Jaden Smith believes in extraterrestrial life. “I like aliens!” he says. “I think aliens are really cool, because they exist.” He’s got proof. On a trip to the White House with his dad (Men In Black superstar) Will, mother Jada and sister Willow, he found himself in the President’s Situation Room.
“I talked to President Obama about extraterrestrials. He said he could neither confirm nor deny the existence of aliens, which means they’re real. If people think we’re the only people that live in this universe, then something is wrong with them.”
On his music:
The Cool Café: CoolTape Volume 1, is his debut hip-hop collection, recorded in his LA home studio last year, with the help of Kid Cudi. One of its songs, ‘The Coolest‘, is Jaden’s ode to “the coolest and the smoothest and the crudest and the rudest and the stupid kids,” rapped in a laconic drawl, like the Fresh Prince gone groggy.
“I try to go for the trippy vocals, the trippy sounds, because that’s what really makes a production, you know what I mean?” he says. “I was going for that kind of lo-fi sound, so I could show people that I don’t need big budgets and that it’s serious – we’re rapping and it’s not a game. The movement, and everything, it’s actually real. We’re serious about it.”
‘Know Why’ opens with a reference to Jada Pinkett Smith’s futile attempt to safeguard her son – and home – from adoring girls (“And my mom says you couldn’t come over / Didn’t really care when you pulled up in the rover / Said that I should wait ‘til i got older / But love is a war and maybe I’m your soldier / Swag”). A hidden bonus track finds him in a reflective mood, admitting, “I might have been like eight / I had my first girlfriend / I guess I’ve been messing up ever since.” This candor, he insists, is just part of his style.
“That’s the type of artist I am. I let it flow out the way it’s going to flow out, and I don’t care what people are going to think about it. It’s really like a journey into my life – if you listen and pay attention to the lyrics. People like to hear honest things and that’s what really makes an artist. if you’re lying, you can disconnect from the story, and if you disconnect from the story then people won’t like you any more.”
“Nobody was expecting CoolTape Volume 1, so absolutely nobody is expecting CoolTape Volume 2. Like, you have no idea what I’m going to do. You don’t even understand.”
On Working with Willow:
“It’s really fun working with her because she kind of gets my vision.”
On His Skate/Clothing Line:
MSFtS (pronounced Misfits) is the label Jaden set up with Moises and Mateo Arias, with the designs inspired by their skating.
“It’s kind of just black on black. We all really like black, so almost everything in the line is black. Some would call it street goth. I would say it’s a fashion-forward street brand.
“I want it to be as big as possible, an all over the world thing. Because everybody can be a misfit. It’s not just a clique. People ask me if they can be misfits all the time. But everybody is a misfit.” Why’s everybody a misfit? I ask.
“I mean, they’re a misfit because they’re different. You’d have to ask them.” Do you ever feel like a misfit?
There’s a long silence.
“Every. Single. Second of my existence,” he sighs.
In what ways are you a misfit? “I’m always not following the rules, breaking stuff, running all over the place, trying to kickflip, like, just crazy things. You’d have to hang out with me for a day to see.”
Jaden is soundin’ real grown these days — until you ask him about aliens. Do you think he’ll be able to outmeasure his pops’ success though?
Photo Credit: PacificCoastNews/Twitter/Wonderland/Rory van Millingen