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Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Feb 12th, 2018

Jaden Smith: Syre

Jaden Smith
Syre
(ROC Nation LLC)

Being the son of mega star Will Smith can’t be easy. The genetic predisposition to make music was passed down to both Jaden Smith and his sister, Willow. I like him as a person, but liking someone’s personality wise has no bearing on my musical ear.

Smith is a rapper, singer, and songwriter. He enjoys what he does, but doesn’t rush the process. He has only dropped two mixtapes since his feature on Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never” in 2010, which went 5x platinum by the way.

Syre took three years to come to fruition. Production began in 2014, but the album wasn’t released until 2017. I didn’t know this until after I’d heard it, and it makes total sense. It’s conceptual, serene, and groovy. Smith even sings a little bit. It’s a great marriage of trap and consciousness. It’s also an anomaly of hip-hop and spoken word. Jaden is a poet in the coolest way possible. He finds ways to mesh his thoughts with hypnotic production. As I write this he has just reached 100 million streams, and it’s well deserved.

“Icon” is one of my favorite songs, and will probably be one of yours as well. Kanye West is one of his biggest influences, and this record makes that evident. On 808 hits he commands the beat and his word play rides it effortlessly. “Ninety” is sweet and smooth and he finds a way to sing but in conversation. It’s relatable and feels like a page from his diary. It’s vulnerable, but not sappy.

“Batman” is a sign of the times song. It’s a trap track, but holds significance. Lyrically he makes really powerful statements suggestively placed throughout the song. It challenges what his peers value and how society adds or takes away from it. Make sure you listen closely. “Breakfast” featuring Asap Rocky is a true testament to Smith’s ability to hold his own as a rapper stylistically. He’s in a class all by himself, and can hang right alongside the best of them. This album sounds like a journey in audio. He is honing his craft and making sure his father’s legacy is never used as a crutch. There’s a part B/ second album coming soon and I’m genuinely excited to hear what else he has in store. Smith has the ability to change and set trends in current hip-hop culture, and to push new artists to be as creative as possible.  Nice job, Jaden! Nice job!

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Jaden Smith: Syre