Willow Smith came out of nowhere in 2010 with “Whip My Hair,” a song that was far better than it should have been considering she was ten years old at the time. Then came “Fireball,” which was a pretty typical aggro-club track about being the life of the party (and hopscotch, probably).
But Willow Smith is 12 now and she’s had quite enough of that. Her new song, “Sugar and Spice,” takes a surprisingly dark turn. Sampling Radiohead’s “Codex,” the track strikes a chord closer to Fiona Apple than Nicki Minaj, and the stripped, simple production highlights that maybe her talent might be bigger than we thought. It’s a bit odd hearing someone as young as Willow sing about being melancholy and unable to “do anything right,” but we’ll afford her the clichés here because she’s 12.