For the 20 track album, Aiko collaborated with Big Sean, H. She made this album to be very personal, and used a variety of healing sounds and lyrics to tell her stories. Aiko described the album as having beats that are beautiful, confident and graceful. She uses the instruments of crystal sound bowls in most of her songs. Aiko is known for using sounds like these that are utilized in meditation. Many of these songs are incredibly therapeutic to listen to, which makes sens, as Aiko turned her pain and frustrations into art with the goal of offering a healing process with the album.
At the time, she was known as B2K member Lil' Fizz's "cousin", though she is not actually related to him. It was used as a marketing tool, suggested by Sony and Epic Records, to promote Aiko through B2K and attract an audience. In March , Aiko made her return to music with the release of her first full-length project, a mixtape titled Sailing Soul s. Aiko released her major-label debut album, Souled Out, on September 9, On September 22, , she released her second studio album Trip.
Recorded as a freestyle in Hawaii , the album was inspired by the island's natural landscape and features traditional singing bowls to create a tranquil effect. In order to create her desired sound, Aiko served as the album's executive producer, enlisting the help of long time collaborators Fisticuffs and Lejkeys, who produced eighteen of the album's songs. Two years after the release of her second studio album Trip , Aiko announced she had begun work on the follow up album.
The album was released without prior announcement, supported by the lead single "While We're Young". In September , Aiko released her debut album, Souled Out , which was met with critical success. In , Aiko collaborated with American rapper Big Sean for the 8-track album Twenty88 as a duo under the same name. Trip was originally announced in under the name TRIP 17 , creating anticipation with non-album singles such as "Maniac", "First Fuck" with 6lack , and "Hello Ego" with Chris Brown between throughout early and mid Describing the album's conception, Aiko stated that she wanted to create an album to showcase all of her personalities and express these. The album was inspired by different kinds of trips Aiko has experienced including mental, physical, and psychedelic. A minute autobiographical film titled after the album was released a day before Trip on September 21, , co-directed by Aiko. The second single, a remix of "Sativa" featuring Rae Sremmurd , was released on January 22, Trey Alston of HipHopDX believed the album to be "a moody yet breezy continuation of [Aiko's] established aesthetic that ultimately lacks growth of her musical capabilities".