Why Jaden Smith's Tweets Are Part of His Art (Opinion)

Jaden Smith billboard 2015

Jaden Smith photographed in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles on Feb. 9, 2015.

Jaden Smith just wants you to be you. Seriously.

"That's pretty much the goal at the end of the day, is to show everybody, ‘Hey, you can be yourself,'" Jaden told Billboard in May. "I think that it's important for people to know it's okay to be sad, it’s okay to be happy. it's okay to be however you’re feeling.”

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And he’s doing that by doing him -- in front of and behind the cameras. Jaden shoots off introspective and emotional tweets that are at times too nebulous to grasp. The majority of his Twitter timeline, like his music, finds him facing his evolving understanding of self-identity ("People Use To Ask Me What Do You Wanna Be When You Get Older And I Would Say What A Stupid Question The Real Question Is What Am I Right Now") and love -- the type of love that at that very moment feels potentially eternal; the type of love that sets the precedent of one’s understanding of love. (Oh, young love.)

His tweets are written in a way only he can write (and he knows it: "Omg I’m Bout To Tweet The Most Jaden Smith Thing Ever Ready?"), but again, that’s the point, and he knows it. And he’s never wavered from being his whimsical, wanderlust self, as nonsensical as it is to others. Like Tyler, the Creator and Raury, Jaden advocates for a revolution of the youth against society’s standards, or pretty much just against judgment.

On the smooth-jazz-influenced song “Offering,” released Tuesday, Jaden opens up about his fight with fame ("My family’s not a circus/ I told my dad to move the whole tribe down to Europe where there’s less Siri and a little more syrup") and hate ("Do you ever struggle with your enemies? Try to con your energy/ Trying to lie your fingers on my inner chi").

Another solid stream of consciousness is "Blue Ocean V19," which samples Justin Timberlake's "Blue Ocean Floor." His flow strengthens the more personal his lyrics become (and he strays from emulating Drake's echoing ad-libs, as he does on This Is the Album). But not everyone is noticing, because the attention is on Jaden's gender-defying fashion choices and showing he gives no f---s by tweeting thoughts like, "That Moment When Your Wearing A Dress With No Pants And You Swerve Way To Hard." Whether on SoundCloud or Twitter, Jaden only posts a genuine portrayal of who he -- at 16 years old -- is in his life.

"I like to wear long drape-y things because I want to look like Batman and Robin and stuff. I want everybody to be like, 'Oh yeah, I’m a superhero and I feel super cool,'" he told Billboard. "Hide in the shadows, [in] all black or all white, you know what I mean? Like to hit the polarities of life and show people that there’s a duality; there’s two sides to everything." (Flashback to when Jaden attended Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's wedding in a white Batman suit.)

Individuality is crucial to an artist’s longevity. It’s what captivates listeners, by making them believe that they, too, can be who they want to be, from the emotional to the confident. What makes Jaden the artist he is, is how he is both on and off wax; one can't succeed without the other (especially in a genre that relies in authenticity) or simply go unnoticed.


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