Jaden Smith has been in the family business since he was five years old. He starred in The Karate Kid when he was 11. He released his first mixtape when he was 14. So, he’s attempting to be a Rapper Slash Actor, just like his dad. Last night, Jaden released a new music video. It’s for a song called Fallen from his upcoming album Syre. It’s weird. Of course it’s weird. If there’s one thing we can rely on from the Smith children, it’s that they always, without fail, bring the weird. That’s why I love them.
The video is set in Westworld. OK, it’s supposed to be set in 1867 Calabasas but it looks just like the set of Westworld. It opens with Jaden stumbling through an abandoned town looking adorable in an outfit I want on my body ASAP. It follows Jaden as he vomits sporadically and then changes into another outfit I would also totally wear. The entire video is as confusing as it is really, really pretty.
The song is not great but it’s not bad either. What I hear most in Fallen is potential. The production is solid. His vocals are smooth and captivating. Aside from questionable lyrics like, “Baby, you are so unusual like cutting cuticles,” he shows the promise of being a talented MC. So, here’s the million-dollar question asked of the career of every Hollywood offspring: if Jaden does live up to the potential, will he be taken seriously? It’s one thing to be the hip son of one of the biggest movie stars in the world and the brother of one of the coolest human beings on the planet but does that translate to albums sold or tracks streams?
Jaden Smith has 5.9 million followers on Twitter so he does have a following. Whether or not that following is just there to witness gems like this…
Here's The Deal, I Am Chris Pratt.— Jaden Smith (@officialjaden) December 1, 2016
… instead of actually buy his music is unclear. Famous kids have carved out careers on their own. Look at Miley Cyrus. But what Miley was able to do so well was distance herself from the stuff she did as a kid with her famous dad. When I look at Miley now, I barely remember Hannah Montana. It’s not like you look at Jaden Smith and immediately think of The Karate Kid but I do still think of Will and their hilariously bizarre joint interviews. Here’s where Jaden has a chance: he’s not starring in a Fresh Prince remake or releasing a remix to Parents Just Don’t Understand (I would pay a lot of money to hear Willow and Jaden’s take on the classic though). Unlike his father, who stayed inside the lines of pop and hip hop party tracks his whole career, Jaden is colouring outside of those lines. His sh-t doesn’t even remotely sound like anything his dad would do.
I’ve written about my obsession with the Smith kids in the past. I love Jaden’s fashion sense and his abstract, sometimes pretentious, always entertaining take on life. Jaden is 18 years old and he’s already referencing bell hooks and challenging gender norms through his clothing. It’s exciting to think of that perspective represented in current hip hop.
Watch Jaden’s full video for Fallen below. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about the puking.
Here's Jaden at the Fashion Awards in London today.