Album Review: Big Sean & Jhene Aiko Release Joint Album "TWENTY88"

(Def Jam Recordings)

Big Sean and Jhené Aiko have made their debut as TWENTY88 with the release of their collaborative self-titled project TWENTY88. It is an eight-song album that incorporates both of their artistic voices throughout each track. Aiko comes from an R&B background that brings smoothness and girly qualities to the songs, while Big Sean has lighter rap vocals that create a complimentary male presence. The cover art of the project is a close up on both artists’ faces, demonstrating that this is their collaborative voice, and this is real. Both artists have been good friends for years, and it’s exciting to see them branch out as a duo.

“2 Minute Warning” is one track on the album that features other artists as well as the duo itself. K-Ci, JoJo & Detail feature in “2 Minute Warning.” The chorus of the song that Aiko sings has a choral quality to it with backup singers that creates a preachy quality that the other songs do not possess. She repeatedly sings, “It’s a two minute warning, and I know that you’re horny.” The song is sexual like many of the other songs on the project; the tension between the duo is felt through what the lyrics state. Big Sean’s rapping tempo speeds up throughout the verses, demonstrating the qualities of his artistic talent that have created his rising stardom. 

“Déjà Vu” is a song on the project that holds a very slow tempo discussing the feelings between the two voices that used to hook up. It is a “DTR (Define The Relationship)” Moment; two friends who are figuring out their feelings because they miss each other and what they used to have. It is a catch-up moment as well as a reminiscence of an old hook up that might actually still care about each other. Aiko sings, “Does it ever occur to you that you told me you love me, then you turned around to your homies and told them we were just f*cking?” The girl’s voice is coming from a place of confusion, while the male voice is also reconsidering his past decision-making. The song holds a good place in today’s society where romantic situations like that are prevalent. The slow tempo of the song adds to the emotion between the two singers.

TWENTY88 has officially made their debut with their TWENTY88 project. It is a mix of R&B and light rap of Big Sean and Aiko, creating a cool and easy-to-listen-to vibe throughout all eight songs.