Ok, so the initial thoughts running through your mind probably involve the typical negative perceptions one normally has for children of the biggest stars on the planet, admittedly I was also sceptical about hearing Jaden Smith’s tracks, it’s easy to prejudge. However, following someone’s footsteps doesn’t necessarily mean you walk in them. The direction, pace and precision may be similar, but positioning is different, and in reality, it has to be, otherwise it really would be a case of living in your parents shadow.
This is exactly the case with the 16 year old rapping, acting, singing, dancing, and designing Jaden, son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Thanks to social media’s ever-growing relevancy in day-to-day life, young artists are able to target a specified audience in a fast paced industry that waits for no one. Although it’s still early days for Jaden, his progress is already evident since the release of his first mixtape “The Cool Café : Cool Tape Vol. 1” released in 2012, which as a project, made his potential, hunger and flexibility as an artist very clear for all avid listeners.
However, in the past couple of weeks, it’s become apparent that Jaden hasn’t been wasting away his youthful years as a washed up child star, in fact, amongst his movies, dancing and a clothing line named “MSFTS”, he really has been perfecting his rap skills. After releasing two completely different sounding singles, the experimental leisurely paced “Blue Ocean V19” and “Trophy V6” an unruffled East coast sounding beat with a sprinkle of that Cali magic fused with a flow impressive for any teenager, Jaden really has now taken the Hip Hop scene by storm with a 50 second verse he entitled “Fast”.
The delivery on this verse, in my opinion, is unexpected but incredible , and I’m sure the majority of reviewers would agree. It definitely leaves listeners wanting more of the same from Jaden, which they may be lucky enough to get, as the beginning of the video sees “The Pre-Existence” written by a crouching Jaden, perhaps hinting at the name of his upcoming mixtape? Although, his latest single released, “Melancholy”, may be appealing to an even wider audience, as it sees Jaden’s slowly paced and measured verses over a Pink Floyd classic, “Breathe”. He raps “Oh you rappin’ on this? I bet you thought you’d body this/You messin’ up a classic, how you did with The Karate Kid” With these lines, Jaden proves himself to have the mature, apathetic outlook towards critics so necessary to develop, he understands peoples perceptions of him, and is ready to prove them wrong.
“Man you guys are just some rich kids/ How dare you call yourself the MSFTS?”
Whatever your opinion on the Smith’s, it’s difficult to ignore the emerging talent of Jaden, and in all honesty, you have to respect it. Of course, he has access to a platform that few have, and people will automatically listen to him, however, that shouldn’t diminish his work ethic and hunger in any aspect of his career. Should Jaden carry on how he is, the culture will continue to shift, in a similar fashion to other up-and-coming unobtrusive yet outspoken artists in the game such as Joey Bada$$ are doing. Don’t sleep on Jaden Smith.