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Album Review

After the disappointingly uneven And in This Corner..., DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince restarted their commercial momentum with Homebase, which fitted Will Smith's rhymes with up-to-date, radio-friendly production and a much richer overall sound. For the first time, the album's key single wasn't a comic narrative: "Summertime" was a warm, breezy reminiscence about growing up in Philadelphia and attending barbecues where the whole community showed up to see and be seen. It had all the good vibes of a typical Fresh Prince number, but it was clearly a more mature effort, and that's Homebase in a nutshell. The smoothed-out R&B background of "Summertime" provides a template for the record's poppier moments, and there's a thumping new club influence on the dancefloor cuts. Lyrically, when he's not trying to move your butt, Smith paints himself as more of a ladies' man, in keeping with his new young-adult persona. If he's still more innocent than LL Cool J, he's throwing out all his best lines on the single "Ring My Bell" and trying to play the field on "A Dog Is a Dog." And there are a few story songs, like "Who Stole the DJ" and "You Saw My Blinker," that benefit from the fresher-sounding beats. While it doesn't have the youthful, old-school charm of He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper, Homebase is a successful reinvention that laid the groundwork for Smith's multimedia stardom as an adult.

Customer Reviews

Great Album!

This album by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (Will Smith) puts most of today's rap albums to shame! Although 'Summertime" was the only big hit off of this album, most of the tracks are quite enjoyable to listen to. You also get Fresh Prince's fine version of "Ring My Bell", which was also released as a single and it's a fun and danceable track! Unlike the "Greatest Hits" collection, this album contains both versions of "Ring My Bell" and both are good for different reasons. I believe both versions did receive some airplay when first released. This album is some good clean fun and it's music that everyone of every age and race can understand and relate to! I loved it then and I still love it today!

classic

will smith 20 years ago had better music than the crap we call hip hop today. this album is how a rapper tells a story

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

To many present-day listeners, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince are best-remembered for launching the superstar music/acting career of the latter, now known by his real name of Will Smith. In their heyday, however, the Philadelphia duo played a major role in making rap music accessible to pop audiences, as well as younger listeners. Smith's raps were never anything more than PG-rated, and his genial, winning personality came through in the good-humored stories that many of his best raps wove....
Full Bio
Homebase, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
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