Throughout the years, the chemistry between Big Sean & Jhene Aiko has proven to be highly successful resulting in a variety of collaborations. The song ‘Beware’ which can be found on Big Sean’s sophomore studio album ‘Hall of Fame’ which showed early glimpses of the hit making chemistry between the duo.
Both Sean an Aiko have made careers of reciting tales of dealing with young love with all its complexities of the modern social media era. The album ventures through previously spoken upon subject matter but offers renewed vigour for the subject of love, which has noticeably been avoided within recent times of music.
Production on the record comes from a majority of Big Sean’s frequent collaborators such as Da Internz and fellow Detroit hit maker Detail and a combination of in-house production from the likes of Key Wane and Amaire Johnson. The sonic sound bed that this album lays upon is crafted out of a mixture of soul, trap and 90s R&B with minimalistic space throughout filled with sporadic drum cadence.
The album begins with the track ‘Deja Vu’ which the highlights how problematic it can be to move on from an ex but still have the temptation to reminisce over old feelings “Come visit girl, f*** waiting first class like 8am on that early flight I will do girl, the best sex is still you the best sex is still you” raps Sean.
The track ‘Selfish’ recants the story of how destructive it can be when one member of the relationship is more self-centred than the other. “And you be out here lying on us ain’t that some shit ain’t that a bitch and you wonder why the past has changed us” quips Aiko.
‘On the Way’, one the album’s strongest tracks, comes equipped with many question as to the current dynamic of each other’s involvement leading to Sean & Aiko switching back forth between flows expressing their desires for one another.
Aiko locates her sexual groove on ‘Push it’ delivering sultry vocals alongside lyrics such as “Out of breath, take it slow I wanna feel it in my soul. Yeah, I know you love it when I’m on top”.
The hard hitting Detail produced ‘2 Minute Warning’ is another one of the albums high points demonstrating how great the chemistry between ‘Twenty88‘ can be. The song features R&B duo K-CI & JoJo sharing the chorus alongside Jhene while Sean embarks on a solo the mission of handling the verses.
Big Sean takes the defensive approach on the clever concept based ‘Talk Show’ where the duo take turns finding the failures of their relationship in front of a live audience, airing as much dirty laundry as possible. “Don’t act like just a couple weeks ago you wasn’t f****** with them b***** out here, disrespecting me”.
As the album draws to a conclusion with the songs ‘Memories Faded’ & ‘London Bridge’ sees Aiko taking charge of the ‘Twenty88’ ship by keeping everything balanced and on an even keel. Perhaps, with this album, we see a passion project turning into something that has been in the making for years.
‘Twenty88′ is available now via Def Jam records.
This Twenty88 article was written by Peter Shand, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson.