You may have wondered who supplies the sultry vocals on hits such as Big Sean’s “Beware” and Drake’s “From Time,” or you may have been a Jhené Aiko fan since her 2011 début tape, Sailing Soul(s). Either way, the 25-year-old singer has made music since her B2K features in 2002.
The First Lady of No I.D.’s ARTium roster, Sail Out is Aiko’s first major label EP under the Def Jam umbrella. The seven-track compilation welcomes West Coast with the LA-native’s Siren-like, hypnotic vocals and features by Vince Staples, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Childish Gambino. The ‘California Love’ is real.
The gates to Aiko’s smoky wonderland open with “The Vapors,” a trippy track with a highly suggestive title. The album continues on this trance-like state until you hit “Bed Peace,” with visuals alluding to late legend John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono’s Bed-In for Peace protests in the ’60s–hippy happiness. “Stay Ready” marks the second collabo between Aiko and Kendrick Lamar; K Dot supplying the usual boastful yet elegant wordplay.
All in all, this EP was a great way to build the hype for her official album, Souled Out, due early next year. I love that Aiko is soulful R&B yet contemporary–she switches between personas as her rapping alter ego, J. Hennessy, makes cameos on wax. I’m looking forward to another year of Aiko.
Fave tracks: “The Vapors” ft. Vince Staples, “Stay Ready” ft. Kendrick Lamar