We spoke about Jaden Smith’s potential to shock the world a week ago and, for the most part, we were right. Although many did not expect it, Jaden Smith’s debut album SYRE turned out to be well thought out and orchestrated. This outcome is thanks to Jaden Smith’s ambition for big sounds and the influences that inspire them. There’s a sense of innovation on this project, of course, but without artists like Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and Childish Gambino this album does not insist. Jaden does a brilliant job of paying homage to the greats while embarking to on his own journey to the greatness he hopes for.
There’s a four-part titled “BLUE” that reflects something Kanye would have done on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. While listening to the tracks, you cannot determine what’s going to happen next as it goes through a multitude of sounds and inflections. Thankfully, the intro the inro isn’t the only good thing to come out of this project.
“Ninety,” a favorite, is Jaden at his artistic best. The song is smooth and ambitious being one of the three songs lasting more than five seconds. The sound is ethereal and mysterious like the character Jaden plays for the whole album. The content is a tragic love story and by far his best out[ut as a songwriter. The effort continues on “Lost Boy,” which features fantastic acoustic strings. It captured the essence of Jaden as an artist and a person.
It’s a moment of self-reflection that will have you pondering the somewhat awkward position Jaden Smith is in as a rapper. He was born into wealth, an experience that very few popular rappers can relate to today. With a lack of a “come up”, Jaden Smith has plenty of time to question his very existence.
After “Lost Boy,” there are only a handful of tracks worth listening to. “Icon” is a serious banger. During this track, Jaden Smith makes the profound claim that he is rapping better than your favorite, which is obviously arguable. Jaden Smith’s lyrics are often cringy and popular rappers’ lyrics are often full of emptiness, but at least they sound cool. “Fallen,” a track obviously inspired by Kid Cudi is the last well-written track on here. The rest of the album is three-minute songs that barely get anything done.
With all that said, SYRE is a good first step for the 19 year old. Its only up from here. The sounds alone are brilliant imitations, and if he can improve his lyrical content and incorporate different sounds, it could pay major dividends.