"I don't wanna die, I don't wanna live a lie
I don't wanna know
You could be my bride, you could let me come inside
You could be my home
I don't wanna die, I don't wanna fantasize
I don't wanna go
But baby, you could be the one I'm telling all my secrets when I'm all alone"
The talent that comes from the Smith family is incredible. After Willow releases her album, The First, Jaden follows with his very own album, SYRE. The title comes from Jaden's middle name (Jaden Christopher Syre Smith). We all know Jaden is talented in many ways. He's been acting since he was little (The Pursuit of Happiness) and his most recent work in The Get Down as a conscious alien with a top hat. He's even been in controversial context with his modeling, showing that gender blurs are not a problem for him and he's comfortable expanding his own boundaries. Now, homie has officially dropped another album since his 2014 release of CTV2.
SYRE is a seventeen-track album that explores a lot of different themes. From being a young man of affluent yet still trying to grasp the meaning of life. He talks of love that could really just be lust. He adds a little political awareness about being Black in America, "Swear the city hate the watermelon and the melanin" from his song E or from his song Hope, "Who can live inside a prison pyramid, there's kids in prison, are you hearing this?" but overall this album feels full of unfinished thoughts, fears and questions within himself. I don't want to come at homie, but bits of this album reminds me of his Netflix anime, Neo Yokio. Jaden voices Kaz Kaan, an upper class New York Demon hunter that's really into art, fashion and chillin with his bros. I'm not saying anything is wrong with that, but there just seems to be a layer of materialistic bullshit and first world problems screaming from Jaden. I'm sorry, homie but you are no Martin, and No Malcolm X. "Girl, I'm Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Life is hard, I'm Kamasutra-ing" I love the respect, but Jaden comparing his struggle getting away from the status-quo to share his ideas and beliefs is a bit deep.
Overall his lyricism is getting there, he's no Kdot yet but practice makes perfect. Jaden has all the resources, the style and direction. I feel like what's truly missing is the 'Why' if you will with this album. What sets this album apart? I will say that, this reminds me of Childish Gambino's first EPs and albums. They were still amateur but you could see the potential was there. The overall production is sick, I love the beats and instrumentals. He even has Tyler the creator on the piano and of course he has his MSFTS crew too. Not to mention his limited features, including Raury on his feature single Falcon and A$AP ROCKY on Breakfast. I will say another gem was his visual album preview, he put out prior to the album. The visual preview was poetic with bright pink skies, Jaden floating and a California landscape.
Words by Tesia Pennie // @childish_fun