Album Review: Twenty88


Big Sean and Jhene Aiko joined forces with the collaboration of their newly released debut Extended Play (EP),  ‘Twenty88’ which was released on April 1, 2016.

‘Twentyy88’ features eight tracks with production from both Def Jam Recordings and GOOD Music Entertainment. Sean and Aiko complement each other well on this project. Toronto rapper Drake has been said to be Aiko’s musical soul mate, but Sean is a better fit in this collaboration.

Sean’s creativity for the EP was visualized within a few days of the release of a 15-minute short film entitled, Out of Love. The film is set in the not too distant future with a 70s feel where Sean and Aiko play two film stars dealing with the harsh realities of a public relationship. Although the film had bad acting throughout, it had a humorous undertone.

The duo takes on a battle of the sexes stance in most of their songs together. Sean and Aiko take turns placing the blame on each other in the songs “On the way”, “Deja Vu” and “Selfish”, which features an up-tempo beat and low bass guitar. InMemories Faded”, they describe the memories of the past and the turn their relationship has taken. While the track, “2 Minute Warning”, featuring R&B singers, K-Ci and JoJo, which opens with Aiko belting, “There’s a 2 minute warning.” 

The next song is”Talk Show” which shows the climax of the breakdown of their relationship. Sean and Aiko are having a conversation in front of a crowd of people on a 70s talk show.  They give a solid juxtaposition of both sides of heartbreak. However, they portray both sides of the male and female perspective.

“London Bridge” is the final song on the album and it’s a slower love ballad. Aiko provides a majority of the vocals on this song. The beat is slow and melodic while she sings over the sound of the dripping baseline, “I don’t mean to sound hysterical but baby if you left, it would be a historical disaster. I know everything must come to an end, but hopefully the end ain’t near.”

Their collaborations on Sean’s  previous records for “Beware” from his second studio album, ‘Hall of Fame’ (2013) and “I Know” from ‘Dark Sky Paradise’ (2015) were only a precursor of the fantastic music that these two would make together. In their latest project together Sean’s 1,2, setup punch line style of flow is soothed alongside Aiko’s sultry vocals. Aiko delivers beautiful verses to accompany Sean’s and keep the tracks flowing.

The short film plays ‘Twenty88’ throughout with the songs, “Deja Vu”, “Selfish”, “Talk Show”, and “London Bridge”.  The idea behind the short film may seem somewhat overzealous but Big Sean is always coming up with twists to simple plots in his music videos.

This EP is definitely one to listen to. ‘Twenty88’ receives 9 stars out of 10 stars.