Jaden - ERYS
Jul 5, 2019
57
DISAPPOINTING

I want to like Jaden Smith. I want to like Jaden Smith sooo much. Every fake-deep middle schooler in existence loves his music, so why not just accept my fate and learn to like him? But alas, even when I'm intentionally making an ATTEMPT to like his music, something just rubs me the wrong way. Whether it's the generic production or the bad lyrics, there's always gotta be the ONE THING that prevents me from loving a song. While ERYS is definitely the closest I've come to enjoying a Jaden Smith project, there's far too much filler here to envision me coming back to this frequently. If he continued to improve and focused on quality over quantity, however, I'm sure he could put something out that I like.

But that's not the point. What does ERYS do well, and what does it fuck up? Well, surprise surprise everyone, the lyrics are still pretty lame. They aren't as distractingly bad as they were on Syre or anything, but if you're looking for substance past fake-deep Twittercore, this ain't for you. If you're looking for chill pop-rap to vibe to, however, you're in luck--while a lot of his previous works lacked the energy and atmosphere necessary to do that, ERYS has definitely improved on both of those fronts. Jaden doesn't seem as lifeless or bland as he used to, which is a fucking godsend. But even if he WAS just as lifeless as he was on Syre, the features would make up for that. Guest verses from great artists like Tyler, The Creator, A$AP Rocky, and Kid Cudi really make their respective songs. NOIZE and On My Own are actually really good, and they're some of the only Jaden songs I can see myself coming back to.

It ain't perfect though. It has improved drastically and shows lots of good signs for the future, but despite the name change, Jaden Smith's still Jaden Smith. He's MORE energetic, but that doesn't equate to him BEING energetic, ya feel me? Plus, while the production has improved, it's still pretty boring when you sit down and listen to it. He's doing his best to make this an artistic masterpiece, some sort of monumental statement to be mentioned in the same breath as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy or IGOR. I can appreciate the effort, but sometimes it comes off as a bit pretentious and unnecessary. Like, he's still doing that annoying thing where he cuts up one song into four, where he could have just made them all different songs entirely because the transitions are so sloppy in the first place. There are cool moments, but someone's gotta tell him someday that he isn't The Nice. He's the son of the dude who wrote Wild Wild West. His attempts to make things seem grand and theatrical work much better here, but it's still pretty rough and drags on at points. He still wears his influences very apparently on his sleeve, and I'd still rather just listen to Kanye West. At the end of the day, though, any sign of improvement is good news to me.

If there's one reason ERYS is a good project, it's that it shows incredible improvement for someone who has never impressed me in the past. If he continues to get better at a consistent rate, he could cash in on the inordinate potential he's got stored within him. I'm rooting for this dude, he could come through with some great shit one day.

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FOR FANS OF: Kanye West, Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, Brockhampton, Travis Scott, Trippie Redd, Aminé

Favorite tracks: I, N, K, NOIZE, Got It, Fire Dept, Chateau, On My Own, Riot

Least favorite tracks: i-drip-or-is, Mission, Blackout, Pain, ERYS

(Pop-Rap, Conscious Hip Hop, West Coast Hip Hop, Alternative R&B, Art Pop, Rap Rock)
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