Willow Smith Samples Radiohead

Fun fact: Last year, Jaden Smith, the Karate Kid remake star and the son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, released The Cool Cafe, a mixtape where he rapped over Purity Ring samples. Apparently, some sort of Solange-esque indie awakening is sweeping through the younger generation of the Smith family. Jaden’s sister Willow, of “Whip My Hair” infernal-catchiness infamy, has a new song called “Sugar And Spice,” and it samples the mournful piano dissolve from Radiohead’s “Codex.” On the song, Willow sings instead of rapping, and she’s talking about not being sure who she is. And it’s really pretty? And basically trip-hop? This is not something I was prepared to wake up to, and you can hear it below.

Comments (82)
  1. Right? I’m still confused by this.

  2. WOW. This is beautiful. Good job bb. Sing more often plz. And I would say cheer up, but then you may go back to making shit.
    Stay Sad.

    • cheesefest of a comment. 13 year old of multimillionaire international superstar can’t be sad, stop kidding yourselves, she just hit pubery fuxsake. EMOTIONS!!! false.

  3. Let’s stop pretending that there aren’t genius producers working for every pop icon, maybe?

  4. How old is she again?

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      • it’s not always black and white. find the greys of life, homie.

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          • You’re either legitimately annoying or trying too hard.

          • Yeah exactly – radiohead sample with a vocal. Objectively, it’s an excellent sample. I would be surprised if it hasn’t been used before, and her voice sounds great on it. Also, why the are you wasting your time commenting here when you haven’t even heard every radiohead LP back to front (forth)? Get on that, mano.

      • 1) You’re totally right that it wouldn’t have gotten picked up if it wasn’t Willow Smith, but the fact that is Willow Smith is the story and the reason why the song is intriguing. Will Smith’s daughter who did ‘Whip My Hair’ may or may not like Radiohead and the song is actually not horrible; that’s pretty interesting, I think.

        2) …13 year olds don’t get sad? Pretty sure every 13 year old in the world is sad a lot. And further, if my life was a cartoon I would be sad.

        3) A Willow Smith / Timbaland collab would be effing amazing.

  5. Sounds like Fergie lyrics and the repetitiveness of them gets pretty stale in the song quickly. I wouldn’t put it on par so much with a Solange indie crossover as I would with “indie”-fying “Puff Daddy”‘s sloppy big hits of the late ’90s by throwing some words behind a sample you know people will dig and talk about only because it doesn’t match the template of today’s teenage pop star formula. Post-Lizzy Mcguire, Hilary Duff did the same by using Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” in a song, and it really didn’t go anywhere.

    Looking forward to reading the Willow Smith AOTW feature several months from now, however, where we’re faced with the “challenge” to look past the spawn of “Big Willy Style”‘s contrived PG “hipster” image and see it as the culmination of craft for young pop stars raging against industry standards in the Twitter age.

  6. Remember, the Willenium is only a shade over thirteen years deep at this point – this is merely a taste of what’s to come. Eventually, Will Smith’s offspring shall dominate all the genres, and all forms of entertainment will be subject to Smith-family control. It may take several more years to assess the cumulative impact of the Will2k virus on our civilization. And by then, it might be too late.

  7. This is….awesome?

  8. IWHIPMAHHAIRBACKNFORTHIWHIPMAHHAIRBACKNFORTHIWHIPMAHHAIRBACKNFORTHIWHIPMAHHAIRBACKNFORTHIWHIPMAHHAIRBACKNFORTHIWHIPMAHHAIRBACKNFORTHIWHIPMAHHAIRBACKNFORTHIWHIPMAHHAIRBACKNFORTHIWHIPMAHHAIRBACKANDFOURTHIWHIPMAHHAIRBACKANDFOURTHIWHIPMAHHAIRBACKANDFOURTH

  9. this is really well done, as was whip my hair. Regardless of whether a producer was responsible for the awesomeness of both tracks, who cares? it’s great. jaden was on some q-tip shit with “the coolest” and that was awesome – kid has more content to his rhymes than asap and that KILLS me to say.

    these kids are killing it and it makes sense, will used to be the man, obvs:

    • Jeez, man… I feel like I’m living in freaking bizzarro world ever since the new year started and it’s just magnifying my case of the holiday / new year emos.

      People going batshit over a half-decent Bowie track.
      People going batshit over the Men’s new song and album announcement, which admittedly, despite my love of them, could have taken 2013 off since it they’ve already ruled 2011 and 2012 pretty hard and now it’s all starting to meld together.
      People going batshit over Tom’s Dropkick Murphy’s AOTW.
      People going batshit over a Willow Smith song that really is just a Radiohead sample on loop, so just go listen to Radiohead?

      I’m losing it or something. Might as well quit.

    • THIS exactly. If you’re unable to enjoy a cool song because it’s Willow or because there’s a producer behind her, I just think that’s kinda sad for you. For me, this was a really nice start to the morning. Willow’s singing is surprisingly lovely, and it sounds great over the sample.

    • Little known fact:

      Willow’s voice was actually sampled for the crying baby sound in “Kid A” around the 4:18 mark. So it makes sense that she now has a song that samples Radiohead. Jada Pinkett (Willow’s mother) shares a cousin on her mother’s side with Jonny Greenwood and supposedly, the two hit it off at some UK-based charity function.

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    • Is he playing Baseball Stars?!? I think he is. Best Nintendo game ever, except for Tecmo Super Bowl, of course.

  10. Before everyone gets too snarky, imagine yourself as a young teenager once again. It’d be pretty cool to find yourself listening to Willow and falling into the Radiohead rabbit hole because of it.

    • I agree, because why complain about anybody liking Radiohead. But wrapping my head around the fact that this exists still makes my synapses hurt.

  11. i think that’s the time is now for their to be a new cloud rap fresh prince album, hopefully with some black hippy verses.

  12. Not quite as good as the first Willow Smith/Radiohead mixture: Thom Yorker dancing to “Whip My Hair”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BVvYf-kGZY

  13. Well put me on the band wagon; I like it. Nice use of the Radiohead sample, voice sounds good. Lyrics are on the okay side. Whether or not this is just the product of some clever producer and okay song writer hired by her label is kind of irrelevant to me, because why I should I really give a shit one way or the other when the end product is good?

  14. It’s okay.

  15. That’s nice work for a kid, A?

  16. This? Trip-hop? Hardly. It’s a loop taken from a good song being sung over to make a less good song, like most mediocre pop music today.

    On a truly trip-hop note, when’s that new Boards of Canada album coming out? Has anyone heard anything?

  17. Please tell me this means we’ll get a Thom Yorke song sampling “Whip my Hair”.

  18. Not “Codex”

    That was my favorite track off “The King Of Limbs” and one of my favorite Radiohead piano ballads.

    Thankfully the song has been removed, but why “Codex” ?? I don’t even care if she did it better than Thom Yorke (She couldn’t have, right?) but that is sacrilegious.

  19. Isn’t it past your bedtime Willow??

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