Willow Smith -- and her brother Jaden -- have always seemed wiser than their years. The 15-year-old songstress released her debut album on Roc Nation without any promo on Friday (Dec. 11), and Ardipithecus has plenty of nuggets that'll make you think.
The beats-heavy album uses both cosmic and natural imagery to explain larger topics that Willow is fixated on, using wildly stretched melody to support her stream of consciousness. Some songs have singalong tendencies, but others keep rolling on, as if Willow really has something to get off her chest. She needs to express herself, and she's not letting age or Scientology jokesters get in her way.
I've been swaying to the album all morning and here are some of the lyrics that really got me:
'I will never know'
Lyric: "I don't know/ I will never know/ We will never know but that's the greatest part"
Why it rules: The beauty in this song lies in the fact that she's completely self-aware because she admits doesn't know everything about the world. Sure, she's smart and will tell you the wisdom she has attained, but she's not going to pretend there isn't more to learn.
'I am the oldest one up in my mind'
Song: "Organization & Classification"
Lyric: "I am the oldest one up in my mind but not in real time/ I'm just a teenager/ But I feel angrier than a swarm of hornets/ They call us whores but it's just because we do just what we want and don't look back once."
Why it rules: Willow struggles with her generation and those who judge on "Organization & Classification." She seems frustrated that she can't express herself as an adult sometimes, and may be condescended toward just because she's a teenager and doesn't care about the things other people don't about. But it seems like she's doing an effective job of expressing herself on this glitchy, big-bass track.
'But what is right?'
Lyric: "Kids, we do what is right/ We do what is wrong/ But what is right? Please explain to me what is wrong?/ We do what we feel/ We make our own paths/ We're the indigo."
Why it rules: This is another empowering lyric that encourages us to make moves, rather than stay between rigid lines that other people set for us. Kids are not dumb.
Song: "F Q--C #8"
Lyric: "Om Om Om/ Take your neighbor's hand/ Get comfortable"
Why it rules: Willow stops for a little meditation sesh in the middle of this song, urging us to slow it down and connect with the people around us.
'It does, and that's the funny thing'
Song: "Not So Different"
Lyric: "Maybe I could say one thing/ Maybe/ Maybe I could pretend like money grows on trees/ But it does, and that's the funny thing/ The ironic thing/ The kind of scary thing/ It opens doors for me"
Why it rules: She says that money does grow on trees. I'm not sure if she's referring to the U.S. Treasury's printing presses, or if she's referring to the fact that money doesn't matter in the grand scheme of life.
'I think I left my conscious on your front door step'
Song: "Wait A Minute!"
Lyric: "Wait a minute/ I think I left my conscious on your front door step"
Why it rules: When you're really into someone, sometimes you leave everything behind and lose yourself in them. This is a really clever way of saying that.
Lyric: "I'm just a girl/ Walking through the woods but I'm mighty/ I'mma climb this mountain/ And ain't nobody gonna stop me"
Why it rules: "dRuGz" is such an inspiring pump-up jam. And while she's using symbols like crystals and forests to represent the world that's much larger than us, this song can motivate you to stand your ground in the place you're in -- whether you're adventuring in the trees or walking around the city, wondering if you're really insignificant or if you're worth so much more.
'Take me with you'
Lyric: "Take me with you/ I'm sick of mildew/ I'm sick of all of these humans/ Telling me what to do/ They make you stupid/ But we are from Nibiru/ Remember your cosmic roots"
Why it rules: Nibiru is a fictional planet that was supposed to collide with Earth in 2012. Whether you believe in Nibiru or not, it's about yearning to be somewhere else, and I think we've all been there before. The cosmic imagery in this song -- whether you take it seriously or not -- lets you get the lost in the story, so, for a few minutes, you can leave earth too.