Today, young philosopher Willow Smith turns 17, and to celebrate she has surprise-released her new album, The 1st (though it’s actually her second album — the follow-up to 2015’s Ardipithecus). Unlike her debut, it’s a collection of mostly understated acoustic or piano-driven songs about topics ranging from crushing on a boy (“Boy”) to imagining a feminist revisionist history (lead single “Romance”). Because the teenage mind, however malleable, will not be limited! “This album is a journey through all types of LOVE. Investigating the confusion of the mind when faced with complex emotions and arriving at the clarity of gratitude. UP we go,” she said of The 1st on Instagram. “Enjoy this emotional regurgitation from the depths of a burgeoning woman.” In other next-gen Smith news, her big brother, Jaden, is also set to drop his debut album, SYRE, next month. The Smith teens: continuing to outpace most people twice their age.
Willow. Photo: Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association