“I Cannot Tell Who Is My Friend” Jaden Smith Says There’s A Reason He Doesn’t Roll With Drake And Kanye West Anymore
Drake may have been onto something when he proclaimed “No New Friends” a few years ago. Now that Jaden Smith is evolving into a rap artist, the 19-year-old says his circle has grown much smaller since those he used to look to for inspiration now see him as a threat. In an interview with Complex, the whiz kid behind the hip-hop opus SYRE: A Beautiful Confusion talks about his bottled water company and the friends he’s lost along the way when he recently blew up the music scene.
Smith says when it comes to rappers like Drake, Kanye West and Donald Glover, the men he once looked up to as mentors, have turned into his competition and the relationships have grown distant:
“It’s really changed. I always felt like Little Homie before and that allowed me in all of their circles. But now that I’m on the charts next to them, I’m not really Little Homie anymore.”
When Complex asks if he’s earned some acceptance, the Twitter soothsayer who co-starred with dad Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness as a child reveals:
“No, it’s more like, ‘You can’t hang out with us anymore. We didn’t know you were making an album this whole time. We thought you were just Little Homie giving us free water and shit. You’re not really cool with us anymore.’”
Smith also talks about his other career interests which include his company JUST. JUST water comes in paper bottles derived from plants, with a cap made from sugarcane:
“It came from the 11-year-old me who just wanted to make something better for the environment—an alternative for people so they don’t have to be drinking out of petroleum-based plastic all the time. That’s really the goal and I feel like people are slowly waking up to it.”
The eco-entrepreneur says environmental awareness has been something he’s been passionate about since he was an adolescent:
“I was 10 years old. I figured out that plastic was bad and our recycling systems were not as they should be. There were these Pacific garbage patches floating around the ocean and I kept telling people about it. It was like someone had died. Then I found out that those plastics break down, fish eat them, and then we eat the fish. It gets inside of us. It’s uncomfortable. It’s gross.”
JUST was formed in 2015, a partnership which joins the forces of father and son one more time. When it comes to working with his dad, Smith says it’s pleasant departure from the criticism the family often faces due to their alternative approach to life and parenthood:
“It’s been such a breath of fresh air to show people this side of us. This is not us trying to promote a new movie or new album. This is us trying to help the world and educate people by making them aware of the harm they’re doing by continuing to use petroleum in this way.”
Let me find out hip-hop’s golden boys are getting their “Mean Girls” on when it comes to Smith’s promising music career. You can read more about Smith’s upcoming movie Skate Kitchen and the thought process that goes into his eccentric fashion choices here.