Introducing TWENTY88. Big Sean and Jhené Aiko surprised fans with the announcement of their mysterious new duo. Now, the frequent collaborators are opening up about what listeners can expect from their joint venture in a cover story for Flaunt magazine‘s May issue.
“Music now doesn’t really cater to the feelings of a real relationship,” said the now-married Aiko, who rocks a killer orange wig in the shoot by photographer Christian Anwander. “It’s all about trapping and bragging. I feel like this project is something that’s needed right now…Especially a whole project, is just good for people to see. That duality is a perfect combination.”
The self-titled project has reportedly been in the works since summer 2015. The sound ranges from “turned up” to “melodic,” while remaining “cohesive,” according to Sean. Flaunt also reports that it combines ’90s R&B and ’70s experimental rock and soul, and includes a collaboration with K-Ci and JoJo “Two-Minute Warning.”
Sean Don, who sports a Balmain denim biker jacket on the cover, says it all came together organically. “It was usually just me, Jhené, and the engineer,” he explained. “I had a lot of the raw ideas, and she would build them up. But it was pretty natural and organic.”
TWENTY88, who get comfortable and close in their Flaunt shoot, have a long history together. They started out as friends and then shared a “fun” first date at a Los Angeles Lakers game in 2012. Since then, the duo has remained friendly, collaborating on tracks like “Beware” and “I Know.”
Fans should also expect a short film from the duo, one in which Sean and Jhené portray adult film stars. Perhaps the videos the duo teased on social media were a glimpse into that.
TWENTY88 will be available for download and streaming on April 1.