*Willow Smith is opening up about the sexism and racism her mother Jada Pinkett Smith endured when touring with her rock band Wicked Wisdom in the early 2000s.
“My mom got so much hate,” Smith said in an interview for the cover of L’Officiel’s July 2021 issue. “It was intense racism and sexism, just packed on to the tens. People giving her death threats, throwing glass at her onstage. Some crazy stuff went down.”
Smith said she “got to see that hate firsthand,” how her mother’s musical experiences were fraught with physical danger.
“It was so scary to me, and I think I internalized a little bit,” she added.
Smith said witnessing the hate impacted her own music career, which she started at 10 years old with the release of her debut single “Whip My Hair”.
“She really showed me what ‘womaning up’ really was by taking a stance and not being afraid of other people’s judgments and perceptions,” the singer said. “I really wanted to just go within that place in myself and try something new, regardless of what my insecurities were.”
Willow recently released a new single “Lipstick,” from her upcoming album “Lately I Feel Everything.” The project is expected to release on July 16.
“I just wanted to fulfill that desire that I had ever since I was 10 or 12 of singing rock music, of being a Black woman singing rock music,” she said.
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