Jhené Aiko’s “W.A.Y.S.” Lyrics Meaning

Unfortunately, Jhené Aiko lost an older brother, whose name was Miyagi, back in the days before she became a music star. And the logical implication heading into this song (“W.A.Y.S.”), even before getting to the point where she is more or less referenced in the second verse, is that he was at least part of the inspiration behind the creation of this tune. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Jhené Aiko's W.A.Y.S. at Lyrics.org.

And the reason being is that not too long after its release, Jhené actually founded an NGO called the WAYS Foundation. The ‘WAYS’ is capitalized because it is an acronym, which stands for “why aren’t you smiling?” And as we can see in the lyrics, said phrase is featured prominently in the chorus, i.e. being what the title of this song is also based on.

So it wouldn’t be far-fetched to postulate that the “angel” who comes to visit the vocalist in the first verse is a roundabout shoutout to Miyagi. And said entity arrives to basically give the singer a message of encouragement, which is “you better keep going”. And the bridge expounds on what such an admonishment means to Jhené personally based on her own experiences, broken down to a few fundamental ideas.

First would be “everything takes time”, which is seemingly her way of saying that there’s really no such thing as instant success. And in the process of striving for this goal, a person should not only be humble but also a tad bit crazy, perhaps we can say mad enough to believe such is attainable in the first place. 

Also, she advises us listeners “to trust the signs”. And that’s a statement that can be interpreted in a variety of ways, considering for instance that the songstress apparently utilizes numerology earlier in the song.

In Conclusion

And by the time we get around to the actual chorus, things get really esoteric, if you will. But going back to the titular notion, what all of this boils down to is Jhené saying something like life is meant to be taken in stride. You know what she’s saying? There’s only so much control we have over it anyway. Therefore, it’s more important to adopt a proper, patient mindframe as opposed to trying to force something to happen per se. 

And the overall implication, going back to the angel metaphor and all, is that this is something she learned via her brother.

Lyrics to Jhené Aiko's "W.A.Y.S."

Quick Facts about “W.A.Y.S.”

This track is from Jhené Aiko’s debut LP, 2014’s Souled Out. Both “W.A.Y.S.” and “Souled Out” are products of ARTium Records and its business partner, Def Jam Records. 

The writers of the song are Jhené alongside the below named writers:

  • Clams Casino
  • Thundercat
  • Mac Robinson
  • Brain Warfield

And the latter two artists, who collectively are known as The Fisticuffs, also produced the track.

This song is the second track on the playlist of the aforementioned album. However, it was not amongst the three singles issued from it. And said singles are as follows:

  • To Love & Die
  • The Pressure 
  • Spotless Mind

1 Response

  1. n says:

    This is truly a bomb a-s song !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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