Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo, known as Jhené Aiko, 29-year-old singer-songwriter just dropped her new highly anticipated album – Trip. The album is a heavily psychedelic influenced project, but throughout the album, Jhene has found healing and shared her life experiences and vulnerability with her fans to listen to. With hints of guitar, piano, trippy induced sounds and more – Jhene reflects on her ex-lover, Big Sean, her brother who had passed in 2012 and finding herself again through all of the madness that life brings.
Her first track LSD is a trippy intro to the album which expresses her experiences on shrooms and LSD while singing about her brother. She pictures his views looking down from Heaven on her and escaping their problems with drugs at one time when he was alive. Since that experience, she takes LSD to get a familiar experience she had with her brother to feel closer to him. Juaki is an acoustic ballad about her experiences in nature tripping on acid, about the Suicide Forest (or Sea of Trees) called Juaki – hence the title. She sings that she has made it out alive and realized that suffering leads to attachment of others. She admits to suicide attempts and using escapism but has always ended up alive, with the same life and pain, forcing herself to heal. Her higher self is remaining here until she has done everything she needs to until her passing here on Earth.
Further into the album, she expresses her lover Big Sean in While Were Young, showing her love and wanting to have fun despite the thoughts others have on them as a couple. Moments is another love track about Big Sean, her love and how their love together feels perfect. She continues to show her love for him in OLLA (Only Lovers Left Alive) a funky track of being the only two people left on Earth after the apocalypse. In New Balance, she highly expresses that everyone is searching for the same kind of inner peace in life and finding themselves. She admits that she finds peace, balance to her life when she’s with Big Sean. Throughout the album, Jhene questions if Big Sean is too good to be true for her, and questions if he’s messing with her heart in You Are Here.
Nobody is a huge standout track on this album – Jhene admits to her past as a young girl, reflecting that she dealt with pain and never need anybody in her life. Her addiction to pills like her father has, and that the pain is a reminder of how life should feel. The project seems to delve even deeper in the next track; Overstimulated, showing Jhene’s influence with cocaine, and the effects of it when she’s coming down. She’s trying to find the light and is reassuring her dark side that her higher self is the answer, but yet she’s still gets high to cope. Similar vibes continue in her life as the story unfolds, with Bad Trip giving off two perspectives – with the effects of a bad relationship and drugs that make you have a bad trip. As Jhene sings “I try to find a brighter sight, an elevated, higher sight, it’s out of sight” in Oblivion; she’s admitting that as much as she tries to connect with her higher-self, she can’t, or it doesn’t last very long. Psilocybin (Love In Full Effect) keeps the drug-induced feels in full-effect which is a track that Jhene sings on her trip while shedding some light in herself, creating an opposite effect from the track before.
Finally, by the end of the album, tracks like Frequency show her blessing everything she’s gone through to grow stronger and holds love in her heart forever. She reassures that pain and suffering lead to eroding the ego and loving thyself in Ascension. Trip being the last track on the album it ties everything together. Wishing for the darkness to not keep her at a lower frequency, she questions who will save her. Love from her lover can, or can it? Jhene questions love yet again, knowing that nothing lasts forever and that even if love can, it also strains you. Showing that pain does cause suffering and helps you find a way to heal, but that also Jhene isn’t done on her journey yet in this lifetime.