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Jhené Aiko - Sailing Soul(s) Mixtape Review

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Name of artist: Jhené Aiko
Name of mixtape: Sailing Soul(s)
Record label: Unsigned on date of mixtape release
Release date: 16/03/2011
Genre(s): Soul, RnB, Hip-Hop

Sailing Soul(s) mixtape cover art

Sailing Soul(s) mixtape cover art


Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo, more commonly known as Jhené Aiko is an American singer, songwriter and recording artist; who signed to Epic / TUG at the tender age of 12.

Jhené's first self titled album My Name is Jhené, was never released (although many of the songs from that album can be found on websites such as YouTube). However, a music video was released for one of the singles No L.O.V.E in 2002. As well as featuring on a few of B2K's albums, Jhené has featured on sound tracks for movies such as: Barbershop, You Got Served, The Master of Disguise and Proud Family.

Jhené decided to leave both record labels when she was 16 'to experience the natural beauty of the real world'. Jhené returned to the music scene with her self released mixtape Sailing Soul(s) in 2011 which has been downloaded over 100,000 times according to

Memorable Lyrics

"I know ya face, I know ya name
But I don't know you?
Isn't that crazy? isn't that crazy?" - Stranger

"Your light shines so bright it's like two stars collide and we'll only survive if we fight it, don't fight it" - You vs Them

"Buried alive here inside a nightmare, living a life where you're gone" - My Mine

Review of Songs

The beginning - Short introduction which complements the first song
Rating: 10/10

Stranger (Track 1) - Jhené stated that...

“‘Stranger’ is about meeting the same type of people every day, particularly guys. They’re all different, they all have their own approach, but the underlying thing that they want, which is usually sex, is the same.” (Source:

Rating: 10/10 ~ I love the beat, the way it was written, I can relate to it and chorus is very catchy.

Hoe (Track 2) - What I got from the lyrics of this song is that the song's about coming on to a guy out of lust. But not wanting to come on too strong because she doesn't want him to think she's a hoe. At the same time the guy doesn't want to give any signs that he thinks she's a hoe because he likes her out of lust too. This is one of my least favourite tracks on the mixtape. Maybe it's because of who was featured on it.

Rating: 5/10 ~ Although I liked the vocals; I did not like the beat or the meaning of the song.

July (Track 3) - To my understanding, this song is about thinking you're ready to move forward in a relationship but timing is everything, (you don't want to move forward too soon) because that may mess things up. They think they did things the right way; but things take a turn for the worse, which causes confusion as they don't know where things went wrong. Eventually, they end up growing apart even though they still care for each other. The month July was used as it is summer around that time. A time when flowers blossom (meaning their relationship should have grown). Instead their relationship is wilting; like most plants do in fall (autumn). Their relationship is not evergreen (not strong enough to survive all seasons).

Rating: 10/10 ~ I loved Drake on this track, the Japanese inspired beat and the play on words.

My Mine (Track 4) - On her tumblr, Jhené stated:

"'my mine' is a place in my mind… where I bury painful memories ALIVE! I was going through a situation where I was trying to force myself to forget about this douche bag of a guy, but of course the more I tried, the more I couldn't forget… . . once I wrote the song and recorded it, I was healed and he was dead to me :)"

Rating: 10/10 ~ I simply love this song

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Popular (Track 5) - This is a soft rock track about a boy who used to get all the girls (aka a player) in high school and cheat on them. Through it all he had one girlfriend who gave him her all but to him it wasn't enough. After finishing high school) he ends up lonely. I guess you can call that karma for cheating and making all the girls cry.

Rating: 8/10 ~ I like the soft rock-pop sound, the story and meaning of the song and think this song is well written. I wasn't too keen on the chorus for some reason.

Real Now (Track 6) - This song is about: having troubles in life and wanting someone to take them all away, feeling confused about life, showing happiness on the outside but not truly being happy on the inside, being around too many fake people, life in the streets i.e. "the young raising the young" (meaning teenage pregnancies) and street reputation, being judged by people, using drugs / alcohol to get high and help to let go of problems and wanting to be accepted by God.

Rating: 8/10 ~ The beat is bearable (it's not annoying at all, just not my cup of tea), I could relate to the song.

Sailing NOT selling (Track 7)- The title is pretty much self explanatory. The message in the song tells people never to sell your soul (yourself) or change yourself just to make money because you will lose your soul (yourself), you may be happy at first but your fortune may not last you will end up being lonely and miserable. Instead sail your soul be true to who you are and don't let anything change you (for the worse).

Rating: 10/10 ~ I love everything about this track, the beat, the message, the way it's sung, Kanye's rap. It's a good formula.

Do Better Blues(Track 8) - This song is about a couple who have problems in their relationship. In the song the rapper HOPE wants to put more of his energy into his career but the relationship that his is in with Jhené makes it hard to do so because there is too much arguing due to Jhené holding on to small issues which make her mad. There are also too many opinionated people involved in their relationship on top of Jhené and HOPEs egos, which isn't healthy.

They both believe that they have the ability to move on and "do better" in a relationship with someone else; but don't want to do that because their relationship is worth and they can do better together; so they would rather fix their issues.

In the end the couple remember how much they mean to each other and how much they have been through to make their relationship strong, which is a good start to fixing things. Together they are unstoppable.

Rating: 9/10 ~ I like the message it's sending out. These days (like broken items, which can be refunded or exchanged in stores) people treat people the same way. They would rather replace a significant other rather than try to fix things.

Higher (Track 9) - In this song; Jhené is basically saying that her love will get a guy high. The song makes comparisons to rolling weed, lighting up and getting high. In other words, she can get a guy high off of love.

Rating: 10/10 ~ The song is cleverly written and I like the beat.

You vs Them (Track 10) - In this song Jhené sing:

"I'm.....tryna save the world
How can I when
You belong to me
I belong to them
Who do I give me to? Who do I let win?
You or the world
You or the world" (Source:

She is in a dilemma between giving her time to her child and the world.

Rating: 10/10 This track has an airy feeling to it. The beat reminds me of a heart beating, which may have been the real heartbeat of her child who she may have been pregnant with at the time (this makes the song even more sentimental).

Growing Apart Too (Track 11) - This song is about a couple who are growing apart because the guy (in the relationship) is caught up with hustling (legally) in the streets for money, staying out late, being tempted to do wrong, not being loyal and sinning which is slowing down their relationship. These things also make it harder to be accepted by God. It questions how to move forward after facing failures and problems or keep making the same mistakes.

Rating: 7/10 ~ I didn't really like the beat and couldn't relate to it; but think it is very well written.

Space Jam (Track 12)- This song is about Jhené meeting a guy in a place that is unfamiliar to her. The guy notices that she is not from this place. They talk to each other and both think their problems are bigger than each others; but in the end it turns out that they have a lot in common and can relate to each other more than thy initially thought.

Rating: 10/10 ~ I love the beat, vocals and Jhene's bravery to open up about her brother Miyagi (R.I.P.) who was suffering with cancer at the time. I can definitely relate to this song.

Overall, my favourite songs from the mixtape are: Stranger, My Mine, Sailing NOT Selling, HIgher, You vs Them and Space Jam.

My least favourite songs are: Hoe and Growing Apart

What does Sailing Soul(s) mean?

Here's Jhené's explanation of where the concept Sailing Soul(s) originated from.... 'Shortly before I conceived my daughter, I stepped back into the field and took a meeting with a label head. In this meeting, I was innocently told to "sell" myself "when walking into these meetings." That's when I decided I would sail my "self" rather than sell my "self".' (Source: Jhené Aiko's Official Bio)

Check out the video below where Jhené speaks on what happened before and after the mixtape was released.

ThisIsRnB Interviews Jhené - Release of Sailing Soul(s)

How does the Mixtape Reflect Jhené Aiko?

As Jhené Aiko penned all of the songs on the mixtape (excluding July) and due to her freestyle way of writing; she is able to share her experiences, thoughts and feelings allowing the mixtape to easily reflect her.


Bei Maejor





Kanye West


Kendrick Lamar

The Beast



Sailing Souls Track List

Sailing Souls Track List

Impressions and Opinions

  • smooth, soothing vocals
  • the collaborations with other artists
  • beautifully and cleverly crafted lyrics
  • what rnb has been missing.
  • I like her rap alter ego; J. Henne (aka J. Hennesey)

Jhené has been recently compared to Cassie. People have also said that she is the female version of The Weeknd, Drake, and Frank Ocean.

She one of very few artists (these days) that sounds awesome whilst performing live. Check her out in the video below.

Jhene Aiko live at MIZZOU

Overall Rating

I rated the Sailing Soul(s) Mixtape 5 stars because I liked most of the songs on the Mixtape. I also like the arrangement of the songs and the rappers that were featured. The producers that worked on the mixtape did a great job.

I have recommended the mixtape to many people who have also said that they loved it and thanked me for telling me about it.

Jhené performing at SOBS

Jhené performing at SOBS

Your thoughts...

Sail Out EP

Jhené has stated in interviews that she has been working on her Sail Out EP. She has stated that it is a bridge between the Sailing Souls mixtape and the Souled Out album.

Peep the video below.

RapUpTV - Jhené talks about 'Sail Out' EP


Have you downloaded the Sailing Soul(s) Mixtape?

If so, I want to know what you think about it. I.e. what were your favourite / least favourite tracks, who would you like to hear Jhené on a song with in the future. Leave a comment below.

Connect with Jhené Aiko

For ways to connect with Jhené Aiko, please visit:

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