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JHENÉ AIKO'S ARTFUL SURRENDER, TRIP

Jhené Aiko has delivered a remarkably poignant journey through loss, suffering and redemption with Trip, as told through both the new album featuring her signature sounds of progressive R&B/elevated soul, and through the accompanying Trip (The Movie). The short film serves as a truly intimate companion piece to the work, with a memorable acting performance by Jhené as her authentic self, “Penny.”

At its core, Trip delves deep into the emotional black hole that follows the crushing blow of losing her younger brother to an inoperable brain tumor in July 2012.

The follow-up to her 2014 debut album, Souled Out (Artium/Def Jam,) which featured the Grammy-nominated single “The Worst,” Trip is Aiko’s first full project in three years, but she has stayed busy and had some incredible highlights since, including the duet with Gallant, "Skipping Stones," Soundcloud tracks like “Living Room Flow,” features on tracks like 2 Chainz’ "It's a Vibe" and ajoint album with Big Sean, Twenty88.

But to hear her tell it now, we were seeing a glimpse of someone who wasn’t fully present, an empty shell of grief. “I’ve released two projects since (his death),” she writes in a statement entitled MAP Mission, “but I wasn’t quite myself.”

Chronicling her navigation through the shock, reckoning then healing process with notebooks of writing eventually resulted in the movie, the album and a volume of poetry, 2fish—or the M.A.P.  

I feel obligated to share, because I know I’m not alone in my suffering,” Aiko writes. “Not a single soul in this world is immune to the pain of losing someone they love. 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." 

Jhene hails from the same Breakthrough Generation—those artists who were round pegs in a world of square holes, who were dope on their own and ahead of their time but found their own way, upload by upload, nurtured by a loyal tastemaker following on the Internet long before their natural talent ascended them to a larger stage. But this project should serve to be her true manifestation as the deep-thinking, centered spirit sister of The Weeknd, Frank Ocean and Chance the Rapper, and perhaps eventual superstardom to match. 

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