Jaden Smith can't be boxed in. The 20-year-old artist often pushes himself to creative limits, sometimes at the expense of himself and his reputation. Yet, it's more important for him to remain true to his artistry than it is to be accepted—although he holds out hopes that the music he creates will be welcomed by the masses with open arms.
On Friday, Smith delivered his project ERYS, a conceptual album that Jaden attempted to explain during a recent interview with Rolling Stone. "It’s pretty much the story of a young man named Erys," Smith said. "He lives in Los Angeles, but it’s in a world where Los Angeles has almost been destroyed a little bit. You don’t really know what happened, but it’s like a dystopic Los Angeles. It’s like The Warriors where everybody is running around, and it’s this interconnected web of these young kids who run the city. Erys decides to be the leader and take over the city. He gains control of everyone by the means of fear almost. It doesn’t end well for him, but that’s kind of the end of the story."
Smith began his ERYS journey last year and went into the studio to begin recording the album in the Fall-Winter seasons of 2018. According to RS, ERYS is a direct response to SYRE, Smith's 2017 debut studio album. This latest project hosts features from Tyler, The Creator; Lido, SYRE, Trinidad James, Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, and Smith's sister, Willow. Smith shared that Tyler, The Creator isn't one to collaborate with just any and everyone, but Smith was excited to get him on his record.
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"I don’t know. He just likes me," Smith said. "That’s the only way that I can — it’s impossible to get him on. There’s so many people that I really wanted to get on the album. A lot of people didn’t work out, but I’m so happy that I have Tyler and [Kid] Cudi and [A$AP] Rocky. Honestly, I don’t know how Tyler did that. He sent me the verse back, believe it or not; he sent me a version of the verse that was even crazier, which I loved. I would’ve definitely kept it on the album, but then he switched it up even more. I loved it even more. He’s the best."
Make sure to check out ERYShere.