26 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

While his old-school partner in rhyme has since become one of the most powerful icons in Hollywood, Philly hip-hop pioneer DJ Jazzy Jeff hasn't exactly been slacking all these years. Though you may not hear him on the radio or see him on TV, he's been steadily working, producing new music, mentoring young artists, making dope mixtapes, and traveling the world as an in-demand DJ. In 2002 he dropped The Magnificent>, a stellar collection of top-shelf music featuring an array of artists affiliated with his Touch of Jazz studio, and the first album released under his own name. Five years later he's back with this follow-up, another strong (and totally slept-on) record that combines classic-minded production, expert-level scratching, and sharp rhymes from both all-stars and upstarts alike. Method Man absolutely murders it on the rowdy "Hold It Down," J Live gets loose on the Allen Iverson-sampling throwback "Practice," and Twone Gabz writes a love letter to rap music on "Hip Hop." Other features include Jean Grae, Big Daddy Kane, Posdnous, and CL Smooth. All in all a solid album from an under-rated legend.

EDITORS’ NOTES

While his old-school partner in rhyme has since become one of the most powerful icons in Hollywood, Philly hip-hop pioneer DJ Jazzy Jeff hasn't exactly been slacking all these years. Though you may not hear him on the radio or see him on TV, he's been steadily working, producing new music, mentoring young artists, making dope mixtapes, and traveling the world as an in-demand DJ. In 2002 he dropped The Magnificent>, a stellar collection of top-shelf music featuring an array of artists affiliated with his Touch of Jazz studio, and the first album released under his own name. Five years later he's back with this follow-up, another strong (and totally slept-on) record that combines classic-minded production, expert-level scratching, and sharp rhymes from both all-stars and upstarts alike. Method Man absolutely murders it on the rowdy "Hold It Down," J Live gets loose on the Allen Iverson-sampling throwback "Practice," and Twone Gabz writes a love letter to rap music on "Hip Hop." Other features include Jean Grae, Big Daddy Kane, Posdnous, and CL Smooth. All in all a solid album from an under-rated legend.

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3:14
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3:42
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8:45

About DJ Jazzy Jeff

The accomplishments of DJ Jazzy Jeff, the Philadelphia-born Jeff Townes, predate and extend far beyond his multi-platinum, Grammy-winning partnership with Will Smith. Revered for his party-rocking skills, which he began to develop as a youngster in his parents' basement, and acknowledged as a pioneer for his development of the transformer scratch, Townes has also worked in studios since 1985, when he provided uncredited scratching on tracks by Korner Boyz and Cazal Boys. A few years into his subsequent alliance with Smith as DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Townes founded a production house called A Touch of Jazz, named after his early turntablism classic off 1987's Rock the House. Among its early successes was the theme for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the sitcom on which Townes acted as the sidekick to Smith's lead character (to the comic annoyance of James Avery's Uncle Phil).

After the final DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince album, 1993's Code Red, Townes assisted Smith's solo material and worked on recordings by several other rap and R&B artists. Most notably, he served as executive producer of Jill Scott's Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. 1, a Top 20 Billboard 200 hit that led to a handful of Grammy nominations and a double-platinum RIAA certification. Townes' proper solo debut, The Magnificent, followed in 2002 with Scott, Eric Roberson, and Freddie Foxx among the guest stars. Although a sequel, The Return of the Magnificent, arrived five years later, Townes was much more active on other fronts, such as on official mixes (In the House, Hip Hop Forever II, Hip Hop Forever III), a series of mixtapes (Summertime, with Mick Boogie), production work (as the facilitator of the Playlist), and global touring as a club DJ. ~ Andy Kellman

  • ORIGIN
    Philadelphia, PA
  • BORN
    Jan 22, 1965

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