TWENTY88 is made up of two moderate hitters.
As opposed to HEAVY hitters because I always strive to keep it real.
Jhene Aiko (The Worst) and Big Sean (Dance, Fire) have joined forces to deliver a collaboration that have left some scratching their heads.
They want us to believe this isn’t so odd because they had previously recorded ‘Beware’ and ‘I Know’ together but … let me explain myself.
There have been a number of great collaborations in hip hop and R&B music – from Deborah Cox & R.L, Toni Braxton & Babyface, Keyshia Cole & Lil’ Wayne, Jay-Z & R.Kelly – this list could literally go on forever. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone should sit down and record an entire album together.
And I use the term album loosely, as TWENTY88 has given us an 8-track offering and referring to that as an album is very giving … this is essentially a glorified EP.
Anyhoo, the last thing this world needs is another Jay-Z / R. Kelly ‘Best of Both Worlds’ album. Now don’t get me wrong … that album had some legit bangers –
All EARS on ‘Get This Money’ …
– but as a whole, ‘Best of Both Worlds’ was a lazy effort to capitalize on THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS / R&B and rap. Really lame. I mean … how repetitive is EVERY song?
Now while not repetitive, TWENTY88 misses the mark. I had high hopes because I absolutely LOVE Jhene and I thoroughly enjoy Big Sean; and I love concept albums. When you have a body of work that has a unified theme like TWENTY88 does (relationships and love) I can’t help but enjoy that. I like when music can take you on a ride. However – while along for the ride, halfway through this one I want to get off. That’s not to say that this effort is a complete bust though. Like any compilation of music, there are high and low notes.
Hmm. Notes. No pun intended, but I like where that went.
Deja Vu, Selfish, On The Way, and Push It are bonafide smashes. The first three could absolutely serve as singles. They feature beats that are super catchy with slick production. While Push It isn’t a single in my eyes, it’s solid. PLEASE take a look at Selfish and On The Way.
Please, please. MY GOODNESS. SO GOOD.
Two Minute Warning comes to us featuring Detail and K-Ci & JoJo. This is a decent song, but it sounds to me as one of those ‘filler’ type songs that doesn’t get released as a legit single because it’s too explicit. Either way, give this one a listen. If you’re a fan of genuine, new-age R&B you won’t be disappointed. Keeping with that theme, London Bridge is another solid offering even if it doesn’t quite qualify as a single. The vibe of it is laid back and chill – and the lyrics are solid too.
‘I don’t mean to sound hysterical, but baby if you left it’ll be a historical disaster. The kids will sing about it like the London Bridge is falling down.’
Love it. Haven’t we all felt that way at some point?
As for Talk Show and Memories Faded? Eh.
You know what? Not eh.
Talk Show is damn near unlistenable. As a matter of fact … it isn’t damn near. IT IS unlistenable. I have yet to get to the end of this track. It is completely annoying and I don’t even understand who made the decision to include it on this glorified EP. As far as I’m concerned, this entire track should have been SCRAPPED I just hate it so much. Memories Faded is legitimately just a song added for funsies and barely qualifies as album filler and that brings me to my next point.
TWENTY88 is full of hits and misses – so did this really warrant an ‘album’?
I have been very vocal about how I don’t think this should have been an album. This is an EP at best and because we can easily knock two songs off of it, we have a problem. I honestly think that Jhene and Big should have worked on this more or just split it up and present two songs each on their upcoming albums.
Since the strongest songs only tally four …
Let her have two and you can have two and we call it a day – or scrap some of the dead weight and record four new tracks to bring us to ten and let that be the TWENTY88 album.
See … I believe that the purpose and point behind a joint effort like this should be that the other individual(s) involved should push the other to become better at what they do. Us as listeners should expect something on a higher level than what we get from their solo projects, no? If Beyonce and Lady Gaga took the next step and recorded an album together – wouldn’t you expect greatness?
I rest my case.
With that being said, I would still say there is reason enough to check out this EP. Got TIDAL or Spotify? Stream it there. The album was available exclusively on TIDAL on April 1st but as of April 5th TWENTY88 is available everywhere. You won’t be disappointed with the tracks I recommended – I just think the powers that be should have taken a shade more time with this project to make it everything it should have been.