"But what is right? Please, explain to me what is wrong," the 15 year old sings in "Cycle"

By Nick Maslow
Updated October 05, 2016 06:19 PM
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Credit: Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty

Willow Smith took a move from Beyoncé‘s playbook.

The 15-year-old musician surprised fans with the release of her debut album, Ardipithecus, on Friday.

“Ardipithecus Ramidus is the scientific name of the first hominid bones found on earth,” she explained to The Fader via email. “I wanted to name my musical compilation after it because while I was making these songs, I was in such a transitional state; digging deep in the soil of my heart and finding bits and pieces of my ancient self that tell stories, which end up being the lyrics to the songs.”

Smith announced her news via Twitter, sharing a link to the album on iTunes.

Although Smith has been tight-lipped about her latest project, she let her Twitter followers know something big was coming on Friday.

“Dec. 11th,” she tweeted on Wednesday and Dec. 4.

The new tunes mark a major departure from the dance floor-ready vibe in her 2011 hit “Whip My Hair.” Effortlessly switching between singing and rapping, Smith shares her philosophy on life throughout the collection.

“I really wanna cry,” she reveals in “Cycle,” one of a handful of mid-tempo songs heavy on self-reflection. “I don’t sleep at night. I’m going out with those kids – we’re howling, we’re howling. Kids, we do what is right. We do what is wrong. But what is right? Please, explain to me what is wrong.”

[BRIGHTCOVE “20972487” “” “” “no” ]

Prior to the release, Smith made time for a sunny Hawaiian vacation with family, including father Will Smith and mom Jada Pinkett Smith, in early December.