This year is shaping up to be a big one for Jaden Smith. The rapper and actor released a three-song EP titled ERYS IS COMING in April. According to his performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier today, though, a full album of the same name will be coming later this year, too. He announced the news alongside the world premiere of new song “Summertime in Paris” with his sister Willow Smith on the show.
This news arrives on the heel of other big moments in Jaden Smith’s career. He recently dropped his Sunset Tapes: A Cool Tape Story mixtape, contributed to the Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, performed at Coachella with a surprise appearance by his dad, was announced as an opener for Tyler, the Creator’s fall tour, and teamed up with Vic Mensa and Belly for a new single. So why is this new song underwhelming given he’s otherwise on the rise?
Both Jaden and Willow Smith have pretty good voices, so it doesn’t make sense why they lay into the autotune so hard on “Summertime in Paris”. There’s echoes of Kanye West in the song (fitting, given Jaden will portray a young Kanye in an upcoming Showtime series) but nothing nearly as revelatory as the iconic rapper pulls off. As an overblown rhythm section plays out behind the two siblings, the song starts to lose its steam, stretching way too long without any big payoff. Judge it for yourself below.
Before performing the song, Jaden Smith talked to Ellen about his earlier interviews on the show over six years ago. He then brought up his initiative to provide clean water to Flint, MI and surprised Ellen with news that he donated a mobile water filtration system, dubbed The Water Box, in her name to help with the water crisis.
But this is Ellen, a comedian and philanthropist who always gets the last (very sweet) word. After bringing out Willow Smith to play a game of “Heads Up! Sidekick”, Ellen sneakily gifted Jaden a $50,000 donation toward his efforts in Flint. Watch how things unravel below — and if you’re inclined, you can donate to help the Flint water crisis at the city’s website.