“So, you think you can save rap music?”
A heavy question asked at the close of Breakfast (feat. A$AP Rocky) on Jaden Smith’s 2017 album, “SYRE”. He may be able to salvage hope from the naysayers of contemporary rap. “SYRE” exudes a level of maturity that is difficult for artists to nail in the relatively “young” album.
The beats are fire. The delivery is fire. Jaden Smith’s second solo rap album consists of full sounds, hard hitting drums, and pure theatrics.
The first four tracks are titled:
Jaden’s sister, Willow Smith, opens the album with her dreamy voice to the simple ticking of a music box. It ends with a healthy dose of spoken word.
My favorite track, however, is Ninety. A few tracks are longer than the standard radio three minute TRT. There are of course a few that will translate well to radio, including: “Icon”, “Watch Me”, and “Batman”. All three are front runners on his Vevo.
Many artists before him have done drastic mid track tempo changes. Some tracks are reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar’s rap style: one half being slower paced, and the other faster. The production on Track 12, “Watch Me”, is almost identical to Kanye’s Black Skin Head, with “Batman” has a similar rap style in Drake and Future’s “Jumpman”. Ultimately the album will have the listener ascending to a higher consciousness; according to Complex Magazine, it feels like what Jaden was going for.
As should be suspected of a deep thinker, Jaden cites poetry at some point in almost every track. He subtlety grazes the subject of race and the standard boy meets girl narrative. He also seems to admire Teslas, as he mentions it frequently throughout the album.
In the last two minutes of most the tracks, the tempo and dialogue change, however, the tracks play together seamlessly where it’s difficult to know when one begins and ends.
SYRE is definitely meant to provoke thought and does not seem to have been made for the hype. Jaden set the bar high for himself. Super excited to see what art he puts out next.
Feel free to reach out with suggestions, tips, and/or love!
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