ve been focused on. The song “Jukai” is where I’d go to first to highlight these themes. She sings “If anyone should try and find me, just know I’m where I wanna be. I left the house all clean and tidy. Don’t come searchin, please” these words along with “Hell is not a place. Hell is not a certain evil, hell is other people. Or the lack thereof, and their lack of love” really hit me square in the chest. Constantly, day in and day out I’m busy in my head trying to find that proverbial “happy place” while also having a never ending debate to figure out if I should try and put myself out there more to others and the opportunities life presents, or to simply follow my natural instinct to be alone. Jhenè so eloquently describes what I’ve come to learn recently, which is hell isn’t so cut and dry. Hell can be a mind state, a person, a place or memory, and what I’ve struggled with the most recently is whether to exist in my own hell, the hell I’m comfortable with or find myself in a hell I’m not yet built for. Now this is pessimistic thinking at it’s finest, I know, but that’s how my mind has come to work. Almost every person in my life comes with a package of insecurities, anxiety, and risk. But risks have the potential to make you or break you and recently I’ve took a risk that I’ve done nothing but appreciate.
On the 18th track of this album “Picture Perfect” describes one of the best feelings on this earth, being able to look at someone and not see a single flaw. Something I have the pleasure of being able to do now. Jhenè sings “Too perfect of a thing, too perfect you’re a dream, too good to touch, too good, too much, much too perfect, to be reality.” This goes back to my previous statement of being appreciative of the risk I took to explore something new with someone because now when I think of that person I see a trophy that’s too prestigious to touch. I see a person that I’d be okay with giving my everything to and receiving nothing just because of how pure of emotion I have for that person.
Overall, this album is what I needed at the moment. A lot of what Jhenè spoke resonated with me but so did the tone and production of the album. The project was smooth and concise despite offering 22 songs. Jhenè really hasn’t missed with a project yet on her career and you can argue she has a potential classic with this latest project here.