Willow Smith Drops Surprise Debut Album Ardipithecus: “I Was in Such a Transitional State”

Willow Smith
Willow Smith Jo Hale/Redferns via Getty Images

Willow Smith, all grown-up! The 15-year-old singer quietly dropped her debut album, Ardipithecus, on Friday, Dec. 11, proving to fans that she’s come a long way from 2011’s hit “Whip My Hair.”

Smith, who hinted at the important release date via Twitter this past week, wasted no words releasing her LP to the world, though she did give a statement to The Fader as to the origins of her album’s unique name.

“Ardipithecus Ramidus is the scientific name of the first hominid bones found on earth,” she told the music site via email. “I wanted to name my musical compilation after it because while I was making these songs I was in such a transitional state. Digging deep in the soil of my heart and finding bits and pieces of my ancient self that tell stories, which end up being the lyrics to the songs.”

Smith has released several singles since her viral hit “Whip My Hair,” including “I Am Me,” “Fireball,” and “21st Century Girl,” but this is her first full-length release. (The young artist released an EP, 3, last year.)

Willow Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith attend the BET's
Willow Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith attend the BET's "Black Girls Rock!" Red Carpet on March 28. Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s daughter is credited as the songwriter on 14 of the 15 tracks, and is listed as the sole producer on 10 of them. Her older half-brother Trey Smith (aka AcE) is listed on three tracks, and frequent collaborator JABS is also given a nod.

“Ardipithecus is my first album in my entire career and it makes me feel so blessed to be able to share my evolution with the LightEaters as I continue excavating my inner worlds…” she continued, adding that “these songs were created through characters I have developed within my mind.”

Take a listen to “F Q-C #8” below and tell Us what you think of Smith’s first album!

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