Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair" skyrocketed up the charts way back in 2010. Since then, the daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith has radically diverged from the sound showcased in the hit single. According to Willow, the early stardom wasn't all positive.
Even though she's leaning into a rock sound now, the singer hasn't completely forgotten her pop roots. During a show at iHeartRadio Music Festival, Willow performed an a cappella version of the song.
Willow may have been without a backing band, but she brought the energy. Her new vocal style was on full display as she did a fiery call-and-response with the audience.
Willow's titular hair has been shaved off now, a move which she called "the most radical thing" she's done "in the name of beauty. "I like to see a glare on my scalp, a bounce of light," she told Glamour UK last month.
The haircut was highly publicized, as Smith shaved her head onstage in 2020 during a performance of "Whip My Hair." "I'm always shaving my head at monumental times in my life when things are really changing. And this is definitely one of those moments," she said.
The new look, along with her new sound, hasn't come without pushback. Furthermore, in an interview she stated that her mom also received hate when she started to perform metal. "Oh, my goodness. She was getting death threats. It was a crazy amount of stuff going on," Willow recalled. "I remember being like, 'Yo! People are really upset about this, they're mad that a Black woman wants to do Metal and is in the space.' Like that was activism."