Before Will Smith began headlining blockbuster films and starring on a hit sitcom, he was a massively popular rapper, who went by the moniker The Fresh Prince. He and his partner, Jeff Townes (a.k.a. DJ Jazzy Jeff) crafted a number of hit singles back in the day. Smith’s days as a hip hop phenom have long since passed, but he may be seeking to make a comeback in that regard. That’s right, rumor has it that the A-lister is pondering the notion of reviving his rap career. While that possibility may delight some, I have somewhat mixed feelings on that theoretically happening.
Speculation regarding the 55-year-old’s supposed return to rap was reported on by RadarOnline, who spoke with several insiders who made the claims. Per the sources, the Oscar winner is considering this career move because his acting opportunities have dried up as of late. Said drought is allegedly due to the infamous Oscars slap involving Chris Rock, which occurred back in early 2022. At this point, the star himself has not confirmed whether he’s making such plans. However, there may be evidence to back up these claims.
Something that a number of fans probably know about Will Smith is that he’s incredibly active on social media. And as of late, he’s shared a few music-centric posts to his Instagram account. One such video showed him freestyling for his son, Jaden, proving to the young man (and us) that he’s still the Fresh Prince. He also recently launched a podcast called Class of ‘88, which features interviews with groundbreaking rap artists. This could, of course, just be a coincidence, though the timing is definitely interesting.
There may be people who would love nothing more than to see the Emancipation actor return to his musical roots. He obviously still has skills and his enduring friendship with Jeff Townes could indicate that DJ Jazzy Jeff would be in the mix as well. “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Summertime” are just a few of the iconic tracks they produced throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s and, if the creative juices are still flowing, they could drop more quality tracks. Additionally, nostalgia is a hot commodity these days, and a record label or two may be intrigued by the notion of the duo making a comeback.
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While I think it’s a cool idea, I’m honestly mixed, because Will Smith is a talented actor, who could undoubtedly still deliver even more entertaining films. His credits have been a bit more hit or miss in recent years, and there’s still the matter of how the slap might impact his gigs in the long run. However, I’d love to see him land another great title in the vein of King Richard, which made him a Best Actor winner at the 2022 Academy Awards. He’s incredibly talented, and a revived rap career, if successful, could limit his time for big-screen productions.
Speaking of massive projects, his next big movie is the upcoming Bad Boys 4, which we know a bit about at this point. Filming was halted due to the SAG-AFTRA strike this past July, but it’s currently still slated to open next summer as part of the 2024 movie schedule. The long-running franchise has been a serious moneymaker for the Philadelphia native and his collaborators. So if he were to get further big film offers and have to turn them down in favor of his musical endeavors, he could be leaving a lot of cash on the table. I mean, music money is good, but those movie checks can be something else.
I may just be overthinking all of this, though, especially since there’s been no confirmation as to whether the Fresh Prince might truly return to the stage. You can bet, however, that I’ll be keeping an eye out to see what the star’s next professional steps are.
In the meantime, you can stream the first three Bad Boys movies using a Hulu subscription ahead of the fourth installment opening in theaters on June 14, 2024. You can also check out some of Will Smith’s other best movies, which can be found on various platforms.