Everyone’s favorite pint-sized fountain of wisdom has done it again. Jaden Smith, son of Will and Jada, sat down for an interview with GQ and dropped some serious knowledge about his views on fame, his backyard pyramid (yes, you read that right), and something called The Mystery School that he and his sister Willow created.
The whole interview reads a little familiar, with quotes eerily similar to those of a certain self-proclaimed vessel of God we all know. Is Jaden the next Kanye West (does the world need another Kanye West)?
We matched some of Jaden’s GQ nuggets with some famous one’s from King Kanye himself. You be the judge.
On impacting the plebs:
Jaden: “Me and Willow are scientists,” he explains, “so everything for us is a scientific test upon humanity. And luckily we’re put in a position where we can affect large groups of human beings at one time.”
Kanye: “I’m doing pretty good as far as geniuses go … I’m like a machine. I’m a robot. You cannot offend a robot … I’m going down as a legend, whether or not you like me or not. I am the new Jim Morrison. I am the new Kurt Cobain … The Bible had 20, 30, 40, 50 characters in it. You don’t think that I would be one of the characters of today’s modern Bible?”— radio interview with Tim Westwood, 2008
On being misunderstood:
Jaden: “It’s fun, bro. That’s what a lot of people don’t realize. It’s fun. It’s so much fun. It’s the best thing. People think you’re crazy—I feel like it’s an honor, actually, for people to think I’m crazy. Because they thought Galileo was crazy, too, you know what I’m saying? I don’t think I’m as revolutionary as Galileo, but I don’t think I’m not as revolutionary as Galileo.”
Kanye: “I walk through the hotel and I walk down the street and people look at me like I’m f–king insane, like I’m Hitler. One day the light will shine through, and one day people will understand everything I ever did.” — performance at Big Chill Festival, 2011
On their enduring cultural impact:
Jaden: “No one will know where I am in 10 years. They’ll see me pop up, but they’ll be like, ‘Where’d you come from?’ No one will know. No one will know where I’m at. No one will know who I’m with. No one will know what I’m doing. I’ve been planning that since I was like 13 … It’ll be kind of like Banksy. But in a different way. More of a social impact. Helping people. But through art installations. It’ll be like, ‘This just happened that helped a bunch of people over here. We don’t know who did it, but these symbols and things were left around, so we can only guess that it’s Jaden and the squad.’ You know what I’m saying? So I’m just dedicating my whole life to helping the world.”
Kanye: “I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z … I think that’s a responsibility that I have, to push possibilities, to show people: ‘This is the level that things could be at.’ So when you get something that has the name Kanye West on it, it’s supposed to be pushing the furthest possibilities. I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.” — New York Times, 2013
On setting their own damn curriculum:
Jaden: “Me and my sister started this initiative called Mystery School. It dates back to like ancient Egypt, ancient Greece—like Plato, Pythagoras, all these students had mystery schools. And what they learned in there was sacred. They would learn the math and sciences of that generation, and then they would build the cities and give that energy and that knowledge to the other people. And a lot of stuff they would keep really, really to themselves. Like, you couldn’t say the word dodecahedron, which is just a shape, outside of one of the mystery schools or they would, like, kill you or whatever. Because it was such a sacred shape.”
Kanye: “What’s a B+ mean? I’m an extremist, its either pass or fail! A+ or F-! You know what, f–k you and the whole f–king staff!” — Entertainment Weekly, 2008
On their legacy:
Jaden: “I rarely go to parties. My whole life is just dedicated on learning and breaking, like, the craziest records of life, and being like one of the craziest human beings to ever exist. That’s me.”
Kanye: “I am the number one human being in music. That means any person that’s living or breathing is number two.” — The Wendy Williams Show, 2007
On what education can do for them:
Jaden: “I’ll go to college. I want to set up offices at MIT just so I can learn and bring in new technologies into the world. Definitely sit in on lectures in college. I’ve done that already. Like, go sit in that, you know, USC, UCLA, MIT, you know, anything I can get my hands on … I’ll go to open schools, eventually, when I’m like 25 or something. Multiple schools. At the same time, around the world. So, like, two in the United States, two in Europe, two in China, India, Russia, Africa, all at the same time.”
Kanye: “Today was the first time I realized, If I could have done it again I would have gone to the Art Institute over the American Academy of Art, I would have researched where I could have got the best and the strongest education. And I’m sure this will end up online, so I don’t want to diss anyone at the American Academy, I’m sure it’s equal to the Art Institute of Chicago by now, but at the time I was going I would look around at the work of the class and not feel inspired by the teachers, and I kinda, the idea of being a fine artist, that’s a really difficult profession to get into, to be respected in, to make money at. Maybe the goal for some of the people was just to work at an advertising agency or at a record label. My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater.” — Oxford University lecture, 2015
One thing they don’t see eye-to-eye on? The written word.
Jaden: “I’ll never read every single book, or go to every single place. But I’ll die in the trying of it.”
Kanye: “I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud nonreader of books.” — Reuters, 2009