Jhené Aiko got her start by contributing her vocals and appearing in music videos for the band B2K featuring Omarion, Lil Fizz, Raz-B, and J-Boog. She later released her first solo project, a mixtape called Sailing Soul(s) in 2011. The mixtape propelled her way into a successful career in R&B gaining six Grammy nods for her projects in the last decade. Take a look at the songs that made Jhené Aiko a household name:
"Bed Peace" is one of the singles from Jhené's debut 2013 album 'Sail Out' which is a play on words for the phrase "sell out." She explained the concept to Artist Direct, "Obviously, it sounds like 'Sell Out' in terms of money," she said. "I've always been a fan of writing and words. Wordplay is something I've always loved. I love it when things have double meanings. The album is going to be called Sold Out, and the mixtape is called Sailing Souls. Sail Out was a happy medium between the two titles." She explained her writing process of "Bed Peace" to Radio.com. "When I wrote 'Bed Peace,' I knew that I wanted to make something more playful because I usually make sad songs about heartbreak," she shared. "So on this song, I took a different approach and decided to talk about what a perfect day would be like for me and a perfect lover. The song is all about slowing down every now and then and not worrying about anything but the moment." The single's artwork and video were inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1969 Bed-Ins for Peace protest against the Vietnam War. The Los Angeles native explained that her hometown was the reason she is a champion for peace," I grew up in LA, and there was a lot of stuff going on all the time," she stated per The Boombox. I've always been around noise and chaos." Childish Gambino who raps a verse on the song is also featured on the single's cover alongside Jhené.
If the beginning of "On The Way" sounds familiar is because it is. When Aiko dropped the single "P*$$y Fairy" the interlude was not included but the album version "On The Way" and "P*$$y Fairy" share the same intro. The tracks also share the same beat produced by Fisticuffs. "On The Way" features singer Mila J who is Aiko's older sister. The track is about the anticipation of your boo coming over for a nightcap.
In "H.O.E." Jhené sings about women being called h--- due to their promiscuity. In the song, Jhené chooses her happiness over everything. The songstress teamed up with Future who lends a verse and Miguel who sings the chorus. Jhené, Future, and Miguel co-wrote "Happiness Over Everything" with OutKast's André 3000.
Big Sean and Jhené were dating for two years and then split back in 2018 but have seemingly got back together in recent years. Despite their on and off-again relationship as of late, they dropped the "None Of Your Concern" in reflection of their breakup. Jhenê croons about Sean hearing that Sean is dating other girls but it is no longer her concern because they are not together. Sean concludes the song with a raunchy verse describing their past sex life and that no man deserves Jhené. Additional vocals in the song are provided by R&B singer Ty Dolla $ign.
In "B.S." Aiko and H.E.R. are done with their exes and are set on moving on. Aiko addresses the theme of the song with the catchy lyrics "Done dealing with you/Don't know how to deal with me...I am on my own now/I am in control now/I need you to go now/I can fix my own crown." H.E.R. comes in halfway through the song singing she's done as well with her ex and even suggests hooking up with their roommate, "I'm out here, I'm getting stupid/ I'm done being exclusive...I just met your roommate/put him on my to-do list." Big Sean helped the ladies write the song.
"While We're Young" takes you on a 'Trip' to how you felt when you experienced your first love. "'While We're Young' is my ideal love situation," the singer shared per Genius. "It's also the feeling of a new love, when you're kind of naïve and first falling in love with someone and super optimistic about everything." The music video is a play on the Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler romantic comedy 50 First Dates. Aiko stars as a woman who's lost her memory and her love interest must convince her to fall in love with him every day.
"P*$$y Fairy" was released as a single ahead of Aiko's 'Chilombo' album. The track's title gives a premise as to what the song suggests which is the vagina being a magical place. Aiko comes off strong in the first verse with the lyrics, "I know you love f----- me/ I can tell by the way you in love with me/ You can't get enough of me, yeah/Well, I guess it's lookin' like you stuck with me." She then sings that no space is needed and she is the top priority, "You don't need no me time/That's you and me time." The song is very much sex-positive and sexually empowering, a common theme in Aiko's music.
Thought to be a diss track to her longtime boyfriend Big Sean (which she cleared up on Twitter denying the rumor) is how one feels when an intense overwhelming wave of emotions. "One night I was so deep in my feelings, I was afraid of what I might do," the singer shared per Vibe. "I didn't want to revert to the same bad habits that have set me back time and time again. I realized that instead of running away from my emotions... I needed to sit with them, express myself and say whatever came to mind. it was healing to say the least... and now I feel a bit more free."
"Sativa" is the second single that was featured on Aiko's 2017 album 'Trip' which is named after a popular strand of marijuana. The Fisticuffs not only produced the track but also came up with the name based on Aiko's personal preference of the drug. "They know sativa is my favorite," Aiko shared per Genius. "They named the track 'Sativa,' so I knew no matter what I talked about on this song I wanted to keep the name, because it definitely feels like sativa."
"The Worst" is from Jhené's 2013 album 'Sail Out' which is undoubtedly one of her best songs. In the music video, she finds herself getting busted for murder as a metaphor for "killing the feelings" she had for an ex-boyfriend. She explained to Artist Direct the creative direction behind the album cover, "The cover is me walking into this hopeless-looking place," Aiko said. "Clearly, I don't have on any clothes. I'm just fearless like, "Who cares?" The boat looks abandoned, and it's a scary situation. I'm going into it being free. I feel like that's what sailing out is about. It's going with the wind and trusting that you're going to end up where you're supposed to be." The song was nominated for Best R&B Song at the 2014 Grammys and won the Centric Award at the 2014 BET Awards.