‘A love letter to the world’ -Jaden Smith
Never one to shy away from the socially conscious, Jaden has always been ready to step out of the name of his famous father’s footstep and pursue music, fashion and culture in a way that pushes boundaries and consequentially garners attention
After three years in the making, the highly anticipated Debut album ‘Syre’ has officially been released on Itunes under the artist’s own MSFTS Music/Roc Nation label .The title of the Album derives from Jaden’s middle name immediately highlighting his personal connection with the album. The featuring of family relatives on ‘Syre’ deepen this personal bond, with his younger sister Willow, and girlfriend Odessa Adlon showcasing their vocals.
‘Syre’ is seventy minutes long consisting of seventeen songs drawing inspiration from Kanye West’s ‘The Life of Pablo’ and Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’. Other sources include A$AP Rocky and Raury who made guest appearances on songs such as ‘Breakfast’.
Jaden’s ‘Syre’ pressures listeners to think about the complexities of life and his own struggles of being an “Icon Living.” In an interview with Complex, Jaden discussed the immoralities that humans are subjected to: “we’re trying to get that one world vision, where everybody can be in a world where there aren’t 16,000 children dying of malnutrition every day.”
This noble pursuit should not be overshadowed because of his age and family privilege. In truth, it is a pursuit that defines his character and future ambitions. Jaden’s parents Jada Pinkett and Will Smith have encouraged their son’s creative flair but not created it. Jaden is his own individual whose maturity is evident throughout the entirety of the album. It was Jaden’s decision to dedicate three years to mastering the album and specifically the song ‘Blue’ which shows Jaden’s meticulous craftsmanship and understanding of his audience.
New age thinking and apocalyptic rhetoric take centrality in ‘Syre’. From its opening moment, Jaden raps about the biblical story of creation, referencing the myth of Icarus, shaming corrupt police selling “crap,” and the misery of the over-rated club culture.
The opener, “B,” is part-one of the four-part song “BLUE.” In this song, Willow recites a sermon about the creation of man and the powers of Nyquil. Xylophone plinks meet church choruses, exploding electric guitars, and finally colossal bass drums.
However, like good art people will find flaws. The major flaws that have been criticised by fans is his lyrics,which at times appear thoughtless.“Hope,” is one of the most memorable; Jaden endorses conspiracies of 9/11 and recklessy raps : “Look, Fahrenheit 451/building seven wasn’t hit and there’s more shit to come/The Pentagon is on a run.” This carelessness is genuinley upsetting to victims and their families. An unecessary component that occassionaly appears on the album.
A Love Letter To The World - Jaden Smith
Syre’s second half begins with a slower pace, “Ninety” and “Lost Boy” allow listeners time for their thoughts to cultivate which is essential to the overall experience of Jaden’s album.
These songs bring about a different side of Jaden; one that’s quite similar to Frank Ocean’s signature progressive R&B sound. On “Ninety,” we become immersed into Jaden’s world. He raps about his fear of death, a thought process shared by many other young adults his age grappling with mortality: “I don’t wanna die, I don’t wanna live a lie / I don’t know wanna know / You could be my bride, you could let me / Come inside / You could be my home / I don’t wanna die, I don’t wanna fantasize / I don’t wanna go.” Jaden abruptly closes off his soft side and moves on to his next song “Batman” which reveals his versatility and youth with pop culture references.
The beat of the song is reminiscent of Drakes ‘Jump man’, and the visuals are certainly compelling. The violet and dark hues fit accordingly with melancholia that is present within the song which creates a stark contrast to the bright white of the Batman suit that Jaden wears. As always, Jaden’s fashion for clothing finds a way to make an appearance and this time he really nailed it.
Overall, the album ‘SYRE’ is arguably Jaden’s best work to date. Although this does not mean it was perfect, but as an audience we should be appreciating what he’s working on as it’s proving all experience for Jaden as every song keeps getting better with age. He is proving himself to be a rapper, despite constantly being stereotyped as the rich kid of famous parents. Jaden stands out as an individual with huge potential that is clearly still in the process of being moulded.
Immerse yourself in the mind of Jaden Smith and listen to ‘SYRE’ below: