PREMIERE: Watch Jhené Aiko's "Eternal Sunshine" Video

The dramatic video relives a car crash and adds depth to the 'Souled Out' highlight.

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Apr 6 2015, 1:51pm


Screenshot via YouTube

In one expertly tossed punchline on Omarion's "Post to Be"—"I might let your boy chauffeur me / but he gotta eat the booty like groceries"—Jhené Aiko went from being R&B's resident whispery forest nymph to the chillest person in the genre this spring. One cheeky trip to Whole Foods, and not only did she steal the show on a song that is rapidly becoming the hit of the season—40 million YouTube views and counting!—she also rounded out her repertoire in a great and necessary way.

All of this may seem like a weird way to introduce a video about a car crash, but bear with me. Because, see, now that Jhené Aiko is certified supremely chill, it's the perfect time to revisit the overall Jhené oeuvre, to consider the depth of a song like "Eternal Sunshine," which, with its hook of "all of the good things, good things," might strike some people as frustratingly vague. This is Jhené's moment.

So let's zoom out and add some context: In 2012, Jhené's brother Miyagi died of cancer, and, in 2013, she was in a car crash along with her daughter Namiko, sister Miyoko and Namiko's father O'Ryan. The "Eternal Sunshine" video, directed by Jay Ahn, takes both of these stories and places them in the context of this song (as they obviously were meant to be, despite idiots like me not getting that), showing a dramatic still shot of Jhené's face as the background zooms out to reveal the aftermath of a crash interspersed with nostalgic childhood shots and clips that explain the crash we see.

And what do you know: Suddenly this spare, Key Wane-produced song that at first glance may have seemed like a simple feel-good piano ballad is full of devastating emotional depth. It's a striking, moving, disarming video, and it affirms Jhené's supremely calm, spiritual approach to pretty much everything. We're now there flying kites with her and her brother, we're in the passenger seat riding along with her and her daughter, and we're a little more clued in to "all of the good things" than we were when those good things were just our own shallow observations about life.

Think about the good things in your life! Remember your own childhood! Think of your own parents! Play this song, watch this video, and give your loved ones a call. It's all gonna be OK.

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