It's been more than two decades since Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff took us on a joyful stroll through summer with their Grammy award winning single "Summertime" in 1991. Since then, Smith has gone on to star in numerous blockbuster films and entertain generations of fans. But now we hear Smith is teaming up with Jazzy Jeff to take us on another stroll … this time, straight down memory lane.
According to a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Will Smith has remixed his Fresh Prince hit "Summertime", which will be available for download as early as Monday, June 10. In the preview audio (which you can check out here thanks to TMZ), Smith claims the song-just as in the original-is "just a li'l something to break the monotony / of all that hardcore that has gotten to be / a little bit outta control." If that's Smith aim, he certainly has achieved that with the track that even backpedals on the original versions laid back but faster tempo. We're used to remixes that speed up sampled tracks … Slowing them down definitely takes the idea of "a change of pace" in a different direction!
Some fans are likely wondering what led to this change of pace for the actor who in 2007 was named the most powerful actor in Hollywood by Newsweek. But, is this really a change of pace? As Smith's Fresh Prince persona originally rapped in 1991's version of "Summertime", "If it ain't broke don't fix it" … and that's arguably what Smith has held to for his entire career.
Smith first caught the major attention of fans and critics with his Fresh Prince persona as a rapper. Through the late 1980s into the early 1990s, The Fresh Prince, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Ready Rock C produced some of the most radio-friendly rap ever. The trio still enjoy success based on their most popular songs, "Parents Just Don't Understand" and, of course, "Summertime." It was also in the early 90s that Smith signed on to star in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air". Throughout the mid-90s Smith starred in blockbusters like "Bad Boys" (1995), "Independence Day" (1996), and "Men in Black" (1997) always bringing the same swagger and humor to his performances. Things slowed down for the actor in around 1998 … but guess what else happened in 1998? That's right: Smith and Jazzy Jeff released a remix of "Summertime," now titled "Summertime 98".
From the late 1990s into the mid-2000s, Smith enjoyed success both as an actor and musician, releasing three albums between 1999 and 2005 and starring in and producing over a dozen films. His roles in films like "Enemy of the State" (1998), "The Legend of Bagger Vance" (2000), "Ali" (2001), and "Bad Boys II" (2003) earned him several NAACP Image Award nominations. He came close to an Academy Award and Golden Globe for his critically acclaimed performance in 2001's "Ali", and was up for both awards once more in 2006's emotionally riveting "The Pursuit of Happyness." Now, Smith produces more films than he stars in, and though his films still enjoy much box office success, things have started to slow down …
Slow down? Sound familiar? Yes, this new remix of "Summertime" slows things down musically, but also reminds Smith's fans that he still knows what works. We can't say for sure that Smith considers the ever-popular track a good luck charm … But history shows it hasn't failed him in the past, which could mean great things for his upcoming career!
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Will Smith
- Jazzy Jeff