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Nepo Baby of the Week: Why Is Jaden Smith Hanging With Kanye?

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty

It’s been a while since we heard from Jaden Smith, but this week he clearly wanted to make up for lost time.

First, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s son finally made things social-media-official with his influencer girlfriend, Sabrina “Sab” Zada. Then he jetted to Italy, where he attended Diesel’s Fall/Winter Fashion show and posed for a photo with Kanye “Ye” West at a soccer game. (Given that Smith walked out of the rapper’s Yeezy fashion show at 2022’s Paris Fashion Week after the “White Lives Matter” shirts came out, this was somewhat surprising.) From there, word spread that Smith might be a guest at West’s Vultures listening party Thursday night in Milan. Before the event started, Kid Cudi announced that Smith would join his upcoming Insano world tour alongside Pusha T. Smith has since shared videos from Kanye’s event, in which he is tagged, as well as what appears to be a behind-the-scenes photo, on his Instagram.

…And in case all of that wasn’t enough, Smith also surprise-dropped a new song collaboration with Rich The Kid, called “Like This,” on X Thursday evening.

“Like This” is Smith’s first new music in years. His last single, “Bye,” dropped in 2021, and his last album was 2020’s CTV3: Cool Tape Vol. 3. That said, he’s already teasing a new album. On Tuesday, Smith posted a series of photos of himself and Zada on X, and later that day, when Complex Music shared them on Instagram, he replied, “Album soon I been distracted.”

This, alongside the news that Jaden’s joining the Insano tour, will come as a big relief to his fans. (As one of probably three Neo Yokio fans left on the planet, I’m mostly just wondering if Smith and Ezra Koenig will ever bless us with another holiday special, but I digress!) Still, his choice to reunite with Ye is probably worth unpacking.

Back in 2022, when Smith ditched Ye’s Yeezy show, he seemed to indicate that the “White Lives Matter” gear wasn’t his cup of tea. “I Had To Dip Lol,” he tweeted afterward, before adding, “I Don’t Care Who’s [sic] It Is If I Don’t Feel The Message I’m Out.” His final post on the subject read, “Black Lives Matter.” Smith was also once slated to play a young, “alternate reality version” of West in a Showtime series called Omniverse from producers including the rapper and Scooter Braun, but the series never came to fruition. Now, it appears they’ve mended fences.

Smith’s couples’ photos, meanwhile, have fascinated the internet, prompting a flurry of explainers of the “rare snap.” The photos themselves are pretty much what you’d expect: We’ve got a mirror shot of Smith looking distracted in a tank top while Zada smiles; a selfie with matching blinged-out teeth; a casual picnic table snapshot; and a cute couple’s shot of the pair looking fondly into each other’s eyes in the desert. Given the Jaden Smith of it all, I half-expected to see a photo of them wearing matching space suits or something, but I guess we can settle for a rainbow “The More You Know”-core blazer and a hot pink tube top next to some cacti.

According to People, these two have been together since 2020, which does align with Smith’s “I been distracted” timetable. Zada’s already immense following has only blossomed since she and Smith went official; when People first published its deep dive on her earlier this week, the magazine reported that she had “over 665,000” followers on Instagram. Now, as I type these words, she’s at 829,000 and will probably have accrued tens of thousands more by the time you read these words. Smith’s new lady love is also active on TikTok and YouTube as well as, evidently, a musician. Sonically, at least, she seems like a perfect match for Jaden—quiet, breathy vocals and chill, spaced-out production that would all feel right at home on a “lofi beats to study and relax to” playlist.

…And of course, she’s also a model.

Although they’re just hard-launching it now, Jaden and Sab (are we going with “Sabraden” for a couple’s name? …“Jab?”) have apparently been a public item for a while now. The Daily Mail snapped some photos of them at Disneyland in 2022—which, based on their clothes, actually appears to be where those desert-backdrop photos came from—and they’ve also been spotted at Coachella. Backing up a moment, though, it’s also fascinating that those Disneyland photos were from Valentine’s Day. Is Jaden “Too Cool for It All” Smith actually a full-on Disney adult? Inquiring minds are desperate to know!

But what really makes this relationship work? What is the core dynamic between these two individuals with great cheekbones? For answers, look no further than this characteristically illuminating post from Jaden last week: “Sab be telling me stuff all the time and I be like yeah baby.”

Any questions?

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