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Tarantino's Thoughts:

 

So I am excited, and it may be for a number of reasons. Partially because if you've known anything about me in the past you'd understand that Tarantino's Thoughts is officially back thanks to Plug Society; much love! In all honesty though, I feel like Hip-hop was just blessed with a beautiful piece of work, from none other than the new duo (doesn't even feel real typing this ) TWENTY88--consisting of Big Sean and Jhene Aiko.  Now I can't lie, maybe I've been living under a rock recently, or the trailer that was dropped by Big Sean via Twitter days before the album release, was really the first time the world--outside of the circle of record execs and friends maybe--learned of the duo (thankfully it was).  Again as anticipation mounted, I prepared myself for a new song from the two.  No longer than days later—two to be exact--the duo announces the collaborative efforts as not a song, but an album (makes perfect sense).   

 

April 1st no joke involved, I not only had the self-titled debut album from TWENTY88, but I personally had an extended subscription courtesy of TIDAL, to tune in (We were blessed new subscribers).  Ironically enough, I catch the two performing their lead single "Selfish" on Jimmy Kimmel minutes before the album dropped, assuming this had to mean something special.  

The album opens up with the pair sharing stories of "Deja Vu"; Sean painting pictures with a skilled flow, expressing feelings of remorse for losing a past lover, stating:

 

"whoa it's been 3 years, I can't believe that shit is crazy … I'm tryna recycle the time you been wasting ...".

 

Ending his verse looking back on the ever so cliche, but the frequent statement: "The best sex is still you".  The mellow hook almost tells us every story of any past relationship involving an ex-lover.  Jhene effortlessly flows from hook to verse with her side of the narrative, flipping the script on what seems to be a real life lovers quarrel with Sean; firing back--"Cause I stuck around for ya, when ya ass wasn't doing shit but running round the 'D' wrapping nothing but them muthafuck** swisher sweets"...--holding her own, painting vivid pictures adding "Imma' come through with that action, then leave you on the mattress" (damn). 

 

 

A match made in musical heaven; the pair resembles scorn, but yet, meant-to-be lovers, through the emotionally filled album.  Taking us through the waves of pain and pleasure; caught up in Sean's "Selfish" ways, Jhene expresses her unbelief through sultry song, and endless phone ringing--assisted by the mellow production of Da Internz.  Spilling over into the classic "make-up", and ever so frequent, "On The Way" calls--Sean quickly realizes: "I can't lie, that ass is on my mind ya know, I swear that pussy like that, hard to find ya know.."--both mutually agreeing; going back and forth, with lyrics of lustful imagery, anticipating the others arrival.  As the pace slows over trap kicks, and screwed up samples; Jhene introduces her imagination by way of "Push It", with a list of sensual wants and demands that even Sean can't deny, declaring : "Cancel all your other plans off, Imma' play this Johnny Gill, Vandross …  and you gon' use that mouth to take these pants off".   

Making way to the "2-minute warning", things between the duo begin to climax as passion ensues.  

 

"This a two-minute warning, and I know that you want me … This a two-minute warning, and I know that you're horny"--

 

Jhene Aiko declares in rare (but graceful) form, assisted by none other than K-Ci & JoJo vocals--creating an official baby maker for sure.  As the album nears its' end, reality starts to kick in as the pair feel the need to seek guidance and open up about their obvious issues--Maury style--via "Talk Show". Jhene discloses her sentiments in pure; soft—1:57 secs into the song, contemptuously—spoken, poetic form; complemented by flute instrumentation. Easily making it one of my favorite songs by means of concept alone.  Sean then gives us his side of the story--explaining his actions via emotionally driven, thought provoking lines, that any man who has ever been in a relationship can relate to. 

Almost as if the duo ended up right where they started. TWENTY88 sing of faded memories, and "Memories Faded", as the once break-up to make-up couple reminisce about old times. Sean and Jhene respectively give their opinion of each others' new found interests, stating: "Even though you got a man the pussy mine for sure "... "And if you over there just know I'm going at em, and if that Bitch there, Imma' hit her in the face"--unapologetic in reason.  Undoubtedly still in love, TWENTY88 closes their poetic story with an ode to "London Bridge" falling down, paralleling to their uncanny love affair, if it were to end. As if the album were a movie, I myself get sucked into a point--where I just want these two fictitious romantics to live happily ever after--in order to avoid such a "Historical disaster" over elegant synths and angelic violin melodies.

Start to finish, TWENTY88 is nothing short of excellent.  Never once overshadowed by great production—the songwriting is just way too good for that (props to both artist)--the duo delivers a solid project that almost makes me hope for a part II (Yeah I know … I'll be grateful and make it last … for now).  Both bringing out the best in each other, with a natural chemistry that almost makes it feel real.  I must say, this was much needed in a time where most cater to the trap and less to the soul. TWENTY88 meets right in the middle affecting every human emotion. So if you haven't heard it yet-- because maybe you just don't have some form of communication device … is that even possible? (not if you're reading this) , –check it out via stream on TIDAL and/or purchase it on iTunes.

Peace and Love,
N.Tarantino
(Darnell Schoolfield)

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