Earlier this week, Detroit raised rapper Big Sean and singer Jhene Aiko announced collaborative project dubbed “Twenty88.” The pair have a few worked together before creating hits “I Know ” (from Big Sean’s album “Hall of Fame” and “Beware” (from his “Dark Sky Paradise” album). Recently, the chatted with Flaunt magazine about their new projects. Check out excerpts from the interview below.
On what Jhene says will make this project different than others:
Jhene: Music now doesn’t really cater to the feelings of a real relationship. It’s all about trapping and bragging. I feel like this project is something that’s needed right now. The whole idea of the man and woman duet. Especially a whole project is just good for people to see. That duality is a perfect combination.
How “Twenty88” is different from their solo projects:
Jhene: It’s a wide range.
Big Sean: It gets turned up, then it gets melodic, and then it gets vibed out. It touches all these things, but it sounds very cohesive.
On why they decided to do this project now:
Big Sean: We’re in a place where we’re both established, and we’ve laid a lot of groundwork, and it’s really taking it back to just having fun with it. I have fun with her. She’s one of my favorite people to just be around and kick it with.
On competition between between them:
Jhene: It was just very comfortable, I think secretly there’s a little competition—I want my verse to sound better than his, and he wants his to sound better than mine.
On the idea behind the promo video for the announcement of the album:
Jhene: It’s a ’70s aesthetic, but we’re in the future. We’ve created another world, both me and Sean are super into fantasy-driven movies and so combining stuff like robots and sex, that pretty much sums us up. Robots are sexy as shit,” he says. “We’ve created these characters that are extensions of ourselves, it’s highly sexual.
On how they recorded of the album:
Big Sean: It was usually just Jhené, the engineer, and me, I had a lot of the raw ideas, and she would build them up. But it was pretty natural and organic. The track “On the Way”, but then she freaked it. It’s about being on the way to somebody. I feel we’ve all had that moment when we’re on the way to that special person. You’ve got that feeling. You’ve been waiting all day for it.
On Jhene stepping out of her comfort zone while recording this album:
Jhene: [I] stepped out of my comfort zone. That was a part to of me that I haven’t really shown to the public. Since we invited everyone in the bedroom, let’s take the covers off.
On if this project is a case of art imitating life:
Big Sean: Some of these verses on here are for sure about specific people and times. I don’t know if Jhené was singing about me on any of the songs, I don’t know if I was singing about her on any of these songs either.
On the time they went on a date:
Jhene: We went on a date, We went to a Lakers game. It was a long time ago (it was in May of 2012 to be exact). First of all, I had a boyfriend and me and Sean had already met. We were friends. So he asked me to go out with him and even though I had a boyfriend I was like, ‘Yeah, I want to go to the Lakers game!’ Sean had never asked me if I had a boyfriend or not. It was pretty obvious after a while it was a date. We had never really been alone together.
It was really fun. I took a picture of Kobe. And then I saw Jack Black and Sean took a picture of Jack Black and me. I was really excited about that. The next day they had us up on a blog: Sean’s new Spanish girlfriend or something like that. So I tweeted: ‘I’m not dating Big Sean LOL.’ And then Sean got mad at me like, ‘You going to play me like that?’ I’m like, ‘but we’re friends!’