Art is often inspired by pain, despair, grief and the like. After the loss of her brother in 2012, Jhené Aiko made her torment a companion and channeled her sadness into the spiritual journey that is Trip.
Featuring Big Sean, Kurupt and Swae Lee from Rae Sremmurd, the lofty singer also tapped Brandy for “Ascension,” a standout track from the surprise album.
Produced by Fisticuffs and Dot Da Genius, the mellow instrumental is driven by a need for an escape but complemented by the idea that survival is possible even through sadness. “Then you showed up and I got up,” she sings. “Yeah, sort of found my way again.” She soon concludes that she can make her “way out of this hell.”
The Brandy-assisted duet was a dream come true for “Penny,” who grew up a fan of the ’90s songstress. “She has the perfect voice,” she shared with Billboard, later adding that Never Say Never is one her favorite albums. Brandy returned the compliment and co-signed Jhené via Twitter: “Thank you @JheneAiko for sharing your light,” she tweeted. “What a great talent you are. #Ascension #Trip (Jhené Aiko’s masterpiece) is everywhere now!!”
Listen to “Ascension” on Apple Music here.