Soulful R&B singer, Jhené Aiko, released her second album, Trip, just over a week ago and its one that everyone who has ever gone through the loss of a loved one should listen to- actually it’s really for anyone who has dealt with any kind of suffering in their lives and who have lost themselves in that pain.
Trip, touches on the loss of Aiko’s brother, Miyagi, who lost his battle with cancer in 2012. In a statement released following the surprise drop of this album and the short film that accompanies it, Jhené expresses how she lost all direction and sense of self since her brother’s death and that the only way she thought she could cope with the loss was by going on “Physical trips by car, by plane…mental trips with controlled substances…Trips in solitude in hopes that the quiet will bring me and my brother back together.” She further explained that on these trips she kept a record of everything that she was experiencing and turned all of her notes into a “MAP- a Movie(TRIP-a short film,) an Album (TRIP) and a Poetry book (2fish.)
Trip, is a 22 track offering and Jhené a.k.a. Penny, as you will soon come to know her, made sure to have her boo Big Sean featured on the album on “Moments” and “OLLA” as well as her favorite singer Brandy on “Ascension” and the Black Beatle himself Swae Lee on “Sativa.” Not only is her new project incredibly sincere and moving but the short film that accompanies it is just as emotional.
Moments ft. Big Sean
These are the moments in time that we’ve been waiting our whole life to find
That we’ve been searching for all through the night
Just tell me it will be alright
‘Cause, baby, in a world full of cancer
Where everyone needs a ransom
My mama said “love is the answer”
So when I call you better answer me
Right now I need you here on me
No substitutes, you’re the one and only
Please take away the stress I don’t need
You got me on my knees, baby, James Brown, please
The time is ours, not for borrow
Both got a past full of sorrow
Let’s cancel everything tomorrow
Hey, the past, that’s history
The future, that’s a mystery
The present, that’s a gift, that’s why they call it the present
I can’t watch the news lately, it’s been too depressing
I’d rather be with you, bodies pressing and decompressing
So much smoke in the air, it’s like we need decongestant
I know you need protection
I tell you what to do whenever you need direction
You know I’m overworkin’, and I cut the check like director
Take me daily, as directed
‘Cause, baby, in a room full of dancers
You still are the answer
These other hoes nothing to focus on
I need somebody real to get close up on
Looking for someone who don’t annoy you when they overstaying
It’s looking like I am like one A.M
I could put you to sleep faster than melatonin
Us zoning, wishing I could freeze-frame the moment
It’s not easy to share with the world that behind closed doors things aren’t as glamorous as they appear so I commend Aiko on sharing her healing process, there are a lot of young women and men alike who need to see this kind of strength so that they too can get through whatever obstacles they may be facing.
Read Jhene’s full mission statement below and join this lil baddie on her Trip by taking a listen to her new project and watching the emotional roller coaster she goes through on the albums short film.
“When I was born, my Grampy gave me the nickname “Penny.”
Penny is me in my purest, most authentic form.
On July 19th 2012, I lost my brother Miyagi to an inoperable brain tumor. He was 26.
My brother and I were very close. We were only 2 years apart. I never thought of him as a separate person, but an extension of myself. He was my reflection. In his presence I was confident and always so sure. I was Penny.
Since that day I have been incomplete,
losing all direction and sense of self.
Since that day I have been lost trying to find him…
trying to find my way back to my self… back to Penny.
I turn to writing as my form of therapy, but it’s never quite enough.
I released 2 projects since then, but I wasn’t quite myself.
I try to find my brother’s love in other men, but they never can compare.
I try to get closer to my brother by doing different drugs, hoping that if I get high enough I can reach him, but they only take me further away.
I distract myself with work, which buys me things I wish I could share with him.
I distract myself with work, which causes stress I wish he were here to help me with.
The presence of my daughter, my siblings, my parents… only make his absence more apparent.
And so, I find myself taking trips, trying to escape any person, place or thing that is too familiar.
Physical trips by car, by plane…
Mental trips with controlled substances…
Trips in solitude in hopes that the quiet will bring me and my brother back together.
Through out these travels I’ve been keeping a record of my dreams, feelings and experiences in notebooks.
I turned these notebooks into a MAP.
a Movie (TRIP – a short film) , an Album (TRIP) and a Poetry book (2fish)
This map has been helping me navigate through my suffering,
uncovering the righteous path that has been carved out before and for me…
Helping me identify my pain and my mistakes so that I can move forward and reach my full potential and find the light at the end of the tunnel…
My personal “hero’s journey.”
And although I am not there yet… I know I’m getting closer.
This map was made by me, for me… but I feel obligated to share because I know that I am not alone in my suffering.
If there’s one thing I’m sure of it’s that every single person on this planet is suffering.
Not a single soul in this world is immune to the pain of losing someone they love.
The reality of this life is, at some point we will all lose someone we love.
In sharing this MAP, I hope to inspire others to be more present in the lives of the people they love.
I hope this MAP encourages honesty, empathy and compassion.
In sharing this MAP, I hope to inspire others to share their own mistakes, imperfections and fears… because I believe in doing so we can understand each other better and realize we are more alike than different.
In sharing this MAP, I hope to inspire others to share their grief and pain because I believe suffering can be alleviated when we understand we are not going through any of it alone. “