Release Date: Apr 1, 2016
Record label: Def Jam
It really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Big Sean and Jhené Aiko have joined forces for a full-length project. The two have collaborated on more than a few tracks over the past couple years, all of which received positive feedback but more importantly, solidified their undeniable chemistry as they seemingly share identical alleles of emotional intelligence. Big Sean’s Dark Sky Paradise featured “I Know” and “Stay Down” both having Aiko lend her sultry vocals.
Rapper Big Sean and singer Jhené Aiko had such good chemistry on "Beware" that the 2013 cut's third featured artist, Lil Wayne, sounded like a fifth wheel, then their 2015 track "I Know" turned out just as good, so their collaborative side project TWENTY88 seemed inevitable. Still, as great as those cuts are, this debut EP is a deeper, meatier experience than expected, going as far as to be a conceptual release focused on relationships. The highlights come from both ends of the spectrum, with "Selfish" laying on the mental anguish while the sexy "Push It" can't get in the bedroom fast enough, but the full experience tells a story, meaning TWENTY88's half-rap, half-R&B debut is best taken in total.
Twenty88 is the chosen name of the duo of rapper Big Sean and R&B singer Jhené Aiko. In an interview about the group's inspiration with Flaunt, Aiko said, "It's a '70s aesthetic, but we're in the future," citing the A.I. psychological thriller Ex Machina as an inspiration. What materialized was an album of sex jams about dysfunctional relationships, which begs the question, what exactly do they think Ex Machina is about? Nonetheless, it makes sense that Sean would see his reflection in the shiny metal alloy of a sci-fi flick since his raps are often mechanically engineered—setup, setup, punchline, repeat.
From the way the old saying is set up, there are three sides to every story: your side, my side and the truth. Somewhere between the personal opinions, personal attacks and personal pain, lies the objective fact many of us can't usually see when tears blurs our vision, screams overpower our arguments and rage clouds our judgement. In a tumultuous relationship, no one wins, especially not truth.
Singer Jhene Aiko and rapper Big Sean have formed a new project, Twenty88. Singer Jhene Aiko and rapper Big Sean have formed a new project, Twenty88.. Even before they formed a duo, Big Sean and Jhene Aiko's chemistry was undeniable..