Last year, Jhené Aiko released her single "Triggered (Freestyle)" where she aired out her frustrations about a breakup.
Their newly rekindled romance has placed them back in the ranks of adorable hip hop couples, but in the Spring of 2019, Jhené Aiko poured out her heart on her single "Triggered (Freestyle)." The R&B singer shared her frustrations, sorrow, and anger with a former lover—a person that fans believed to be her then-ex Big Sean. In a recent interview with Essence, Jhené shared that her breakup with Sean did inspire the song, but added that the track in its entirety wasn't about him.
Neilson Barnard / Staff / Getty Images
Jhené shared what it was like when she first played the track for Sean. “He was just like, ‘Wow, I’m not your friend.’ I was like, ‘Well, I was feeling that in the moment. This is just a song. This is not 100 percent about you,'” said Jhené. “Those are the things that I may feel, and I know that they are irrational and coming from just an angry emotional place, but that’s what’s so beautiful about art is that you can just throw paint on a blank canvas, and do something crazy and that’s your release. You didn’t hurt anyone, you know? I feel like, especially because we have a personal relationship, and a true friendship, that’s why I could play it for him, and be like, ‘Yeah, sorry. I kind of went really hard, but don’t think that this is a personal letter to you.'”
Elsewhere in the interview, Jhené spoke about creating personal boundaries on social media, especially in a culture where everyone feels entitled to be in each other's businesses. “The internet has made everyone aware of their opinion,” Jhené said. “As many people as there are in the world, that’s how many opinions there are. If you let that many opinions affect your own opinion, and your own way of looking at things, you’re going to be so confused.”
She added, “Whether it be something with me and Sean, or me and my daughter... I just love the feeling of taking that away from people; their need to have to say something or have to give their opinion because I personally have never been that way—well maybe when I was younger, or high or drunk.” If you haven't listened to "Triggered (Freestyle)" yet, you can check it out below. Jhené's forthcoming album CHILOMBO arrives March 6.