Will Smith’s kids Jaden and Willow tap into teenaged pain on ‘Kite’: Listen

01.14.13 5 years ago

Willow and Jaden Smith are 12- and 14-years-olds, both the progeny of Will Smith. And they are “lost,” according to their new track together “Kite.”

Their ages are worth reiterating, shedding light on the elementary nature of each’s rhymes, but also on the times: it’s true that the Weeknd and Frank Ocean blew up in 2012, and in 2013, these Smiths — as is their nature — are imitating them.

Willow’s no stranger to working her way around her girlish range like Rihanna, with previous output like “21st Century Girl.” She put on her blackest eyeshade for another release “Sugar and Spice,” out last week, which had her emoting over a sample from Radiohead’s dour “Codex”; I did my best to ignore it (partly due to the further infantilization of women by a 12-year-old who couldn’t possibly comprehend such an infliction particularly on her generation, but I digress) but “Sugar” was indicative of the sour…

Because at the top comes Jaden, with Drake as an overt influence, as he rhymes about his obvious teenaged sorrows of having every privilege and still feeling unhappy. “I am a poet, I do not explain…” he says in the middle of a 32-bar exploration of “-ain.” Pain, being the most prevalent.

Here’s where it’s darkly humorous: as Jaden exposes his sexual desires like “I give you kisses on your neck” and his search for a girl with a “tight bikini,” “long hair” who can do “backflips,” it is his 12-year-old sister helping with a lead-in hook. Sister and brother, together. No wonder they’re lost. That beat is good enough to find someone else to play with.

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