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October 31st, 2013
She was featured on the Drake track From Time on Nothing Was The Same. She just released a video featuring Childish Gambino. Her voice is reminiscent of Aaliyah and Cassie. But just who is this girl? Her name is Jhené Aiko. We have facts to get you all knowledged up to get yourself better acquainted with a new hip hop princess.
1. It’s pronounced Juh-nay Ah-E-ko
Her full name is Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo and she’s from Los Angeles.
2. She’s not actually cousins with Lil’ Fizz from B2K
They grew up together but the white lie made it easier for her to be memorable early in her career over ten years ago.
3. But if you watch old B2K videos, you just might catch a cameo!
You might also recognize a young Naya Rivera in this video macking on Omarion.
4. You might not know her, but everyone else does.
Jhené Aiko is going to release her debut EP Sail Out on November 12 and will feature guest appearances by Vince Staples, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar (on Stay Ready), Ab-Soul, Big Sean, and Wiz Khalifa (on Hit It Again).
5. Jhené is a lyrical genius
Get our your tissues. Her older brother Miyagi passed away from cancer but before he did, she wrote and recorded a song meant for him. If the lyrics don’t touch the bottom of your soul, I have no words.
6. Jhené has many alter egos, but the most prominent? J. Hennessy.
In an interview with RapUpTV, she reveals that she’s really into embodying her astrological sign (she’s a Pisces) and often adopts other personality traits on the hourly just like a regular Pisces. One of those personality types has a name and it’s “J. Hennessy” and her persona is a female rapper on the rise.
7. Speaking of Hennessy, it’s also her fave type of alcohol
Watch that interview with RapUpTV, it’s also tied to the name of her alter ego.
8. Jhené also is a mom!
R&B singer O’Ryan (and interestingly enough, he is Omarion’s brother) and Jhené gave birth to her daughter Namiko on November 19, 2008, when she was just 20. Man, Namiko is adorable!!!
9. She could probably consider herself a bit of a remix
Wikipedia tells us that, “She is of mixed race background—her mother is of Japanese, Spanish, and Dominican descent, while her father is of African American, Yaqui, Choctaw, Cherokee, Navajo, and German Jewish descent. She also has French ancestry.”
10. Jhené loves all the same artists you love.
Jhené loves Brandy, Aaliyah, and John Mayer. She told Teen Vogue, “I’ve always looked up to my older sisters, who sang in a group called Gyrl when I was younger. Then there’s Brandy—even as a six-year-old, I knew I loved her voice. As I got older and really fell in love with songwriting, John Mayer became one of my biggest inspirations. I can listen to him all day because I love how he tells his stories and the way he uses his words. People never expect that until I tell them—then it’s like, “Oh! I can see that.” I would love to do a collaboration with him.”
Can we suggest a cover of Gravity?
Watch Jhené spread the love with Childish Gambino in her video for Bed Peace here.
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