“Shortly before I conceived my daughter, I stepped back into the field and took a meeting with a label head . In this meeting, I was innocently told, to ‘sell’ myself when walking into these meetings.

“That’s when I decided I would ‘sail’ myself rather than sell myself.”

If Jhene Aiko is a name you haven’t heard before, jump on YouTube and search for “He Couldn’t Kiss” or “Gonna Love You Anyway” which featured on B2K – The Remixes and you might remember her.

She’s just dropped an impressive mixtape called Sailing Soul(s), featuring collaborations with Drake, Miguel, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Gucci Mane,. Throughout the 13-track collection, Jhene showcases her soft, sweet vocals, her emotional growth and how far her voice has developed since the B2K days.

All songs were written by Jhene, except “July” and is mostly produced by Fisticuffs, except “July” and “You vs Them” (produced by Bei Maejor), “Real Now” (produced by Roosevelt), “Do Better” (produced by J. Lbs), and “Growing Apart” (produced by Tae Beats).

Sailing Souls begins with an eight-second sped up, reversed intro then kicks into the epic sounding “Stranger” with the song painting a picture of a woman going through similar issues of the heart, but seemingly with different men; I think we may be, in a different book, on a different page, you said you are different, but you’re the same, stranger….

“Ho” features production from Fisticuffs, with that steady drum beat, vocals on the hook by Miguel and a verse by Gucci Mane. Don’t let the title of the song fool you, the song is full of seduction, with a conversation between Miguel; “I hope she don’t think that I think that she some kind of ho. I don’t care, that just let me know that, she knows what she wants” and Jhene; “Don’t be sacred of my aggression, just don’t get the wrong impression.”

If you thought Jhene was simply a softly-spoken R&B singer check the stutter talking, displaying attitude you might not associate with Jhene.

Jhene Aiko ft. Miguel – “Ho”:

Not a stranger to mixtapes, Drake co signs with a smooth feature on “July”, with a lighter feel on production and a simple, repetitive piano chord. I could gush about the entire CD track-by-track but a mention has to go to “Sailing NOT selling,” featuring an emotional verse from Kanye West, where they attack a hot topic in music right now.

“Playing the game for the fame in the end, but what do you gain when you’re paying to win, you don’t, you better keep your soul, set sail or get sold.” I’ll leave you to figure out what that’s about..

Jhene Aiko ft. Kanye West – “Sailing not Selling”:

As R&B mixtapes go, this has to be one of the freshest out in a long time, especially considering there have been a constant flow from male rappers. The tracks are predominantly chilled out, the production is on point from start to finish and as well as the collaborations from the big dogs, there are also solid features from little known rappers HOPE, Roosevelt and Lite.

Basically, you can download it here. And thank me later.