Jhené Aiko contemplates her “Ascension” with help from Brandy on a standout cut from her surprise album, Trip, which arrived without warning on Friday (Sept. 22).
Over a mellow instrumental, co-produced by Fisticuffs and Dot Da Genius, Penny reveals that she is on her way to heaven after losing herself once again. “Then you showed up and I got up,” she sings. “Yeah, sort of found my way again.” Later, she reveals that she’s confident she can make her “way out of this hell.”
The spiritual duet was a dream come true for Jhené, who grew up idolizing ’90s artists like Brandy. “She has the perfect voice,” she told Billboard, adding that Never Say Never is among her favorite albums.
— b r 🎤n d Y (@4everBrandy) September 22, 2017
thank you @4everBrandy for blessing me with your perfect vocals on Ascension! you are and will always be my favorite singer 😭
— Penny (@JheneAiko) September 26, 2017
Brandy returned the compliment. “Thank you @JheneAiko for sharing your light,” she tweeted. “What a great talent you are. #Ascension #Trip (Jhené Aiko’s masterpiece) is everywhere now!!”
Prior to dropping the project, Jhené said that Trip and its accompanying short film had been “inspired by every type of trip you could imagine” and that it was an autobiographical depiction of her grief following the 2012 death of her brother Miyagi.
Listen to “Ascension” below.