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Will Smith

 

Will Smith's commitment to hip hop can never be underestimated. One of rap music's most distinctive orators and gifted storytellers, his track record is as enviable as any artist of the genre. From his inaugural Rap Grammy Award victory with Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince in the 80s through his multi-platinum success as a solo performer, his near twenty-year career has been a study in longevity and a testament to his devotion to an art-form. However, three years having passed since his last music project and his status as a global superstar already secure, the question is posed as to what would motivate him after all this time to once again pick up the mic?

"Asking why I continue to make hip hop records is like asking why does a tree grow, or why does a river flow?" the West Philadelphia product says thoughtfully. "Because that's what it does. Hip hop is a part of why I was placed here. It's what I was born in the universe to do."

With his latest album, Lost & Found, Will Smith delivers yet another irresistible showcase for his witty wordplay and unparalleled ability to create infectious songs. Beyond the catchy-club and radio-ready anthems, the LP also offers some of the most personal and thought-provoking material of Will Smith's career, signaling a rebirth for the rapper.

"The title Lost & Found has a couple of different concepts behind it," he explains. "But the most obvious is that I feel like the rapper inside of me was essentially lost to my other career pursuits. There was a war inside of me, and the rapper lost. And in the past few months being back on stage, being back in the studio, there's a certain aspect to that guy that I've found again. There are certain elements that I've recaptured from being back in the music."

Recording Lost & Found required what Will Smith describes as "full submersion in the lab." Will Smith found the opportunity to work without distractions extremely liberating, as is evidenced by the lyrics of the LP's lead track Here He Comes, "For years I've been trying to rip rhymes and get mines and spit lines hot lines like lava/ But this time I don't got a sitcom to bother with/ Or a time conflict with my sci-fi hit." Anchored by the popular Spider Man cartoon theme-a throwback to the TV motif of early classics like Girls Ain't Nothin' But Trouble-the song is one of a handful that reunites Will Smith with longtime partner and turntable grand wizard Jazzy Jeff. Lauds Will Smith, "To me, Jeff is really the center of my connection to music and hip hop. The direction of Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince was always Jeff's direction and Jeff's vision. He's the source for me. So I always plug back into Jeff when it's time to dive back into the world of hip hop."

In the tradition of his biggest hits, Will Smith revisits the festive vibe of smashes like Summertime, Gettin' Jiggy with It and Miami on Switch, a club oriented jam intensified by a double-time clap track, and Party Starter, a crunkdafied groove that easily lives up to its title. Meanwhile, the knack for witty humor he immortalized on such early rap narratives as Parents Just Don't Understand and I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson, finds similarly strong vehicles in Pump Ya Brakes, a playful collaboration with Snoop Dogg, and If U Can't Dance (Slide), a hilarious, self-described "public service announcement" for the dance move-impaired that finds him deftly reprising the flow from UTFO's 80s classic Roxanne Roxanne.

However, like all notable lyricists, many of Will's most memorable moments come when infusing his verses with fire drawn from his own life. On Lost & Found, Will Smith reveals a more contentious side to his personality that few have seen to this point in his storied career-that of the rapper ready to defend himself in battle. Over the searing guitar riffs of Mr. Nice Guy, he addresses misconceptions of his clean-cut public image and answers the criticism he has endured in recent years with one simple but effective thought, "Don't mistake nice for soft."

I Wish I Made That discusses his love for parental advisory stickered hip hop, "I always envied how y'all rocked with Dre and The Chronic/ The way that 2pac, Biggie, 50 and Jigga got it." However, the song is also steadfast in expressing Will's resolve to forever do Will. Along the way he contemplates why his own innovations in moving the game forward-masterful comic timing, expanding rap's subject matter and pioneering new flows-have been continually neglected by urban radio. Rhymes Will, "Black radio/ They won't play me, though/ Ever since 'Summertime' they ain't like none of mine/ Even though the fans went out and bought enough/ I guess they think that Will ain't hard enough." "Songs like Lean Back and Drop It Like It's Hot-I love those records," he confesses, "but those kinds of songs don't come out of me."

Meanwhile, the potent title cut's constructive critiques of his beloved art form begins with Will Smith reciting Webster's definition of "original" over an arrangement of terse strings. He explains, "If you don't dress like everybody in all the other videos dresses, or your drums don't sound like everyone's, or your rhyme scheme isn't like everyone else's, you don't fit in according to the industry. So originality isn't necessarily nurtured. As far as defining it at the beginning of the record, I did that to say, let's clear up what originality means and figure out how that could be a bad thing."

"I'm a hip hop head from the old school, so I appreciate all kinds of hip hop. I just need it to just say something. I feel like N.W.A's first album and Biggie's first album should be used in psychology classes-they're such accurate, powerful depictions of the lifestyle. Such brilliant well thought out, well-defined, well-rounded albums. For my taste, I need records like those. They just have some intellectual base to it. I like fun records. I make fun records. But there just has to be a point to it."

"Why should I try to sound like y'all sound/ That's what's wrong with the rap game right now/ And it's like a circus with a bunch of clowns/ Wit a bunch of cliques I'd probably rhyme circles around," Big Will spits before giving props to some of his favorite musical peers, the ones whose music provides a remedy for the game's blahs. Amongst the roll call you can find Nas, Rakim and rap revolutionary Dead Prez.

True to his word, Lost & Found finds Will Smith moving courageously from aesthetic issues to world issues. While Ms. Holy Roller decries the religious fanaticism that suppresses freedom of worship, Why, featuring the impassioned singing of the Queen of Hip Hop and R&B, Mary J. Blige, recalls viewing the attacks of 9-11 alongside his son with a sensitivity and heartbreaking eye for detail few rappers could muster. "My son inspired that song," Will Smith says of his most powerful composition to date, "We were sitting and watching the attacks on the Towers on TV, and he was like, 'Daddy, were there people in that building?' And I was like, wooooowwww..." The song asks, why? But there really is no answer. There is no group answer, no universal answer. We have to find answers individually. Or, as Will Smith poignantly tells his son in the song's final lines, "You be the light for others, make them believe in God."

If such messages are not what you are used to hearing from a Will Smith record, then it is probably because this is not the same Will Smith you may be accustomed to. The artist who makes people laugh and dance, loves his family and tells great stories has not gone anywhere. He is just augmented his work by adding a key ingredient: himself.

"I guess this is really the first time I made an album that was just totally from my heart," Will Smith admits, "Everything was from an emotional base. Everything was, 'What do I feel about this situation? What did I feel today? What did I experience?' And that was always the spark for the records. Where in the past I would say, let's make a party record. What's not on the radio? Before, I was trying to take an intellectual approach. This time my intellect really just acted as the conduit between my heart and my pen."

 

 

 

 

Date News Item
22-May-05 New Dates
17-May-05 Will Smith Performance
22-Apr-05 Member Profile updated!
04-Apr-05 Will On the Tonight Show
01-Apr-05 Will Smith Appearances
26-Mar-05 Buy the "Switch (Reggae Remix)" feat Elephant Man
25-Mar-05 "LOST & FOUND", THE NEW ALBUM FROM WILL SMITH IS IN STORES!
11-Mar-05 Win a Home Entertainment Package from Will Smith!
Lost and Found (2005)
  1. Here He Comes
  2. Party Starter
  3. Switch
  4. Mr. Niceguy
  5. Ms. Holy Roller
  6. Lost & Found
  7. Tell Me Why (feat. Mary J. Blige)
  8. I Wish I Made That / Swagga
  9. Pump Ya Breaks (feat. Snoop Dogg)
  10. If U Can't Dance (Slide) (feat. Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls)
  11. Could U Love Me
  12. Loretta
  13. Wave Em Off
  14. Scary Story
  15. Switch ...R&B Remix (feat. Robin Thicke)
  16. Switch ...Reggae Remix (feat. Elephant Man)
Greatest Hits (2002)
  1. Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble (1988 Extended Remix) (w/ DJ Jazzy Jeff)
  2. Parents Just Don't Understand (w/ DJ Jazzy Jeff)
  3. A Nightmare On My Street (w DJ Jazzy Jeff)
  4. The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air (w/ DJ Jazzy Jeff)
  5. Summertime (w/ DJ Jazzy Jeff)
  6. Just Cruisin' (w/ DJ Jazzy Jeff)
  7. 1,000 Kisses Radio (feat. Jada)
  8. Men In Black
  9. Gettin' Jiggy Wit It
  10. Miami
  11. Freakin' It
  12. Will 2K (feat. K-Ci)
  13. Wild Wild West (feat. Dru Hill & Kool Mo Dee)
  14. Nod Ya Head (The Remix)
  15. Just The Two Of Us
  Born To Reign (2002)
  1. Born To Reign
  2. Act Like You Know
  3. I Can't Stop
  4. Jaden's Interlude
  5. 1,000 Kisses (feat. Jada)
  6. Willow Is A Player
  7. Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head) (feat. Tra-Knox)
  8. How Da Beat Goes
  9. Block Party
  10. Give Me Tonite
  11. I Gotta Go Home
  12. Maybe
  13. Nod Ya Head-The Remix (feat. Christina Vidal & Tra-Knox)
  14. Momma Knows
  Willennium (1999)
  1. I'm Comin'
  2. Will2K
  3. Freakin It
  4. Da Butta
  5. La Fiesta
  6. Who Am I (Featuring Tatyana Ali & MC Lyte)
  7. Afro Angel
  8. So Fresh
  9. Pump me Up (with DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince)
  10. Can U Feel Me? (featuring Eve)
  11. Potnas / Interlude
  12. No More (featuring Breeze)
  13. Uhhh (featuring Kel Spencer)
  14. Wild Wild West (featuring Dru Hill/Kool Moe Dee)
  15. The Rain (featuring Jill Scott)
  D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Greatest Hits (1998)
  1. Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble [1988 Extended Remix]
  2. Men in Black [Album Version]
  3. Summertime [Album Version]
  4. Parents Just Don't Understand [Single Edit]
  5. Boom! Shake the Room [Album Version]
  6. Just Cruisin' [Album Version]
  7. Ring My Bell [Mr. Lee's Radion Mix]
  8. Brand New Funk [Album Version]
  9. Lovely Daze [#]
  10. Fresh Prince of Bel Air
  11. Nightmare on My Street [Single Version]
  12. Touch of Jazz [Album Version]
  13. I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson [Album Version]
  14. Magnificent Jazzy Jeff [Album Version]
  15. I'm Looking for the One (To Be With Me) [Album Version]
  16. You Saw My Blinker [Album Version]
  17. Summertime '98 [Soulpower Remix]
  18. Megamix [Edit]
  Big Willie Style (1997)
  1. Intro
  2. Y'all Know
  3. Gettin' Jiggy Wit It
  4. Candy - Larry Blackmon
  5. Chasing Forever
  6. Keith B-Real I (Interlude)
  7. Don't Say Nothin'
  8. Miami
  9. Yes Yes Y'all - Camp Lo
  10. I Loved You
  11. Keith B-Real II (Interlude)
  12. It's All Good
  13. Just the Two of Us
  14. Keith B-Real III (Interlude)
  15. Big Willie Style - Left Eye
  16. Men in Black
  Code Red (1993)
  1. Somethin' Like Dis
  2. I'm Looking for the One (To Be With Me)
  3. Boom! Shake the Room
  4. Can't Wait to Be With You
  5. Twinkle Twinkle (I'm Not a Star)
  6. Code Red
  7. Shadow Dreams
  8. Just Kickin' It
  9. Ain't No Place Like Home
  10. I Wanna Rock
  11. Scream
  12. Boom! Shake the Room [Street Remix]
  Homebase (1991)
  1. I'm All That
  2. Summertime
  3. The Things That U Do
  4. This Boy Is Smooth
  5. Ring My Bell
  6. A Dog Is a Dog
  7. Caught in the Middle (Love & Life)
  8. Trapped on the Dance Floor
  9. Who Stole the D.J.
  10. You Saw My Blinker
  11. Dumb Dancin'
  12. Summertime (Reprise)
  13. Ring My Bell (Remix)
  And In This Corner... (1989)
  1. Then She Bit Me
  2. I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson
  3. Jazzy's Groove
  4. Everything That Glitters (Ain't Always Gold)
  5. You Got It (Donut)
  6. Girlie Had a Mustache
  7. Reverend
  8. Who Stole My Car?
  9. Men of You Dreams
  10. Numero Uno
  11. Too Damn Hype
  12. Jeff Waz on the Beat Box)
  He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper (1988)
  1. Nightmare on My Street
  2. Here We Go Again
  3. Brand New Funk
  4. Time to Chill
  5. Charlie Mack (1st out of the Limo)
  6. As We Go
  7. Parents Just Don't Understand
  8. Pump Up the Bass
  9. Let's Get Busy Baby
  10. Live at Union Square (November 1986)
  11. D.J. on the Wheels
  12. My Buddy
  13. Rhythm Trax - House Party Style
  14. He's the D.J., I'm the Rapper
  15. Hip Hop Dancer's Theme
  16. Jazzy's in the House
  17. Human Video Game
  Rock The House (1987)
  1. Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble
  2. Just One of Those Days
  3. Rock the House
  4. Taking It to the Top
  5. Magnificent Jazzy Jeff
  6. Just Rockin'
  7. Girls Ain't
  8. Touch of Jazz
  9. Don't Even Try It
  10. Special Announcement

 



  Hitch (2005) .... Alex 'Hitch' Hitchens

While helping his latest client woo the fine lady of his dreams, a professional "date doctor" (Smith) finds game doesn't quite work on the gossip columnist (Mendes) with whom he's smitten.
  Shark Tale (2004) .... Oscar (voice)

This mafia movie, set in the world of saltwater fish, is the story of what happens when the son of the shark boss (De Niro) of a fish crime family is killed by a dropped anchor, and a bottom-feeder named Oscar (Smith) is found at the scene of the crime. Hoping to win favor with the enemies of the ganglord, the fast-talking hustler poses as the killer known as the "sharkslayer", but soon learns it's a dangerous game in a world where the big fish generally eat the little fish...
  I, Robot (2004) .... Del Spooner

Set in a future Earth (2035 A.D.) where robots are common assistants and workers for their human owners, this is the story of "robotophobic" Chicago Police Detective John Spooner's (Smith) investigation into the murder of Dr. Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell), who works at U.S. Robotics, in which a robot, Sonny (Tudyk), appears to be implicated, even though that would mean the robot had violated the Three Laws of Robotics, which is apparently impossible. It seems impossible because.. if robots can break those laws, there's nothing to stop them from taking over the world, as humans have grown to become completely dependent upon their robots. Or maybe... they already have? Aiding Spooner in his investigation is a psychologist, Dr. Susan Calvin (Moynahan), who specializes in the psyches of robots.

  Bad Boys II (2003) .... Mike Lowrey

Narcotics cops Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Bennett (Lawrence) head up a task force investigating the flow of ecstasy into Miami. Their search leads to a dangerous kingpin, whose plan to control the city's drug traffic has touched off an underground war. Meanwhile, things get sexy between Mike and Syd, Marcus's sister.
  Men in Black 2 (2002) .... MiB Agent J (Jay)

Agent J (Will Smith) needs help so he is sent to find Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and restore his memory
  Ali (2001) .... Cassius Clay/Cassius X/Muhammad Ali

A drama about the life and times of one of the most loved, revered and controversial sports figure of all time. This film extends 10 years into the life of a man who began his career known as Cassius Clay and ended as Muhammad Ali.
  Legend of Bagger Vance, The (2000) .... Bagger Vance

A disillusioned war veteran, Capt. Rannulph Junah (Matt Damon), reluctantly agrees to play a game of golf. He finds the game futile until his caddy, Bagger Vance (Will Smith), teaches him the secret of the authentic golf stroke which turns out also to be the secret to mastering any challenge and finding meaning in life.
  Wild Wild West (1999) .... Capt. James West

Special government agent James West (Smith), long on charm and wit, and special government agent Artemus Gordon (Kline), a master of disguises and a brilliant inventor of gadgets large and small, are each sent to track down the diabolical genius Dr. Arliss Loveless (Branagh). Loveless is plotting to assassinate the President of the United States with the aid of his monstrously huge walking weapon-transport vehicle called The Tarantula
  Enemy of the State (1998) .... Robert Clayton Dean

A successful lawyer finds himself the target of a treacherous NSA official and his goons after receiving evidence to a politically motivated murder, the only man that can help him is a former government operative turned surveillance expert
  Men in Black (1997) .... Officer James Darrel Edwards III/MiB Agent J (Jay)

Men in Black follows the exploits of agents Kay (Jones) and Jay (Smith), members of a top-secret organization established to monitor and police alien activity on Earth. The two Men in Black find themselves in the middle of the deadly plot by an intergalactic terrorist (Vincent D'Onofrio) who has arrived on Earth to assassinate two ambassadors from opposing galaxies. In order to prevent worlds from colliding, the MiB must track down the terrorist and prevent the destruction of Earth. It's just another typical day for the Men in Black.
  Independence Day (1996) .... Captain Steven 'Eagle' Hiller

On July 2nd, communications systems worldwide are sent into chaos by a strange atmospheric interference. It is soon learned by the military that a number of enormous objects are on a collision course with Earth. At first thought to be meteors, they are later revealed to be gigantic spacecraft, piloted by a mysterious alien species. After attempts to communicate with the aliens go nowhere, David Levinson, an ex-scientist turned cable technician, discovers that the aliens are going to attack major points around the globe in less than a day. On July 3rd, the aliens all but obliterate New York, Los Angeles, and Washington. The survivors set out in convoys towards Area 51, a strange government testing ground where it is rumored the military has a captured alien spacecraft of their own. The survivors devise a plan to fight back against the enslaving aliens, and July 4th becomes the day humanity will fight for its freedom. July 4th is their Independence Day... Captain Steven Hiller: I'm just a little anxious to get up there and whup E.T.'s a--.

  Bad Boys (1995) .... Mike Lowrey

Marcus Burnett is a hen-pecked family man. Mike Lowry is a foot-loose and fancy free ladies' man. Both are Miami policemen, and both have 72 hours to reclaim a consignment of drugs stolen from under their station's nose. To complicate matters, in order to get the assistance of the sole witness to a murder, they have to pretend to be each other.
  Six Degrees of Separation (1993) .... Paul

Stylish, opened-up adaptation of John Guare's stage success about a handsome con man who convinces well-off, gullible New Yorkers that he is Sidney Poitier's son. Impressively acted film flows smoothly in its first two acts, before the satire gives way to chest-thumping tragedy. Dominant virtue is the wide-screen snap Schepisi gives to the New York settings, both indoors and out; only a letterboxed video will do it justice. Based on a true incident. Many NYC society types pop up in cameos. - Leonard Maltin
  Made in America (1993) .... Tea Cake Walters

A young black woman discovers that her father was a sperm donor, and if that weren't bad enough, he's white.

Where the Day Takes You (1992) .... Manny


A group of teen-age runaways try to survive in the streets of Los Angeles. Drugs, prostitution, violence and bureaucratic indifference all pose threats to the kids, who nevertheless prefer this harsh life to going back to their families. Heather, somewhat older, provides some leadership and mothering to the kids


 

"Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The" (1990) TV Series

When Will, an inner-city teenager from Philly is sent by his mother to live with his relatives (the Banks') in Bel-Air, everybody is in for a surprise. It is funny how influence can go both ways...
  "All of Us" TV Series

ALL OF US, the successful series inspired by the domestic adventures of entertainment superstars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, reflects a new generation's enlightened attitude toward the extended family

 

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Will Smith was born in Philadelphia, PA on September 25, 1968. By the time Smith hits 30 years of age, he claim the rights to be called a Grammy Award winning rapper, solo star, box-office star, television success, and... all-round nice guy. By bringing comedy and positive meaning into his rap music, Smith has shown himself to be one of the few true role models for the youth that buy hip hop music. Smith's charming and sly demeanor in school resulted in the nickname "Prince" which eventually turned into the "Fresh Prince." While still in his teens, Smith began rapping and eventually hooked up with Jeff Townes (aka D.J. Jazzy Jeff) who he met at a party. Smith's goal for a musical career resulted in Smith turning down a scholarship to attend M.I.T. D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince was born with Smith handling the singing and Townes overseeing the mastery of mixing and scratching - the combination was hit a pop and hip hop hit during the 80's.

1987 D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince released Rock The House. The track "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble" was a moderate R&B hit (and re-released a year later).
1988  

D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince released their breakthrough LP, He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper with the radio and video favorites "Parents Just Don't Understand" and "Nightmare On My Street." The LP went on to sell over 3 million copies in the U.S.

He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper was certified gold.

He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper was certified platinum.

He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper was certified 2x platinum.

D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince won the first MTV Video Music Award for newly created Best Rap category.

Rock The House was certified gold.


1989   D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance ("Parents Just Don't Understand") - the first time this category was presented.

The single "Parents Just Don't Understand" was certified gold.

The duo won a MTV Video Music Award for Best Rap Video ("Parents Just Don't Understand").

D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's follow-up LP, And In This Corner... yielded little success with the moderate hit "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson." At this time, the rap and hip hop scene was changing on radio and video, and D.J. Jazzy Jeff needed to move beyond the parody-like concept that originally brought them success



1990   And In This Corner... was certified gold.

D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group ("I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson").

The acting bug hit Smith and resulted in a NBC sitcom, Fresh Prince Of Bel Air.


1991   D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (And In This Corner...).

D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince hit the Top 40 with "Summertime."

Homebase was released and the duo was back in the Top 10 with the feel good song of the summer, "Summertime." Rolling Stone said of the LP: "...steers clear of misogyny, violence and garden furniture, and in the process hits the button almost every time..."

D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince hit the Top 10 with "Summertime."

The single "Summertime" was certified platinum.

Homebase was certified platinum.

D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince hit the Top 40 with "Ring My Bell."

The single "Ring My Bell" was certified gold.


1992   D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince won an American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album (Homebase) and was nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Band/Duo/Group and Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist.

D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince won a second Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group ("Summertime").


1993   Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince: # 81 Singles Artist of the Year

Smith appeared in Six Degrees Of Separation. Although some controversy erupted when Smith refused to have his homosexual character kiss another man on-screen, Smith's performance was critically acclaimed.

Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince hit the Top 40 with "Boom! Shake The Room."

The last studio LP by Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince was released: Code Red. The duo had a hit with "Boom! Shake The Room" and the LP increased their "street credibility" with the fans.

Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince hit the Top 10 with "Boom! Shake The Room."


1994   Code Red was certified gold.


1995   He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper was certified 3x platinum.

Smith hit box-office gold with his starring role in Bad Boys.


1996   The box-office got even bigger for Smith when he starred in the blockbuster Independence Day.


1997   # 43 Singles Artist of the Year

Smith hit the Top 40 with "Men In Black."

Smith's Men In Black topped the summer box-office for the year and produced a #1 soundtrack and the #1 title track.

Smith hit the Top 10 with "Men In Black."

"Men In Black" topped the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Airplay chart for 4 weeks.

Smith found himself being sued for libel by Dana Goodman, Smith's original record promoter, after an interview in US magazine was released. The article portrayed Smith's original record promoter in a poor light without naming names. The interview stated that Smith and rap partner DJ Jazzy Jeff were intimidated into signing a record contract when the unnamed promoter placed a gun on the dashboard.

Smith hit #1 for a week with "Men In Black."

Smith won a MTV Video Music Award for Best Video From A Film ("Men In Black") and was nominated for Best Male Video, Best Choreography, and Best Special Effects.

Smith released Big Willie Style which contained his #1 hit "Men In Black," "Just The Two Of Us," and "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" which topped the ARC Weekly Top 40 in 1998. Although the LP had a lack-luster debut compared with other charting rap LPs, the popularity of Smith and his music led the LP to the Top 10 and over 4 million copies sold in the U.S. by the fall of '98.

Smith capped off the year by marrying his longtime girlfriend, actress Jada Pinkett, on New Year's Eve.

Big Willie Style was certified platinum.

Smith hit the Top 40 with "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It."

During the year, Smith won a MTV Europe Music Award for Best Rap Act and was inducted into the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards Hall of Fame.



1998   # 3 Singles Artist of the Year (# 1 Male Artist of the Year)

Smith won his first solo Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance ("Men In Black"). Smith hit the Top 10 with "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It."

Smith hit #1 with "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" for 2 weeks.
The single also topped the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart for 3 weeks and the Hot 100 Singles Sales chart for 2 weeks.

D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince returned temporarily in the form of the LP, Greatest Hits.

Smith hit the Top 40 with "Just The Two Of Us."

Big Willie Style was certified 2x platinum.

Smith hit the Top 10 with "Just The Two Of Us."

Big Willie Style was certified 3x platinum.

Men In Black" topped the UK Singles chart for 3 weeks.

Smith topped the Billboard Rap Singles chart with "Just The Two Of Us" for 2 weeks.

Smith won 2 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Male Video ("Just The Two Of Us") and Best Rap Video ("Gettin' Jiggy Wit It") and was nominated for Best Choreography, Best Dance Video, Viewer's Choice, and Video of the Year ("Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"). When accepting the award for "Just The Two Of Us," Smith came on stage with his son: "It's really a song about the other side of divorce... so I really want to thank my wife and actually, I want to thank my ex-wife for both of them being mature enough to make the situation turn out on the positive, happy side."

Big Willie Style was certified 4x platinum.

Smith landed another hit film with Enemy Of The State.

The single "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" was certified gold.

Smith hit the Top 40 with "Miami."

Smith's LP, Big Willie Style, was the 8th biggest-selling LP of 1998 with 3.6 million copies sold in the U.S. during the year.

Other awards for Smith during the year included a Billboard Video Music Award for Best Clip (Pop) ("Just The Two Of Us"), a European Music Award for Best Male Video, a Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actor, a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Rap Artist, 2 MTV Movie Awards for Best Fight (with a giant alien cockroach in Men In Black) and Best Song, and a MuchMusic Video Award for People's Choice Favorite International Artist.



1999   # 17 Singles Artist of the Year

Smith won 3 American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Album, Favorite Soul/R&B Album, and Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist, and was nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist.

Smith hit the Top 10 with "Miami."

Smith won his 4th Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance ("Gettin' Jiggy Wit It").

Big Willie Style was certified 6x platinum.

Smith picked up 3 NAACP Image Awards for Entertainer of the Year, Outstanding Music Video, and Outstanding Rap Artist ("Just The Two Of Us") and a Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award for Favorite Singer.

The Los Angeles Times reported that DJ Jazzy Jeff was currently working on his solo LP in Philadelphia.

Smith hit the Top 40 with "Wild, Wild West."

In the summer, Smith could be seen on the big screen in Wild Wild West and heard on the radio with the title track from the film - "Wild, Wild West" hit the Top 10.

Smith took home a Blockbuster Award for Favorite Artist - Rap.

Smith hit the #1 for 1 week with "Wild, Wild West" (which also topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a week, the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales chart for a week, and the Billboard Rap Singles chart for 3 weeks).

The single "Wild, Wild West" was certified gold.

Smith won a MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video ("Miami") and was nominated for Best Special Effects and Best Cinematography ("Miami"), Video of the Year, Best Video from a Film, and Best Choreography ("Wild, Wild West").

Smith was nominated for a VH1 Fashion Award for Most Fashionable Artist (Male).

Smith was nominated for 2 MTV Europe Music Awards for Best Male Artist (which he won) and Best Hip-Hop Artist.

Smith released his next LP, Willennium and won a MTV European Music Award for Best Male Artist.

Smith hit the Top 40 with "Will 2K."

Smith was nominated for a People's Choice Award for Favorite Male performer.

Smith ended the year with some bad news when his film Wild Wild West was selected as one of the worst films of the year by numerous movie critics.

Willennium was certified 2x platinum.

Smith hit the Top 10 with "Will 2K."

MTV: 100 Greatest Videos Ever Made includes "Parents Just Don't Understand" at # 99.


2000   # 73 Singles Artist of the Year

Smith won an American Music Award for Favorite Male Artist.

Smith was nominated for a Brit Award for Best International Male Solo Artist.

Big Willie Style was certified 8x platinum.

Smith was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance ("Wild, Wild West"). Smith performed "Freakin It" and "Wild, Wild West" at the Grammys, but went home empty-handed.

Smith was nominated for a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video ("Will 2K") and some Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Song and Favorite Song from a Movie ("Wild, Wild West") and Favorite Male Singer.

Smith hit the Top 40 with "Freakin It."

Smith's summer flick Wild Wild West was named Worst Picture of 1999 at the Golden Raspberry ("Razzie") Awards, the film's theme song "Wild, Wild West" was named Worst Original Song, and Smith was single out with co-star Kevin Kline as Worst Screen Couple.

Smith won a California Music Award for Outstanding Hip-Hop/Rap Album.

Smith won 3 Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Male Singe, Favorite Song, and Favorite Song From a Movie ("Wild, Wild West").

Smith won 4 World Music Awards for World's Best-Selling Male Pop Artist, Male R&B Artist, Male Dance Artist, and Male Rap Artist.

A lawsuit was filed against Smith by The Furious Five over Smith's sampling of their "Superappin'" on his "Will 2K" hit.

Big Willie Style was certified 9x platinum.

VH1: 100 Greatest Dance Songs includes Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" at #100.

Smith could be seen starring in the film The Legend Of Bagger Vance with Matt Damon.

Smith is putting aside music for a little while as assumes the role of Muhammad Ali in an up-coming film: "I'm not doing anything with music. I'm not doing anything but training. I train 3 hours in the morning, and I train 3 hours in the evening. Then, in between, I'm doing dialect work, and I'm working with Michael Man (director). I'm becoming Muhammad Ali... that's all I do."

Smith became a dad again.

Smith took home a 'My VH1' Award - Double Threat (Musician, Actors).


2001   Smith was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Short Form ("Will 2K").

Smith was nominated for a Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Male Singer.

VH1: 100 Greatest Videos includes: # 42 - "Parents Just Don't Understand" (by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince).

Smith's movie Ali broke Christmas-day box office records when it opened in theaters.


2002   Smith was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama for Ali.

Smith was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for Ali. Smith said of the nomination: "If this was the rap category at the Grammys, I'd feel like I have a much better shot... I don't care who wins. I am completely honored to be in the company in this category." Smith was up against Russell Crowe, Sean Penn, Tom Wilkinson, and the winner, Denzel Washington.

Smith hit the Top 40 with "Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)."

Smith performed on the Today Show Summer Concert Series.

Smith released Born To Reign.

Smith won a BET Award for Best Actor (Ali).

Smith won a MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance (Ali).

Born To Reign was certified gold.

Smith's video for "Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)" was nominated for 2 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Special Effects (Pixel Envy) and Best Video from a Film.

Smith ranked # 29 on VH1: 100 Sexiest Artists.

Smith released a hits collection - Greatest Hits.


2003   VH1: 50 Greatest Hip Hop Artists includes Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince at # 30.

Smith could be seen in the big-budget sequel Bad Boys II which was the #1 movie of the week when it was released.


  
2004   Smith could be seen in the movie I, Robot which was the #1 movie of the week when it was released.

Smith could be heard in the animated feature Shark Tale

 

          

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