Just one day after unveiling her emotional short film Trip, Jhené Aiko releases a 3-minute long “M.A.P.” mission statement to fans.
Speaking directly to supporters, Aiko introduces us to her nickname Penny (“Penny is me in my purest, most authentic form”) and explains how the 2012 death of her brother Miyagi due to an inoperable brain tumor impacted her deeply, sending her on a series of physical, emotional, and mental, drug-induced trips to find herself.
“My brother and I were very close. We were only two years apart,” she reveals. “I never thought of him as a separate person, but an extension of myself. He was my reflection. In his presence I was confident and always so sure. I was Penny.”
After keeping a record of her experiences in various notebooks throughout the years, Aiko says that she’s turned those pages into a map, movie, poetry book, and album, which some believe will be titled M.A.P.
“This map was made by me, for me, but I feel obligated to share because I know that I am not alone in my suffering,” she says, explaining that she hopes to inspire others to be more honest, empathetic, compassionate, and “more present in the lives of the people they love.”
Yesterday’s Trip appears to be the movie that was inspired by those notebooks. It was a cinematic representation of her journey with grief, following her brother’s passing.
The “M.A.P.” leads to Jhené’s new album, the follow-up to 2014’s Souled Out, which is due at some point this year.
“I would say that it is way more than music and way more than anything I’ve ever done before,” she told Billboard. “I’ve been working on it for a few years now, since I put out my mixtape, so I think people will just appreciate all of the effort, work, and time that I put into it. I really like to take my time and make sure that it’s a true representation of me and what I’ve been through. It’s way more than music. It’s like an art project that I’ve been working on that I can’t wait to share.”