We already knew Will Smith’s kids are into cool music, having cited the Purity Ring samples on Jaden’s mixtape The Cool Cafe and Willow’s Radiohead-sampling “Sugar And Spice.” But I’m not sure I ever expected their taste for the underground to manifest itself in an outright weird piece of work. And honestly, “Blue Ocean,” the song Jaden posted on SoundCloud last night, is outright weird. It’s a multi-segmented seven-minute excursion that utilizes samples of Justin Timberlake’s “Blue Ocean Floor” and London Grammar’s “Interlude,” and exists in the same twee/hip-hop Venn diagram overlap as, I dunno, WHY? There are Odd Future-like tendencies in there too, and not just because he raps about meeting a girl with drug connections at Coachella just like Frank Ocean did. The haunting pitch-shifted voices, piano foundation, and general sense of tortured spookiness suggest Tyler, The Creator to me. Near the end he starts rapping a lot like Tyler’s hero Marshall Mathers too, at least when he’s not busy singing like an angel. It’s all over the place and way more abrasively art-damaged than anything his dad ever released. I’m marveling at — if not the quality, the sheer audacity of the thing. Hear it below and see what you think.
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.]