Sept 30th, 2017 – Listened To All Week – Jhene Aiko’s New Album “Trip”

So all week been listening to Jhene Aiko’s new album “Trip”. So good. The album was a surprise release last Friday and is dedicated to her older brother that passed away. The concept is about her journey dealing with the loss of her brother and finding herself again.

There’s a double meaning to the title. She had taken various trips to overcome her sadness, including a solo trip to Muir Woods. She needed to be alone to be able to find herself again. The other meaning of “Trip” portrays the “trips” from various drugs she took to escape reality which is obvious with some of the song titles.

I can relate to the experience of losing a loved one. My dad passed away when I was 12 years old. The first few years were tough, but I got through it and it takes time. Overall, I appreciate that she portrays her life and experiences in her music.

Small story – Jhene Aiko is one of my favorite artists. I’ve actually followed her for a long time even before she became big, since I was like 11 years old. The first time she appeared was in 2001 in B2K’s first music video “Uh Huh”. Yes I was crazy about B2K like everyone else when they first came out lol, but I also thought, “Who is that girl in the video??” I thought her voice was so cool. I also admired that she was a young asian singer. When I was younger I seriously wanted to become a singer. Even until this day I still think about what if I had pursued music further. That’s another story, but overall I became a fan and tried to find more of her songs.

Back then she went only by Jhene, and had like 5 songs on her website,and I would constantly go there to listen to them. I remember also finding a CD in a cereal box back when they used to put prizes in them lol. It was a Nickelodeon CD with songs from young artists, and I saw that she had one song on there! I forgot the song title, but I saved that CD and listened to that one song many times.

She eventually came out with her first music video with a song called “No L.O.V.E” and I found out the date it was releasing as “New Joint of the Day” on BET and watched it. I remember I was so excited for her, but after the video’s premiere it was never voted back on.

After a while I stopped listening to her b/c she had no more new songs. I was sad b/c I knew her voice was so cool, but her songs weren’t hits and she didn’t make it big. I thought it sucked b/c her older sister made it big, Mila J, and had a bunch of hits and collabs with other artists including Marques Houston.

So years later when I lived in Long Beach, I was at my sorority sister’s house for a meeting, and another one of my sisters was playing music on her laptop. I recognized it was Jhene and asked her, “You know Jhene? I love her!” Then she showed me an entire album from Jhene called “Sailing Souls.” I was all, “What the heck! How did I not know about this!” I had no idea she was still making music, but I was so excited. So I think that night I downloaded that whole album, and it was so good! I was also excited that she had tracks with some big artists, including Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and more.

From there she started becoming big. I remember one day my cousin Michelle tweeting, “I’ve been listening to Jhene Aiko since I was like 10 years old b/c of @carolyn__grace, and now she’s big.” And I tweeted back, “Yes! I’m so proud of her!” My cousin Michelle and I were always together when we were younger so we got each other into a lot of the same music. She got me into alternative/punk rock, and I got her into some R&B/hip hop songs I liked.

So fast forward to today, she is one of the biggest artists in the R&B/hip hop scene. Her style is different now though, she started with a more pop/hip hop feel, and now she has a more hippie-style, hip hop sound.

I could go on about other things I know about her and opinions I have about her music lol. I do want to mention that although she is one of my favorite artists she is not my favorite, but her voice has such a cool sound. Sometimes I wish her voice developed more, she still sounds young and her range could be bigger, but I still love her and love that I watched her grow. She’s a great example of someone who did not give up and kept pursuing her dreams until she fulfilled them.  Sometimes it takes years to achieve success, but it will come as long as you keep pushing and never give up.

Going to end this soon, but again I really enjoy this new album. I love the vibe and that it came out right when fall started. My favorite song is “Sativa” I love the beat and the feel good-vibe, the entire album has a feel-good vibe. My next favorites are “Moments” and “When We Love”. The song “New Balance” is also one of my favorites which I sent to Robes on our anniversary date <3. I’ve already been listening to “While We’re Young” since that released a couple months ago on Pandora. I also like her song with Brandy called “Ascension”. I think it’s cool that she had a song with Brandy on this album b/c Brandy was her favorite artist growing up.

Going to end this now b/c going to get ready to go out tonight, but that is my story lol. I was telling all of this to Robes to other day and he was all, “Wow I didn’t know you knew so much about her” lol. But yeah just some thoughts. Will blog again later. See ya.

-Carolyn ❤

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