You can’t be an icon living without a few idols, and the icon himself, Jaden Smith, is well aware of this fact.
Smith recently sat down with Big Boy to discuss his rise to fame, admitting that while in recent times, he’s had fewer and fewer heroes, the likes of Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, and Tyler, The Creator remain three sources of sonic inspiration and creative direction.
With Tyler, in particular, Smith made it clear that their relationship is essential to his growth, revealing that he didn’t take to Smith’s debut album, SYRE. “Tyler said that he didn’t really like my last album,” Smith said.
Luckily, the young artist took that honesty in stride.
“I love that he said that," Smith added. "I was just more like, ‘Yo, tell me why! Help me. Then get in the studio and be a mentor for me!’”
Smith went on to say that there was no sting to Tyler’s critiques and that his honesty has helped him sharpen his upcoming work. Besides, he stressed, if Tyler simply hated his music, he wouldn’t have given Jaden Smith a feature on Flower Boy.
While SYRE does, at times, feel bloated with concepts, hearing Smith hungry for criticism is a good sign that his next work will only be a leaner improvement on his initial offerings.
All the talent in the world won’t save you from your ego, but it seems Jaden Smith won’t need any saving from himself. Impressing your idols is a goal every artist in every medium carries with them, but getting honest and pivotal feedback from your OGs is even more important.