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Willennium
     

Willennium

5.0 8
by Will Smith
 

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WILLENNIUM finds rap's greatest crossover star working once again with his original partner in rhyme, the underrated DJ Jazzy Jeff, as well as esteemed knob-twisters including the Trackmasters, Kay-Gee, and Rodney Jerkins. The old-school bonds are still strong: With Jazzy Jeff at the controls on songs like the heady "So Fresh"

Overview

WILLENNIUM finds rap's greatest crossover star working once again with his original partner in rhyme, the underrated DJ Jazzy Jeff, as well as esteemed knob-twisters including the Trackmasters, Kay-Gee, and Rodney Jerkins. The old-school bonds are still strong: With Jazzy Jeff at the controls on songs like the heady "So Fresh" (featuring Biz Markie and Slick Rick), the scratch-heavy, basement-party groove of "Pump Me Up," and "Potnas," a funky ode to the duo's friendship, WILLENNIUM soars. And the disc's estrogen level -- courtesy of Lil' Kim, Eve, Tatyana Ali, and MC Lyte -- is a nice counterbalance to the genre's lingering misogyny. Still, the subject matter here -- tales of living large, how great it is to be rich and famous, and how he slays lyrically weaker rappers -- doesn't exactly break new ground. Or does it? Just when you think Smith has totally submitted to hip-pop conventions (many of the tracks are lined with overly familiar samples), he ends the disc with the contemplative "The Rain" -- a song that displays Smith's vulnerability amid all the jigginess. If the artist formerly known as the Fresh Prince was just a rap star, we'd beg for more inspired songs like this, but since he's Hollywood's Everyman, we can just be thankful for this well-produced effort that will linger on frat-party playlists through the year 2-G. Ernest Hardy

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
By the time Will Smith released Willennium in November 1999, it was fashionable to put him down, especially since he was recovering from his first major stumble, the overblown Wild Wild West. Probably just the fact that he was everywhere made certain spoilsports long to take him down a notch, but Wild Wild West wasn't a mess because of him; in fact, he provided the only glimmers of fun in the whole misguided mess, through sheer star power. And that star power drives Willennium, turning it into a bold, brassy delight. Smith just doesn't care what anyone thinks; he knows he's a superstar, and he revels in his status. He likes to make fun music, and he likes to make it on a grand scale. Furthermore, he has no shame about entertaining. Consequently, Willennium is a gonzo pleasure in the way only a handful of big-budget pop albums can be: gaudy, giddy, infectiously silly, and proudly over-the-top. Case in point, its de facto title track, "Will 2K." Smith and his producers picked the Clash's "Rock the Casbah" as the foundation for an end-of-the-century party jam, a move so mind-bogglingly unpredictable that it's hard not to smile. And that spirit carries throughout the album, as Smith drops lyrical and musical allusions that are at once well-known and totally out of left field. All of this is done to bright, joyful party music that celebrates its big beats and big hooks. Smith isn't quite as convincing when it comes to slow jams, but still his charm shines through. But the heart of the album lies in the up-tempo dance numbers, since they're what make Willennium irresistible. And this is one of the rare times that an abundance of cameos enhances the spirit of an album, making Willennium feel like a Y2K blowout where everyone is invited.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/25/2008
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886973610022
catalogNumber:
736100
Rank:
95057

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Willennium 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Will says it best in Freakin It: you don't have to swear to have a rap hit. This CD, as well as his others, is appropriate for listeners of all ages. Will has outdone himself this time!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love will smith he made a great come back go will i love the combo he has on his new tracks makes you want to dance all night go will
Guest More than 1 year ago
WILL REALLY PUT ALL HE HAD IN THIS ONE, HE HAD ME GROOVIN ALL THE WAY THROUGH! HE IS TOO HOT TO TROT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Will Smith's new CD Willenium is awesome. It has tracks that talk about the millennium.....excuse me, Willenium. I recomend you buy this CD because if you like rap music, this ones gonna suit your needs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Will Smith is one of the best singers/actors out there! He has the ability to write meaningful songs without having a bunch of cuss words in them. I loved all of this album! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is G R E A T! He only has a couple boring songs on there, but he needs to make more music videos!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love every song on this CD. I think it is great. I have been a big fan of Will Smith's movies, and well, his music is just the best. What more can I say? This is a great CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is a huge improvement over he first solo. Funkier and groovier. With nice appearances by Biz Markie, Slick Rick, Lil.Kim and Jill Scott.