You might already know that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s eccentric middle child, Jaden Smith, was born into fame and an overwhelming amount of resources. But his debut album, SYRE, shows he’s a legit musician.

Since its mid-November release, SYRE has been praised by rapper Logic, supermodel Cara Delevingne, and social media star Nathan Zed. Kendrick Lamar even tweeted out the visual for “Icon,” which has garnered over 14 million views.

But don’t just take their word for it. We’ve rounded up proof that his 17-track project – blending alternative rock, hip-hop and trap – is worth a proper listen.

A beautiful, cohesive confusion

“A beautiful confusion” is an ongoing theme lyrically on the album and in SYRE merch, and it’s an apt way to look at the project. Smith excels at combining a diverse range of production elements and topics, and it all makes sense. Genre blending is the norm in 2017, but the chaos here comes with cohesion.

“The story of a boy who chased the sunset until it chased him.”

SYRE comes from Smith’s full name, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, and is actually more than a somewhat self-titled piece of work. Smith recently told Billboard that a SYRE movie is in progress. “It’s an actual film that plays out that has characters,” he said.

He added that it won’t be stylized as a visual album or even contain rapping – rather it will follow the story of Syre, a character Smith has lyrically built up throughout his new album. 

We get a sonic preview of the SYRE film through the album’s title track. “SYRE” is a theatrical, poetic monologue about the mischievous Syre character, his struggles, and how he and his band of fellow misfits take on this confusing world. Until the movie materializes, a listen to SYRE in its entirety will do.

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