Will Smith, The Original Big Willie, Turns 50

What is real? The definition of what is real and what is fake varies from culture to culture. Indeed, even from block to block. For some, real is remaining true to your truest self. For others, being real means to something abhorrent and self-destructive.

For Will Smith, being real had a lot to do with just being the person is mother and father raised him to be. Born in Philadelphia on September 25, 1968 to Caroline and Willard Carroll Smith, Will was the second of four children.

For much of his early life, he was just like any other kid raised in the City of Brotherly Love. He liked to play basketball, he liked the ladies, he liked to look fly, and he liked to rock the mic. However, most never reached the pinnacle of success that he’s reached, and a very rare few will ever approach is international notoriety and acclaim.

Smith was introduced to the world as the rhyming portion of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.  Like most cosmic happenstances, Will had no way of knowing he would run into someone who would help him become famous when they met by chance at a house party thrown by a friend.

Will Smith Makes Stand-Up Comedy Debut

This past Wednesday, Dave Chappelle hosted his surprise comedy show, “The Process” at West Hollywood’s Peppermint Club, featuring a roster of A-list comedians and friends: Jon Stewart, Katt Williams, Michael Che, Lebron James, and Will Smith.

As fate would have it, Jeff was rockin’ a party only a few doors down from where Will lived. Serendipity is when you’re aching to rhyme and the DJ at the party you’re attending needs a hype man.

That energy resulted in them forming a group, with a temporary third member, beatboxer Ready Rock C.

The first single for Jeff and Will was “Girls Are Nothin’ But Trouble”,  an upbeat storytelling rhyme the likes of which Will became known for spitting. Will was still in high school when it became a hit.

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s official music video for ‘Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble’. Click to listen to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/JFPSpot?IQid=JFPGT As featured on Greatest Hits.

That led to a deal with Jive Records and Russell Simmons. Rock the House, originally released on Word Up in 1986, was re-released the following year on Jive Records.

The group received the first Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in ’89 and the ’91 seminal warm weather classic “Summertime.” His initial success was tempered by his overspending and overgenerous ways that led him into trouble with the IRS to the tune of millions.

VIDEO: DJ Jazzy Jeff Recalls Will Smith Meeting Eminem And A Possib…

DJ Jazzy Jeff takes us behind the curtains to his rise in the game, and dropped an interesting nugget about Will Smith and Eminem. The two met for the first time in Philly, and Will told Eminem, “You’re either going to be the biggest flop in hip-hop or the biggest thing in hip-hop.”

Once again, opportunity gravitated toward Will and vice versa in the form of NBC’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  It was the perfect vehicle through which he could show how multi-faceted he was and was the doorway to a film career that is easily the best any rapper has ever had.

Six Degrees of Separation was followed by Bad Boys, by Independence Day, which led to Men In Black, for which Will crafted the soundtrack. Enemy of the State  led to Wild, Wild West, which led to Muhammad Ali, which led to Pursuit of Happyness, and so and so forth.

Six Degrees of Separation (1/12) Movie CLIP – I Was Mugged (1993) HD

Six Degrees of Separation movie clips: http://j.mp/150NDWx BUY THE MOVIE: http://j.mp/150NDG9 Don’t miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: http://bit.ly/1u2y6pr CLIP DESCRIPTION: Paul (Will Smith) talks his way into the home of Flan (Donald Sutherland) and Ouisa (Stockard Channing) by claiming to have been mugged.

Meanwhile, Will never stopped being an emcee from West Philly.

Most recently, he has starred in Suicide Squad and the Netflix sci-fi offering Bright. His proven box office bank-ability has resonated throughout Hollywood for over 20 years. 

If there was no Will Smith, it would be very hard to pitch a science fiction film with a black lead, whether male or female. If it were not for Will Smith, it is likely that the phrase “rapper/actor” would still be something of an insult rather than a testament to creativity.

ALI Trailer

Now on Blu-ray Will Smith puts on the gloves and steps between the ropes as “Ali,” arguably the most fascinating personality in sports history in this biopic from Academy Award nominated director Michael Mann.

For the span of his music and film careers, critics have questioned his  realness. 

“Will Smith ain’t from the streets”, they’d say, despite him paying his dues by rockin’ house parties with that Brand New Funk. 

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Brand New Funk

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s official music video for ‘Brand New Funk’. Click to listen to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/JFPSpot?IQid=JFPNF As featured on Greatest Hits.

“We’re tired of seeing these rappers take jobs from real actors,” said some, as Smith ascended as a top earner at the box office.  

Those criticisms didn’t stop after he was nominated for an Academy Awards for Best Actor for his roles in Ali and Pursuit of Happyness.

As of 2016, his films have grossed $7.5 billion at the global box office. 7.5 Billion!!!

BAD BOYS (1995) | Full Movie Trailer | Classic Movie

Two hip detectives protect a witness to a murder while investigating a case of stolen heroin from the evidence storage room from their police precinct. —————- Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Lisa Boyle #MoviePredictor #trailer #BestMovie

Turning 50, Will Smith has transitioned seamlessly to new millennial Dad with a seasoned wisdom that is still sweetened by a sincere, intelligent and oftentimes self-deprecating but always honest humor.

Happy Birthday Will Smith, the definition of what it is to be real, because through his various ups, downs and career reinventions, he’s always remained true to himself.

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