Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits

by Will Smith
     
 

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In retrospect, the point at which Will Smith went too far was with 1999's "Freakin' It," on which, over samples from "Love Hangover" and "Rapper's Delight," he boasted of his movie earnings, defended himself against charges of being a "soft" rapper, and criticized his peers. It was hard to dispute any of his arguments (though the citation of the American Music Awards

Overview

In retrospect, the point at which Will Smith went too far was with 1999's "Freakin' It," on which, over samples from "Love Hangover" and "Rapper's Delight," he boasted of his movie earnings, defended himself against charges of being a "soft" rapper, and criticized his peers. It was hard to dispute any of his arguments (though the citation of the American Music Awards as an example of his superiority seemed a bit of a stretch), but the song also emphasized -- in the wrong way, as far as fans were concerned -- how far Smith had come from Philadelphia, and it flopped. After that, his movies and records had to struggle more for attention. All careers go through peaks and troughs, however, and this collection of Smith's musical high points makes the case for his popularity, dating back to the late-'80s days of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, whose work is licensed from Jive Records for one-third of the tracks here. Not all of the early duo's hits are included, but the signature ones, particularly the breakout "Parents Just Don't Understand," are. In a sense, this is Smith at his most appealing, using rap to create novelty records that reveal the comic sense that later would light up movie screens. He remains engaging through solo hits like "Men in Black" and "Getting' Jiggy Wit It," even if he already seems to be starting to believe his press clips. By this point, the musical career has become an appendage of the movie career, and movie stardom begins to inform the raps, culminating in the defensiveness of "Freakin' It." Along the way, however, there is some clever writing, always put across by Smith's expansive personality, which enabled him to swim against the current of contemporary rap, at least for a time.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/25/2008
Label:
Imports
UPC:
5099751022220
catalogNumber:
764608
Rank:
15466

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Will Smith   Primary Artist
Jazzy Jeff   scratching
Tichina Arnold   Background Vocals
Coko   Background Vocals
LaVette   Background Vocals
Mai Huggins   Background Vocals
Love Fellowship Tabernacle Children's Choir   Vocals
DJ Jazzy Jeff   scratching

Technical Credits

Leon F. Sylvers   Composer
Bernard Edwards   Composer
Hula   Producer
Nile Rodgers   Composer
Samuel Barnes   Composer
David Campbell   String Arrangements
Rob Chiarelli   Producer,Engineer
Will Smith   Producer,Composer
Pete Harris   Producer
Jazzy Jeff   Producer
Joe the Butcher   Engineer
Marilyn McLeod   Composer
Benny Medina   Executive Producer
Sauce   Producer,Vocal Producer
William Shelby   Composer
Stephen Shockley   Composer
Arty Skye   Engineer
Ryan Toby   Composer
Jeff Townes   Composer
Chris Trevett   Engineer
Mark Wilson   Producer
Ken "Duro" Ifill   Engineer
Will Smith   Composer
Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey   Composer
Aimee MacAuley   Art Direction
Kevin Crouse   Engineer
Poke   Programming,Producer,Executive Producer,drum programming
Bobby Robinson   Composer
James Lassiter   Executive Producer
Michael Goods   Engineer
Rob Fusari   Producer
Ann Carli   Executive Producer
John Shrive   Engineer
Darren "Limitless" Henson   Composer
Joe Robinson   Composer
Theron Feemster   Composer

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