I think we all know people or have been people who go back and forth with one person or another. While it can be frustrating for friends and family to watch, there’s something about the person you just can’t leave alone. It’s a tale as old as time. But with celebrity being what it is and the advent of social media, now we get to watch it play out in the lives of our favorite musical artists.
I’m talking about singer Jhene Aiko and Detroit rapper Big Sean. Rumors of their relationship began to swirl in 2016 and was later confirmed on social media. And things were intense. They had an album together, he was defending her against loud and rude fans, she tattooed a huge image of his face on her arm to celebrate her divorce. I think it’s fair to say it was a whirlwind. But by the next year, she’d covered it up. Then, as far as social media was concerned the final nail in the coffin came when she released the song “Triggered,” which many interpreted as a diss track. She would share that she was expressing her feelings during a moment in time and it wasn’t what people made it out to be.
Now, present day, the two are still seen out and about with one another. They were most recently spotted in Disneyland on Valentine’s Day looking too much like a couple in matching Mickey Mouse sweatshirts.
But during a recent sit down with ESSENCE, in promotion of her new album Chilombo Aiko was quick to clarify that she and Sean are friends. Whether folks believe that or not is another story. But here’s what she had to say.
“The internet has made everyone aware of their opinion,” the empath explained when asked about her smart social media boundary. “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.”
While Aiko hasn’t been shy about sharing images of Sean and herself in Hawaii, at Diddy’s 50th birthday party, at the Roc Nation brunch, the ability to comment or share our opinions about their relationship has been removed. The most you can do is like it.
“Whether it be something with me and Sean, or me and my daughter, [11-year-old Namiko], 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.”
“I share about one percent of my whole being with the internet. in my songs, that’s literally one moment that I’m talking about or when I felt that way. There’s so much more to my relationship with my [late] brother [Miyagi], or with my daughter, or with Sean. People hear a song like ‘Triggered’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, do we hate him now?’ In the grand scheme of things that was like a moment.”
When asked how Big Sean interpreted “Triggered,” when he heard it, Jhene said, ““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% about you. 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.’”
Lord knows there are a couple of fraught relationships that could have sparked those feelings, including her two-year- marriage to producer Dot Da Genius.
“We never moved in together. That’s why when people were like, ‘Oh, you left your husband.’ I’m like, honestly, Sean is more of a husband as my friend. I didn’t really know him…I found out he had a girlfriend the whole time. It was crazy.”
With all of that in mind, it’s good to know that she has Sean in her life, whatever role(s) he may be serving these days.
You can read Jhene’s full interview, here.