Video Review: Saweetie & Jhené Aiko “Back To The Streets”

A 16-year-old young woman fluffs her 13-year-old sister’s hair in the family room. Her friend braids her doll in her lap. The doorbell rings and the 17-year-old young woman sitting on the floor and looks up from her textbook. She opens the door. A 13-year-old boy asks her. “your mother home?”  She says no and shuts the door. Her 13-year-old sister asks, “what did you do that for?” She responds “’cause he’s from the streets.” The 16-year-old young woman side-eyes her and tells her, “Girl, what do you know about the streets?”

The 13-year-old girl and boy ride their bicycles around the neighborhood. Saweetie and the twentysomething man ride their bicycles on the same road. She and her friends ride up into the lavender clouds and bubblegum pink sky. They bike towards the Beauty Supply store.

Saweetie, wearing a heart-shaped bra top and ultra low-rise jeans, sits a piece of cloud inside the cart as her friends walk down the wig aisle. A lavender drop falls into pool of water. She sits on a couch and rubs her thigh against the copper background. A second twentysomething man crawls to her. She pours herself a glass of Jack Daniel’s and drinks it.

Another drop of water falls on a leaf. Jhené Aiko, wearing a sky blue top and pants, sits on raised chair in a garden. Saweetie, wearing a butterfly outfit, dances. Two young women, sitting on a ladder, are in between both of them. Back on the bicycle, she films a story of herself for Instagram at night. In the garden, she holds a parasol made of petals and branches. Wearing a royal blue mink wrap and matching dress, she walks her dog on the street.

Rating: 5/5

Saweetie, in a royal blue gown, pats her dog as she takes it for a walk. She gazes at the clouds and tells her dog that’s where they will be soon. Growing up, she had lived in the neighborhood. Her first older sister had moved out first. She had gone on to college and tried to get her move with her to the city. However, her second oldest sister had disappeared and she didn’t want to leave.

Her childhood friend, a young man she’d known she was since 13, had an idea where she might be. He told her she had to trust him. As they flew into the sky, she held onto his arm and told him she wanted to go back home. He told her it’ll be okay. As they walked on the clouds, she spotted her sister and gave her a hug. Her second oldest sister says she’s been waiting for her.

Up in the clouds, she and her second oldest sister catch up as they walk in the garden. She introduces her to Jhené Aiko, who tends to the flowers. One of the flowers waves at her. Her second oldest sister says she was a flower for awhile. Aiko holds her hand and assures she’ll be taken care of and if she wants to be human again, the process can start over again. She thinks of her oldest sister and how she seemed to keep herself busy with work. They didn’t talk much anymore. However, in the clouds, she had a family again. She says she wants to stay. Aiko says she’ll still have have the ability to visit family below. However, she’ll be someone else. Saweetie says she agrees to it. Aiko smiles and welcomes her to the sky.

Director: Daniel Russell Year: 2020

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit & 45 Magazine.