Jaden Smith - SYRE
Kayne West opened the floodgates for experimentation in hip hop. Before Kanye an album like this debut from Jaden Smith would never be possible. You couldn't go the places He is allowed to go because Hip Hop was more about street cred and authenticity than creativity. SYRE however is no Kanye album as much as Jaden may hope. The sudo-philosophical babble throughout this album is frustrating to say the least. If you've ever taken a deep dive down Jaden's twitter you'll find stoned thought after stoned thought about life, love and everything else. For a kid who grew up in one of the nicest suburbs of Los Angeles He sure has a lot to say about the streets which is... awkward. Over and over on this record Jaden's words are so damn cringe and He falls back on the same rhymes a hell of a lot. The album opens with the four track movement "B" "L" "U" "E" essentially Jaden laying out his life philosophy and history in some kind of mystical fantastical way. The crux of this album is not Jaden's musical ability but more whether or not the populous will accept him and his somewhat crazy ideas as pop music. A$AP Rocky does yet another vanishing act for his feature on "Breakfast" which spills into "Hope" a song so full of conspiracy theories it might be Alex Jones' new banger. The constant shout outs to his "clique" from "Hidden Hills" that suburb I mentioned earlier is absolutely maddening. Jaden wants to be a trap artist so bad but there needs to be at least a little backup for your hood claims of which Jaden has zero.
Willow Smith's most recent record was wild and different but in an experimental way. She was pushing lyrical and musical boundaries for herself but with Jaden it just feels like self aggrandizing bullshit. "Ninety" is a song that actually works and fits perfect with Jaden's style but then it drones on for almost eight fucking minutes. There are so many choices like that which just boggle the mind and frustrate the listener to no end. There are so many moments on this record when you want to raise your hands in the air and bump, which is the other frustrating part because you know Jaden has it in him if He would just shelve some of the bullshit. Jaden sounds like He is constantly trying to find his footing, his message and his voice but it never fully clicks into gear and that lack of perspective just tarnishes the whole damn thing. On "Lost Boy" He tries to portray this idea that He is some kind of forlorn youth wandering the world alone but, Jaden we know that's just not fucking true. Overlong, self aggrandizing, tone deaf and weird this album and Jaden Smith himself need some kind of grounding in reality in order to make this stuff work. SYRE just misses on so many levels that it's just not worth sitting around for over an hour.
5.0 out of 10