Jhené Aiko is never one to shy away from a creative execution for her videos. Though they may sometimes be a little too esoteric for our tastes, they're still cool. However, for those trying to keep score, the “Sativa” singer switches things up on us by creating not one but two visuals for the song “Never Call Me.” The first focuses on her Far East roots and the second celebrates her hometown of South Central, Los Angeles. While it seems strange that she would pick this specific track to celebrate her multicultural heritage, it’s actually a pretty nifty idea. Isn’t it after a break up that you seek comfort in things that are familiar and rediscover yourself?
“Never Call Me” finds Jhené giving an ex a piece of her mind. She savagely rips into him with such unsweet nothings such as, “Something, something, something must be really wrong with you / Why can't you just tell the f**kin' truth now? / Yes your mama did, she raised a fool, wow.” Ms. Aiko’s tale is woven on a tranquil bed of synths, bass and slightly distorted '90s R&B harmonies.
The first video for “Never Call Me” sees Jhené going on a spiritual journey. We watch as she gets ready for a ceremony, putting on her formal garb and face paint, along with hitting a few low-energy 8 counts with her attendants. We then follow the crew as they make their way through a garden and finally ride out to their final location. It turns out Jhené is dressed in all white on her way a funeral and we watch as a black mother grieve as she scatters her loved one's ashes.
For the second video, Jhené keeps it a little more down to earth. She takes it back to her Slauson Hills hood for a kickback with family and friends. Our girl takes a ride over to the swap meet to chill with her people, spends time with family and friends and gets some advice from the big homies. In between scenes of our girl giving us rap hands and body rolling, we also get some home video footage, along with cameos from her sister Mila J, Dom Kennedy, Hit-Boy, Jay 305 and Nipsey Hussle. This clip ends with some words of wisdom from Kurupt as he tells “Nay Nay” not to let these ni**as get her f**ked up. This version is a welcome surprise as this is a side of Ms. Aiko that she doesn’t necessarily hide but rarely shows.
“Never Call Me” is the latest single from Jhene’s sophomore album, TRIP. The album uses drug metaphors to describe the ups and downs of a love affair. “Never Call Me” is a definitely one of the standout tracks from the ambitious project. Watch both videos, and let us know if you prefer the high concept Japanese-inspired clip or the flavor of the West Coast OG version.