Born to a musical family, she received musical training since she was and started her career as an associate of B2K in the 2000s, but temporarily quit the industry in order to focus on her education.
She made her return to music in 2011 with the release of her first full-length project written entirely by her, an R&B mixtape titled "Sailing Soul(s)", which featured appearances from Kanye West, Miguel, and Drake, Gucci Mane and Kendrick Lamar. In 2013, she featured on platinum hits by Big Sean ("Beware") and Drake ("From Time") and she released her debut EP "Sail Out" and scored her first two platinum hits as a headliner with "Bed Peace" (also featuring Childish Gambino) and "The Worst". In 2014 she released her debut album "Souled Out" to commercial and critical success and received 3 Grammy nominations in 2015.
Since then she has been one of Contemporary R&B's most prominent artists, having a large number of features for several artists and releasing multiple albums of her own.
- Sailing Soul(s) (Mixtape) (2011)
- Sail Out (EP) (2013)
- Souled Out (2014)
- Trip (2017)
- Twenty88 (Album with Big Sean) (2018)
- Chilombo (2020)
- Advertised Extra: Her appearance on "Drunk Texting" by Chris Brown is essentially backing vocals, although she gets a proper feature credit. Happens once again on "Win Some, Lose Some" by Big Sean.
- Advertising by Association: At the start of her career as a B2K member, Sony and Epic Records advertized her as Lil' Fizz's cousin, despite her having no actual relation to him, with the whole thing simply being a marketing plot to promote her. Although it's worth noting that she has said that she does consider him and the other band members as close as family.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: "The Worst" is about this, where she is in love with a man that people tell her isn't right for her.
- Auto-Tune: Usually avoided, although she did use it for her guest appearance on Omarion and Chris Brown's "Posed To Be".
- Boastful Rap: Her verse on the remix of "My Type" by Saweetie has her rapping about her prefered type of men and her own sexual abilities.
- Break-Up Song: Has several of these. "Triggered Freestyle", "Ten Thousand Hours", "None Of Your Concern" are just a few examples.
- The Cameo: Her family, including her older sister R&B singer Mila J, appear in the video for "H.O.E. (Happiness Over Everything)".
- Colbert Bump: Got one by Drake by including her on "From Time".
- Intercourse with You: Has several songs about this. "Come On", "Pu$$y Ferry", "On The Way", "Bed Piece", "Stay Ready" are just a few examples.
- The Masochism Tango: "The Worst" which has her singing about falling in love with a toxic partner, which she can't bring herself to leave despite knowing he's bad for her.
- Obligatory Bondage Song: "Maniac" is about an insatiable nymphomaniac that got stuck in an asylum due to her sexual prowess. The restraints used in the asylum all resemble bondage fetish gear.
- Self-Titled Album: Not played completely straight, since Chilombo isn't her first name.
- Shout-Out: "Bed Peace" is directly inspired by John Lennon & Yoko Ono "Bed-Ins for Peace" protest against the Vietnam War. Many shots in the music video pay direct homage to it, with Jhené and Childish Gambino also adopting similar poses the couple made during the protest.
- Mila J's verse on "On The Way" has the line "Tell your friends Tinker Bell fucked your brains out".
- Singer Namedrop: Her and Wiz Khalifa do this on "Down Again". ("I'm Khalifa. Nice to meet you, I'm Jhene").
- Singer-Songwriter: Most of her songs are both written and sung by her.
- Studio Chatter: At the beginning of "Overstimulated". "Is this thing on? Reverse effect."
- At the beginning of "Ten Thousand Hours": "Yeah, One, two, check, Check, one, two".
- Video Full of Film Clips: The music video for the Raya and the Last Dragon song "Lead the Way" features several clips of the film.
- What Could Have Been: She was set to release her debut album "My Name Is Jhené" in 2003, but the album never got released due to problems between her and the label, which led to her quitting the industry for a couple of years.