I have mad respect for Willow (Smith).
It’s difficult to find writings about the Smith siblings which differentiate their artistry from their privilege, and I think that’s incredibly unfortunate. Like yes, we are aware that their family does pretty well within the entertainment business (see: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air still airs, and is still watched by me, every evening), but let that not discredit what both Willow and Jaden are doing. They’re not just messing around in studios singing songs other people have penned for them and then having to have them heavily autotunned, they have genuine ability – and they’re actually doing something with it.
F-Q-C #7, heavily divorced from previous hair whipping antics, seems to have tied in the spiritual elements the Smith’s are most heavily critiqued for expressing. But, instead of slamming these interests for deluded teenage pretention, why not just take it for what it is within the artistic content and appreciate it – even if it is at face value – for the sake of the music’s intent. Too many times viewers discredit the artist for their intents, divorcing motivation from the final outcome. However, removing an element which was important for the artist reduces the final outcome: tailoring it to a viewer’s preconception as opposed to what it was meant to be, which is a problem. You can’t just immediately make something out to be a certain way because you feel it should be so, art doesn’t work like that.
The vibe exuding from the track is largely just hella-cool. Like, it is interesting – which isn’t an adjective I tend to use with regards to music. However, this track is the exception. It has been orchestrated in such a way that I feel that if my consciousness were to drift momentarily, even a fraction of a second, I will have missed something. This potentially has something to do with the xylophone – the rogue instrument taking centre stage threw my awareness off slightly. The combination of the xylophone with the incredible tone of Willow’s voice overall credits the track. It secures it as a piece of artistry, something genuine that we shouldn’t let media preconceptions about the siblings cloud. It’s just hella cool, though me saying “hella” does cast doubt on my credibility as a measurer of what is cool.
And if you’re still throwing shade on the authenticity and validity of what both Willow and Jaden Smith are doing, I’ve listed some stuff below that should hopefully shift your viewpoint, or not… whatever, I can’t control you.
PCH – Jaden Smith ft. Willow Smith
Let it Breathe – Jaden Smith ft. Willow Smith
Blue Ocean – Jaden Smith
Gods (live at Broccoli City Festival) – Jaden Smith
I’m not saying separate the art from the artist, because I think that many a time that could potentially be problematic, and that for some, art is just an extension of the artist. I am, however, saying that in this particular case do not let negativity surrounding factors that are beyond their control negatively impact the reception and the validity of what the Smith’s are doing.
(Oh, and Willow Smith is 14 years old.)