Jhene Aiko: Exploring the Artistry and Emotions in her Music

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The artist I have chosen to write about is Jhene Aiko who is categorized in the R&B and Hip-Hop genre. Jhene Aiko is a popular singer who writes her music under the influence of cannibis, under the influence of therapeutic instruments and while having a relaxed mind. She plays for her audience in attempts to relax their mind while also allowing them to express what they are feeling. Using Klostermans concept, this artist will be remembered in the future because she helped broaden and expand the R&B and Hip-Hop genre by her freestyles, where she doesn’t write any of her lyrics down. Jhene has contributed to the music world in more ways than just her voice. She has a “mix of sensitivity and love” in her songs, and the way she sings. In an interview, she conducted by Kiara Chilombo, she stated, “that she used “psychedelic music” as a form of mental illusions.” Psychedelic music is defined as “a wide range of popular styles and genres influenced by 1960s psychedelia, a subculture of people who used psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline and DMT to experience visual and auditory hallucinations, synesthesia and altered states of consciousness.” She says and sings what people are thinking and feeling without writing it down; hence to why most of her songs are labeled “freestyle”.

Her music speaks to everyone differently, and that’s what makes her valuable. From my perspective, she is valuable because of how she composes her music. She not only says what others are feeling and speaks from the soul, but she does it while she is under the influence of cannibis which to me, is unique. Yes, lots of other artists may be under the influence when they write their music but what is different with Jhene is, her freestyles are done while under the influenced, altered slightly and produced. Not only does it make her music unique, it makes it uncut and raw. That varies from a lot of other artist which makes her stand out, but she is still an “underrated” music prodigy.

People will remember Aiko as the representative of her new musical genre. Her music has called her to become “moved” possibly, into a new genre called “PBR&B the alternative R&B. The term is used “by music journalist to describe a stylistic and alternative to contemporary R&B. You could say that Aiko’s music is her “journal or her diary,' which for the audience, singing her songs could be like writing to them, or expressing their emotions and feelings in a form of music. It is

deeper beyond the outside, it’s not simply music to her, it’s her life, her career, her “outlet”, her everything. She is the first to be considered for the category of “PBR&B”, which makes her the face of “PBR&B”

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Jhene Aiko’s music creates meaning because I would consider it “beyond this world”. Beyond this world because she aims to be a rapper but most of her lyrics come out as singer ways Her musical influence is Tupac. She says he is, “an advocate for speaking your mind and being you even if It is controversial”. If I had to pick an answer to what specific values, she promotes it would be self-expression. Expressing yourself is very important for your mentalhealth, whether it be to a person you trust, writing it down or even music. If you hold everything in, whether it be something you think is worth taking about or something you don’t, you won’t be mentally capable of handling new and challenging things in your life. She expresses her wins and her loses in her music. She is vulnerable and open to the world about how she is feeling.

She is more than what meets the eye, she has more to her than what the world, her fans know. In 2012 she lost her brother to cancer. He had an inoperable brain tumor. The two were very close. Her losing her brother is another reason why she sings the way she does, she no longer holds her emotions in, she releases them through her music.

In life, as a teenager, an adult, a pre-teen, whatever age you are you go through so much. You experience a lot of love and lost. You experience heartaches and being in love. But the times you are lost, confused, hurt, emotional and vulnerable, you don’t talk, or you shut down. You feel like nobody understands but there are people who do. For example, Jhene. She sings and expresses herself in her music while she is under the influence of weed. She says it “acts like a therapy and helps her release

and channel those raw emotions from pain and frustration”. That could be another reason as to why she has so many fans. Because she is relatable, the pain she feels, her fans do too. Going through a divorce is similar to a break up, but only in some aspects. Getting cheated on is sadly the world we live in, where so many people get cheated on. Her being such a raw artist and having so much talent makes her music meaningful because it comes from the inside, it comes from her heart, it comes from what she is experiencing rather than being altered in a way to please her audience in order to gain more fans. She writes from a vulnerable state and that’s how she gets her fans and her audience from her own life and experiences.

I would say her work participates in influencing the personal identity of oneself because, again of how raw she is with her music. The way she decides to go about her musical identity is what makes her so different and it is her basic “building blocks” for who she is. She defines her music as “emotional” and “devoted”, because that’s what she considers herself, “emotional and devoted”. Emotionally devoted to who she is and what she is portraying as an artist.

In conclusion, you have an artist, Jhene Aiko who is viewed as underrated who produces a mix of music between aggression and frustration to hurt, pain and vulnerability. Her music is raw and expresses everything she feels which appeals to her audience because lots of times, females especially don’t speak on what they feel to a person, so now they can sing it. They themselves get to express all their emotions from aggression and frustration to hurt, pain and vulnerability. She should always be viewed as the rawest lyrical prodigy who doesn’t get anything altered. She takes you on her journey of everything she experiences and that in it self is what makes her unique.

Overall, she brings her own meaning to everything she produces. She has had many hard life experiences, from having a child at a young age, losing her brother, to going through a divorce. Aiko has been one of my favorite artists, but I never knew her work was so inspiring. She took her struggles, and formed it into music. Her music is so unique and raw, which separates her from other artist. Her music is independently cultured and indifferent. It brings a form of vulnerability to her audience but also is her therapy in which everyone needs. Jhene Aiko is indeed the face of PBR&B and will be remembered for years to come.  

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