A & E

Published on December 15th, 2017 | by Monty McAlpine


SYRE by Jaden Smith review

On November 17, 2017 Jaden Smith finally released his debut rap album, “SYRE”. Jaden Smith, son of Will Smith High profile actor, designer, actor, and musician. Jaden had released small rap singles before and a very small mixtape labeled as  “ The Cool Cafe: Cool Tape Vol.1” although not gaining a lot attention from media this small mixtape gave glimpse of Smith’s musical prowess.  The Freshmen year album from Jaden Smith is nothing to laugh as the album is as beautifully compromised as any major veteran rapper. Although seen as a Hip-Hop/Rap album, the sounds and style of the album shows such much more than that just one genre. “SYRE” is really so unique in its themes, flows, insane production (not only rap oriented beats), and background details it really creates a new genre as a whole. It feels like just this one large mixing pot of Rock, Pop, R&B, and obviously Hip-Hop/Rap. Although many artists through time have gone through the process of intertwining musical genres I’ve never really seen it done as naturally as Smith. “SYRE” is one of the most innovative types of music I’ve heard in along time.  Smith has said himself takes inspiration from two of the most innovative rappers of all time Kid Cudi and Kanye West. You can definitely see Smith has learned from them, that to really go for the vision he see for his music just as West and Cudi did with their careers.

The 17 track project is comprised of rock ballads, love songs, triumphant anthems, and hard beats to just purely rhyme, all these types of songs are pursued by Smith’s take on good music in a very modern fashion.  The rock styled song in the album are “ Watch Me” and “Fallen”. “Watch Me” is as if The Black Keys and Kanye West worked together on a project but let Jaden Smith be the lead vocal. “Watch Me” is a rock song but it incorporates a lot of hip-hop elements that I think can make it more appreciated by an audience who thinks they are too young and cool to listen classic rock songs like that and only listen to rap. The song is fast pitched and the guitar riff is awesome and sounds so familiar but still is fresh enough get pumped buy the rock n roll sound. “Lost Boy” although not your typical hard core high intensity rock song it is instead the more emotional side of rock n roll taking on the sound of a ballad with a really pretty acoustic guitar playing the whole track and a ominous chorus and simple drum beat. Both songs excellent in there own way and great additions to the album.

There isn’t much record of Jaden Smith talking about his romantic relationships but it is known that Smith was dating Odessa Adlon, and is to the knowledge of the public still dating her. Now I don’t know if these love songs on the album are about Adlon but either way there still really amazing love songs that aren’t sappy and very poetic.  Songs like “Ninety” and “E” really sound like a message to girl whoever they might be or maybe Smith was just in his feelings but either these songs are such a new approach to love songs. Really sounding like a story but without having to have the lyrics of making the story so apparent. “E” is a love song done is rap and very solemn and serious sounding. “E” sounds so clean and the lyrics providing more than one message within them a really mature thing to try to do in a song. “Ninety” is by far one of my favorite songs on the project and in my opinion one of the overall best.  “Ninety” an R and B sounding track speaks on the intricacies of a relationship with a girl. The song sounds so cloudy, calm, and just a really soulful track because he just sings so real, you can really hear that he’s not trying to force some emotion he’s just making music about how he feels and it just happens to sounds beautiful in the process. The ending of the song honestly is my favorite part because it just is a really raw vocal and sound of rock and love and R&B.

Smith tackling Rock and Love styled songs also just goes for songs on the album that are just him making triumphant music from his heart and isn’t trying to accomplish a specific genre. “Falcon (feat. Raury)” and “Hope” prime examples of this. “Falcon” almost sounding as if the beat is an EDM song it immediately sets the songs tone get you excited and grooving to the music and dance song if you will. The drop of “Falcon” is where the song really starts to get going as the beat starts to shift but it only results in the flows and lyrics becoming so much better. Smith’s flow in this is one of my favorites in the album and on the “Falcon “ track Raury verse is definitely nothing to scoff at and really rounded out the song and was just overall a solid verse. “Hope” is just something else. I can’t even begin to describe because I honestly don’t know. The production sounds crazy just something that would be in a video game. Smith goes so hard on this track it ridiculous one of the best verses of the album easily. The sound of “Hope” is just so passionate and really just sounds so whole.

I have been giving Jaden a ton of praise on his attempts to expand the rap genre as he attempted many songs on the album that didn’t just sound like Hip-hop/Rap. But do not get twisted, the kid definitely has bars and too many flows to count. The best showcasing I think of how good is at rapping in general would definitely be “Batman”, “Breakfast (feat. A$AP Rocky), “Icon”, and “George Jefferson.” You may be thinking how com he is going over four tracks for a type of song on the album instead of two like the other three types.  It because Smith has too many tracks on the album really showcasing his true extent of skill in rapping. “Batman” being one if my favorite tracks on the album has a very cool sounding beat. Ominous as if he is trying to make a beat for batman. His flow is just so mature and so natural it’s crazy. He just sounds like he’s been rapping for the majority of his career and sounds really mature despite only being 20 year old. The production on it just bangs and is just such a pristine sounding song and is definitely a bragging song comparing himself to Batman, a hero. Almost as if he’s implying he a hero to the game. “Breakfast (feat. A$AP Rocky) is a real testament of how much potential Jaden Smith has rapping. He aims for such complex words rhyming and doesn’t take the easy way out with his lyrics. The second part I honestly don’t like that much but some people may think the production of that is intriguing. “George Jefferson” sounds like a freestyle, just a really raw and casual sound.The lyrics hold a punch of really clever lowkey punchlines. The song continuously adds the emotion eventually leading up to my favorite verse on the album where Smith shouts out prominent rapper Rich the Kid. Last but not least the song gaining the most attention from listeners and media, “Icon” a boast in which Smith describes himself as an Icon. The song packs such an incredible production. Tieng in so many sounds and the flow Smith brings to the table just created a masterpiece.  Not only is the sound perfect for the message of the sons the lyrics just fit even more perfectly and it just comes altogther so well it’s unfathomanable. It in my opinion a fursure top ten rap song of the year.

There are so many incredible things about this album. Not only are the songs I mentioned great but literally every track on the project has some direction of appeal one way or another. The album holds so many nuances I just appreciate so much. The unique drops in each track, new types of flows that are fresh and original, and just the overall composition of the album. I personally think if this album was released in any early part of 2017, Smith would have gained enough recognition to maybe get a nomination for best new artist for the grammys. That could be overstepping it but that’s just how much potential and appeal I see on Smith’s music. I can not wait for his next major album.

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