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Will Smith: Greatest Hits

Will Smith

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Album Review

In retrospect, the point at which Will Smith went too far was with 1999's "Freakin' It," on which, over samples from "Love Hangover" and "Rapper's Delight," he boasted of his movie earnings, defended himself against charges of being a "soft" rapper, and criticized his peers. It was hard to dispute any of his arguments (though the citation of the American Music Awards as an example of his superiority seemed a bit of a stretch), but the song also emphasized — in the wrong way, as far as fans were concerned — how far Smith had come from Philadelphia, and it flopped. After that, his movies and records had to struggle more for attention. All careers go through peaks and troughs, however, and this collection of Smith's musical high points makes the case for his popularity, dating back to the late-'80s days of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, whose work is licensed from Jive Records for one-third of the tracks here. Not all of the early duo's hits are included, but the signature ones, particularly the breakout "Parents Just Don't Understand," are. In a sense, this is Smith at his most appealing, using rap to create novelty records that reveal the comic sense that later would light up movie screens. He remains engaging through solo hits like "Men in Black" and "Getting' Jiggy Wit It," even if he already seems to be starting to believe his press clips. By this point, the musical career has become an appendage of the movie career, and movie stardom begins to inform the raps, culminating in the defensiveness of "Freakin' It." Along the way, however, there is some clever writing, always put across by Smith's expansive personality, which enabled him to swim against the current of contemporary rap, at least for a time.

Customer Reviews

That Is So Stupid

I totally love Wills old show Fresh Prince so that is why I wanted the theme song but nooo you iTunes people made it so I had to buy the album only and I hate that so please i am begging you lets us buy the song seprate from the album please!!!!! ;'(

Great Album- But "Bel Air" is Where He Truly Reigns

Find me a better theme song. I DARE you.

Will is Right On

So the heavy gangsta rappers like to rap about ho's and killin' while Will here raps about softer, more mainstream things - that's why he's easier to listen to and therefore his message is more 'hear-able'. If this is what 'soft rap' is, good. I prefer it. Like his lyric says in 'Freakin' It', he's challenging the other rappers to sing one song that isn't full of ugly words - I'm not just talking about expletives, I'm referring to the ugly ways rap songs describe things... I'm so thankful I don't see drive by shootings on a daily basis and I don't consider myself a 'ho' or worse. I guess he just writes songs I can more readily relate to.

Biography

Born: September 25, 1968 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Beginning his career during the mid-'80s under the name the Fresh Prince, by the following decade rapper Will Smith was one of the biggest superstars of his time — not only a pop music sensation, he also conquered television and eventually feature films, starring in a string of box-office megahits. Born September 25, 1968, in Philadelphia, he was 16 when he met aspiring DJ Jeff Townes; joining forces as DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, the duo immediately became local favorites, but their...
Full Bio
Will Smith: Greatest Hits, Will Smith
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, Pop, R&B/Soul
  • Released: Nov 25, 2002

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