Jhene Aiko blessed the world with not one, but two visuals of her hypnotic “Never Call Me” track from her 2017 album, Trip. Unlike the “Hood” version — which showcases various cameos of Lauren London, Mila J, Nipsey Hussle, Dom Kennedy and others — the “Asian” version is more subtle and tells a story.
Enriched with Japanese culture, the visual shows Aiko as Izanami no mikoto, “a Shinto Goddess who specializes in creation and death.”
Refinery29 shared their conversation with Jhene and how her inspiration for the video was sparked by the various cultures within her. “I’m really big on drawing inspiration from the different cultures I’m mixed with… This is my interpretation of Izanami no mikoto,” Aiko said.
“The funeral is for a man I knew personally. A man who lost his way…” Jhene continued, adding that this video is truly for her ex as it portrays the death of that particular person. “A man who played the victim in a situation where he surely was not. A man who is a liar and cheater. A man who has lost his pride and integrity due to his deceptive ways and lack of understanding love. This funeral is the funeral for his ego. In this visual, I portray the goddess of creation and death, coming to collect his poor spirit and set it free.”
“Never Call Me” showcases Jhene in a different perspective as she performs customary dances and pays honor to the Japanese culture with makeup, large headwear and traditional garb.
The video, much deeper than the hood version, contains a vast amount of symbolism. Through the help of the Goddess of creation and death, Jhene successfully sends off her ex lover while regaining her mind, strength, and clarity. It is visually and aesthetically stunning.