Jaden Smith covers VMan Magazine getting interviewed by none other than Kid Cudi. In the latest issue they talk about his album SYRE, his water bottle company and its’ mission along with his budding movie career. He also talks in detail about his role as an environmentalist and the importance of sustainability. Take a look at some of what he had to say below and read the full article over at VMan Magazine.
Kid Cudi: Is the definition of masculinity changing?
Jaden Smith: I feel like the definition is not changing, but the way [masculinity] is shown is changing. People are getting hurt, losing their lives over petty things, and that has to do with people just trying to prove a point of being overly masculine. Everybody just needs to get along. We need to come together. That’s definitely a point from your music that I always listen to: Let’s all just get along. It’s gonna be totally fine if we do that.
JS: How do you feel about what’s happening with fashion right now?
KC: I feel fashion is in a beautiful place, especially seeing what Virgil’s doing [as Louis Vuitton’s menswear artistic director]. It was an incredible experience to be part of that—a monumental moment. It makes me excited for fashion. He’s doing groundbreaking things. That’s what this business needs: thinkers, people that push boundaries. At one point, I got made fun of because I wore skinny jeans. I remember I wore a kilt, and everyone made fun of me, like, “Cudi wears a dress.” It was just people being ignorant. But at that time, I thought, “Hip hop is the most judgmental genre of music.” Now, you can be yourself and do your own thing. This is what I dreamed the business would be like.
Watching you makes me feel like what I was doing was for a reason, for a purpose. I’m like, “Yo, if I never made music anymore, I’m cool because Jaden’s making music.” [Smith laughs.] I feel like you’re out here really pushing boundaries, like I passed a baton. It’s really nice to see you doing your thing. I’ve really watched you grow as an artist. I met you when you were 11 or 12, and you’ve been on this shit ever since. You’ve been a dedicated artist—it’s crazy I was the same age when I first started writing my first raps, and you were way more advanced than I was at 12. You were able to get in a studio and perfect your craft. What was it like working on Pursuit of Happyness with your dad?
KC: Yeah, man! Maybe one day we’ll do an album, bro.
JS: Oh, stop playing, Cudi! I’ll have to get a few more albums under my belt. I’m going to have to grow—but that would be the biggest dream of mine.
KC: It’s possible. I would love to do more music with you. I remember trying to encourage you to sing. I remember you were experimenting with it and I was like, “Man, just sing. Just do it.” Now, tell me a bit about your quest for sustainability. When did you realize you wanted to advocate for the environment?
JS: I started surfing when I was really young. I learned how the ocean is alive, and has tides. Then, I learned about the environment and the ecosystem, and discovered we’re putting out so many CO2 emissions, creating plastic for agriculture and even for processed meats. We start to overheat the planet, melt ice caps, and water levels start to rise. It’s only getting worse. That’s why I started Just Water; I wanted to create a bottle of water that was more sustainable, had less plastic, and emitted less CO2. Right now, I’m trying to launch this water filtration system in places where the water quality is very, very poor, which is sadly a lot of places in the world right now. I got on my whole quest at age 11.
KC: You’ve talked about wanting to turn recycled plastic into “even doper things.” Such as what?
JS: Right now, I’m in a room where the walls are made out of probably 2,000 Just Water bottles, pressed—it can be used as a drywall, so I really want to help people create schools using these materials. If you combine a lot of plastic together and melt it down, it almost becomes cinder block. You can use trash to create an entirely new structure. People will probably give you their trash for free if you’ll take it away from them. That’s why I feel like it can spark a new industry: I’m trying to make and create so many things out of recycled plastic. If you raise the price of plastic on the ground and in the oceans, more people will begin to pick up trash.