Very few R&B/soul/hip-hop artists launch their acts by going to space. Erykah Badu touches down on the zodiac, Andre 3000, and Janelle Monae from time to time, but it is a rarified bunch. Well, Willow Smith, the zodiac’s newest member, has just joined the space age. The 14-year-old prodigy of Will and Jada Smith recently dropped her three track mixtape called Interdimensional Tesseract. Inter-what? Exactly. For those of you still on earth, a tesseract is a four-dimensional cube (obvi). What this has to do with Willow is a mystery, but then again, so is the universe. Take a listen:
Interdimensional Tesseract – Willow Smith
Interdimensional opens with “H E A RT,” produced by Chaotic. The ethereal cut has us feeling like the teenager is all grown up. She’s 41, not 14. The old soul sings, “I’m hydrogen, atoms, flick me up and mess up your planet,” “Inside my heart I will just plant it, the seed of knowledge, I said I got this,” “I don’t think it’s fair that you’re on earth, and I’m up here making stars and galaxies and comets, making the life on another dimension.” She mixes a spoken word cadence with an achy high-pitched soul voice that makes you long for whatever it is she’s longing for. Our little Willow went from whipping her hair back and forth to channeling some kind of Gill Scott Heron-Jill Scott-Erykah Badu-Jhené Aiko cosmic energy. This is not a pop princess—this is a reflective poet, the kind of Bob Dylan-in-the-making artist who probably carries a notebook of poetry and is unafraid to show her multi-dimensions to the world (perhaps that’s where the title…?) How brave, for a young ’un to be so bold about her interplanetary identity. “H E A R T” left me emotional and longing for more.
The short-lived “Vibration,” also produced by Chaotic, is more like a feeling than a full song, “Vibrations in the air and everything’s alright…” Willow croons. She is coasting on a cloudy vibe of love instead of on a higher plane in this one.
We hit the pop-electronica dance floor with “See U Dance.” Most of the song has Willow cooing like Donna Summer in the background, while a male voice takes the song. It’s short and to the point like the rest of the cuts – which may be the new age way of producing music. Still, this one could have used a little more punch. A little bland.
Willow definitely has found her own voice and vibe in this mixtape. The intelligence and philosophy behind her lyrics (especially in “H E A R T”) is a testament to Will and Jada’s free-thinking child rearing. It has us nodding as she explores her cosmic energy, transcends space and time, and considers the sage questions of the universe.
Interdimensional Tesseract is available for download at DatPiff.