Jaden Smith is exactly the kind of kid you expect to see walking through the halls at your local art school. He has this thing going on that screams, “I hear colors and see sounds.” He and sister Willow are both known for exploring deep existential thoughts about life and their place in the world. He’s one to question the very nature of space and time. As it turns out, his character Marcus "Dizzee" Kipling on The Get Down is no different. Smith son is a great actor; he’s been honing this particular craft since childhood. Presumably, he's a very versatile performer. But now that the second part of season 1 is out, I don’t think anyone can deny that Jaden is pretty much playing himself on the Netflix original series. The similarities go even further than personality.
Dizzee is the most artistic out of his Get Down Brothers hip-hop crew. In part one, we knew that he was a tagger/graffiti artist going by the name Rumi 411. As such, he creates his art in public places — mainly subway cars and the side of buildings — leaving it on display for the world to see. In real life, Jaden is also a visual artist. No reports have surfaced of Jaden defacing public transportation cars (yet), but earlier this year, the 18-year-old left a couple of his paintings in public places for fans to find and pick up. And that scene in the part two finale when he’s painting a room (and his own body) with “pretty white boy” bae, is exactly what I would expect to see if Jaden curated a space for R29’s 29 Rooms.
In addition to the visual arts, Dizzee comes into his own as a decent MC at the end of part one and is honing those skills in part two. The real Jaden is also a rapper. He’s released several mixtapes, with a studio album forthcoming. He has collaborated with the likes of Childish Gambino, Justin Bieber, and Jhené Aiko. We also know that one of Jaden’s rap idols is Drake. It can’t be a coincidence that he plays a character named Dizzee, which sounds a lot like Drizzy.
And another thing, Dizzee has the coolest parents out of the Get Down Brothers. His dad seems mainly annoyed, but not disappointed, that his son keeps getting arrested for doing graffiti. And when his brother Ra-Ra admits that it was party-crashers, and not looters during a city-wide blackout, who trashed their parents’ salon, he was spared for his honesty. Jaden’s father, Will Smith, is literally the Fresh Prince. He and his wife Jada have been public about the non-traditional parenting methods they employ with Jaden and Willow, making the Smiths one of the coolest families in Hollywood. Even when the Kipling parents tighten the reigns in part two, the move mirrors Will’s own doubts that he may have been too lenient on his kids at times.
It seems pretty obvious to me what’s going on here. Sure, they’re in a different time and place, but Jaden and Dizzee are the same person in the most important ways. They’re both defying heterosexual masculinity — Dizzee is having a queer love affair, while Jaden frequently dons women’s clothing. And we can count on them both to wander about, observing the world around them and dropping one-liners that we all need to hear.