Tidal Catalog #46 (Update #1): Will Smith (Family Tree)

The fun part of these Tidal catalogs is that they are living documents. As new official records get released, I will go ahead and update them moving forward so that it always stays current. You can reference the original post, here.

  • Wicked Wisdom – Wicked Wisdom (5)

The original post was the lone “family tree” catalog I’ve done so far, featuring Will Smith and family members – so I included his son Jaden’s albums and daughter Willow’s. But when I shared it to Facebook, I was reminded that I completely forgot that Jada Pinkett Smith had her hand in music at one point in the mid-2000s with her nu-metal group Wicked Wisdom.

This is a really tough record to review. It’s different for sure. It falls squarely in the Nu-metal realm and Smith holds her own as a vocalist, singing at points but rapping (more like harsh speaking) more throughout the record but it’s got a pretty unique vibe. A song like “Something Inside of Me” is kind of awkward, dark, jagged metal with Jada barking the lyrics out. But “Bleed All Over Me” has more melody and he singing voice on this fits well. But what makes it tough is a song like “Cruel Intentions” which is almost like a progressive version of nu-metal. It was an unexpected record from her and it’s a really weird snapshot in time.

This was the group’s second album – with their first (My Story) seemingly having been erased off the face of the earth. But promoting that album, they toured with umm…. Britney Spears. Yeah. If/When I can find it, I’ll add it in.

  • JadenCTV3: Cool Tape Vol. 3 (3)

As weird as Wicked Wisdom is, I’d take that all day over what Jaden is doing now. Look, I give it to the boy for not making the same music as his dad and for creating outside of the box but this is so far away from any boxes that it’s fucking confusing as hell. There’s zero flow to this record. I mean, none at all. Right down the line, “Circa 2015” starts off as a slow R&B number. It’s followed up by “Falling For You” with Justin Bieber which sounds like something you’d hear from a band hired to play their own songs at a wedding. That’s followed by “Rainbow Bap” – a moderately paced rap tune and then “LUCY!” which has like a 60’s sock-hop vibe to it. The rest of the way too long 17 track album is much of the same – genre hopping so much that it’s like listening to 10 different albums – none of them all that great. So I will fully admit that I simply don’t get what Jaden Smith is going for as an artist. I wonder if he knows.

Summary: 20 albums, average 5.1

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