Jhené Aiko – Stay Ready (What a Life)

If you don’t know the name by now, listen out, as this girl is going to keep getting bigger. I heard this shortly after it dropped, giving it a listen purely for the Kendrick feature – I was late, I didn’t know who Miss Aiko was at the time – but not really giving it the time it deserved. Somehow, I dunno, a couple of weeks ago, I came across another of Jhené’s tracks – The Worst – and fell in love with her. I don’t want to detract from her musical ability, so I’ll get this out of the way now – she may be the most attractive woman I’ve ever seen. I mean that. For reference, here’s her Instagram – tell me I’m wrong?

But I digress. As soon as I heard The Worst, I went straight to Amazon and bought Sail Out, (£2.39!? I would say that’s a steal, but I despise that term, so I won’t.) which turned out to be one of the best purchases of this year so far – that was about two weeks ago now and it has been in constant rotation ever since.

Umm, all of that and I haven’t even mentioned the song in question yet. Yeah, it’s fire. For the hip-hop heads out there, obviously you’re going to go straight ot a Kendrick feature, and it doesn’t disappoint – he can do the hard hitting rap stuff such as m.A.A.d city, but I feel these more poetic verses from time to time. That’s the thing – the versatility he brings at an artist is (dare I say it?) understated; while most would argue that everyone overrates him, I genuinely don’t think you can – I expected it before I first heard him, when everyone was going mental about him, that tends to put me off an artist, but he hasn’t disappointed me yet – the recent remix of Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive is testament to his continuing quality. But yeah, the standout bars from him come at the conclusion of his feature.

The universe energy doesn’t lie
And this chemistry is infinity at a million times

I wrote a million rhymes describing your star power
And after 24 bars, you get 24 hours

They link to Rap Genius for anyone who cares, I’ve been waffling too much without attempting to explain them. Jhené. She’s fire throughout. Here voice is as perfect as any I’ve heard before; I’ve put her alongside Nate Dogg as my favourite vocalist already. The whole EP is fire, and while I prefer her on The Worst and 3:16am, this what what I felt writing about; it’s still near-perfection. While I’m not usually a fan of the whole two-songs-together thing, (does that have a technical name?) the segue between Stay Ready and What a Life just works – it feels together as one. It’s absolutely beautiful. The production from Fisticuffs works so well too, there’s genuinely nothing to dislike about this one.

Apologies – this became less of a review of the song, more of me talking about Kendrick Lamar’s recent career. If nothing else, I hope I’ve convinced you to give this song a listen – it’s absolutely phenomenal, and as we all know my taste in music is the greatest in the world, so you should definitely listen to me, and let me know what you think!


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