Sail Out - EP
Preceded by appearances on Big Sean's "Beware" as well as Drake's "From Time," Sail Out announces Jhene Aiko as a singer/rapper who's more than the sum of her guest spots, a vocalist who balances wit, sensuality, and vulnerability with the aplomb of forebears like Ciara and Aaliyah. She's joined by Childish Gambino on "Bed Peace," a nod to John and Yoko's 1969 Bed-Ins for Peace antiwar protest. On "Stay Ready (What a Life)" and "WTH," featuring TDE cohorts Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul, respectively, she wades through a haze of murky cloud-rap akin to sonic soulmate Drake's. With its piano sample and neon chorus, "The Worst" approaches pop accessibility, but its gloomy atmospherics point to a talent intent on achieving success on her own terms.