Music·Posted on Mar 14, 2022Willow Smith's Music Is Criminally Underrated, And These 19 Songs By Her Are UnderappreciatedIn 2022, Willow Smith IS alt-culture.by Angelica CheyenneBuzzFeed ContributorFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink Willow Smith, mononymously known as Willow in the industry, is a criminally underrated music artist who doesn’t get enough credit for her artistry or versatile music catalog. CBS Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images Daughter of action movie star–rapper Will Smith and actor–heavy metal rocker Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow has followed in her parents' song-making footsteps, finding her own musical niche in the process. The 21-year-old singer's talent extends far past being the youthful cohost of her mother's Facebook Watch talk show, Red Table Talk.Unlike her father and brother Jaden Smith, who made music for hip-hop lovers, or her mother, who fronts the inactive heavy metal band Wicked Wisdom, Willow has delved into constructing songs for the "alt" genre. That includes alt-rock, alt-R&B, and alt-pop. Aside from her dope 2010 Billboard-reaching pop/R&B single “Whip My Hair,” Willow has cooked up other amazing songs that are spectacular and completely underappreciated. There are many theories circulating online about why the “Transparent Soul” singer's music is downplayed. One presumption is that Willow’s music is undervalued because she presents as an alt-Black girl. This hypothesis is disputable but can't be entirely discounted. While being Black and alt is often viewed by some Black and non-Black people as oxymoronic, Willow’s latest fashion and music style is highly indicative of the Afro-punk subgenre. Afro-punks — Black people who embrace the alt subculture — have always existed and needed more representation. Examples of Black women who reflect alternative subculture, aka Afro-punks, are Grace Jones, Santigold, Solange Knowles, FKA Twigs, and Rico Nasty. Fitting in with the aforementioned women music artists, Willow is adding her unique voice to the pool of performers in the punk rock and alt-affiliated communities. Willow’s current music is a nod to Afro-punk singers who came before her, like Fefe Dobson, X-Ray Spex lead singer Poly Styrene, and Skin — lead singer of Skunk Anansie. Going beyond just writing catchy tunes, Willow composes songs that are actually thought-provoking. Through her lyrics, she addresses a wide range of topics, including love, social injustice, mental health, and emotional growth. Willow is a music industry gem who should receive more acknowledgment for her willingness to be experimental. Since it’s Women’s History Month, I’m designing a Willow music appreciation list. Here are 19 songs by her that should receive more recognition. 1. "Wait a Minute!" Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Facebook / Red Table Talk This indie pop track illuminates good vibes and hipster energy. 2. "Summer Fling" View this video on YouTube Roc Nation This is the epitome of alt–dream pop. 3. "Time Machine" Filmmagic / FilmMagic for Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival Prior to Muni Long's R&B record "Time Machine," there was Willow's indie rock track "Time Machine." 4. "Lipstick" NBC / Via youtube.com Reminiscent of Paramore's "Conspiracy," Willow's "Lipstick" is every punk rock fan's dream. 5. "Transparent Soul" Feat. Travis Barker Paras Griffin / Getty Images Willow's "Transparent Soul" is very pop-punkish. On this track, her voice mirrors Gwen Stefani's back when she was the lead singer of No Doubt in the mid-1990s. 6. "Meet Me at Our Spot" by the Anxiety (Willow Smith and Tyler Cole) View this video on YouTube MSFTSMusic / Roc Nation Records LLC The awesome "Meet Me at Our Spot" should be appreciated more outside of the TikTok realm. Willow's partnership with Tyler Cole to form the alternative/pop duo the Anxiety was a great move because it enabled her to create this wonderful song. 7. "9" Feat. SZA Paras Griffin / Getty Images Willow linked up with alt-R&B queen SZA to bring the public the amazing trip hop–sounding "9." 8. "Female Energy, Part 2" Jason Koerner / Getty Images for Audacy "Female Energy, Part 2" is an acoustic indie rock masterpiece. 9. "Marceline" Kevin Winter / Getty Images for Bud Light "Marceline" is more alt-pop with elements of grunge, but it's catchy nonetheless. 10. "Grow" Feat. Avril Lavigne and Travis Barker Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Roc Nation / Via youtube.com Willow's "Grow" will teleport you back to the pop-punk golden era of the early 2000s. Having Y2K pop-punk icons Avril Lavigne and Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker featured on the record makes the song that more alt. 11. "Rose Golden" Feat. Kid Cudi SOPA Images / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images Any song that features Kid Cudi deserves praise. 12. "Waves of Nature" Frazer Harrison / Getty Images "Waves of Nature" is like the perfect combination of electropop and moombahton. 13. "Like a Bird" Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images "Like a Bird" is very much psychedelic rock, with heavy influences from the Beatles. 14. "Brahma's Song" Feat. Jahnavi Harrison View this video on YouTube youtube.com Willow deserves recognition for "Brahma's Song" simply for effortlessly singing it in Sanskrit. 15. "Gaslight" Feat. Travis Barker GIPHY "Gaslight" by Willow is so punk, it's ridiculous. 16. "After You Cry" by the Anxiety Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Facebook / Red Table Talk "After You Cry" is another hit from Willow's group the Anxiety. 17. "Flowers" Amy Sussman / WireImage "Flowers" is a bit neo-soulish, with a lo-fi hip-hop edge. Any song that is neo-soul adjacent should be held in high regard. 18. "Boy" Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images for SiriusXM "Boy" would fit perfectly in any late-1990s or early-2000s rom-com. Therefore, once you hear it, you'll want to listen to it repeatedly. 19. "IDK" Samir Hussein / Samir Hussein / WireImage In "IDK," Willow expresses what most people are feeling all the time, making this song highly relatable. What other songs by Willow do you think are undervalued? Let me know in the comments below!