Pumpin it up with Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince
Judging by their performance at
the Australian music Awards last year, Jazzy Jeff & Fresh
Prince (aka Jeff Townes and Will Smith) really know how to
shake a room. And with their latest album "Code Red" flying
up the charts, Jeff and Will have bounced back onto the scene
with a vengeance. Santi Pintado asks the loudmouth rappers
just what makes their room go boom!
How did you get the name Fresh Prince?
Will Smith: Prince is something my teachers called me
because I was so charming. I added Fresh in 1985 when I was
the new, hip swing! (turns to his publicist who's walking
around the room) Are you OK? Do you need a seat? You want
us to order some room service? Are you hungry? Want something
to drink? Some water? Ice tea? Vodka? A Black Russian? How
about a black American (laughs)
Have you ever been called anything else?
WS: Oh yeah! Um.well, dickhead (laughs), jackass. Yeah,
I've been called lots of stuff, No, I used to call myself
Jeff Townes: Will Rock, too
WS: Yeah, but it was Fresh Prince Will Rock
What was your worst subject at school?
WS: I pretty much got good grades in everything. I was
bad in certain segments of certain courses. I was bad at dissecting
in biology. Touching little formaldehyde frogs, you know,
I was really dead with that.
JT: I hated woodshop. Hammer, nails and the sawdust making
me sneeze - I hated it!
How long does it take you guys to write a rap?
WS: Anywhere from five minutes to five months. When I
start an album, I usually have five ideas for songs.a book
full of incomplete songs. So I'll sit down for a couple of
minutes every day and write a little something, maybe one
or two lines in every record and, eventually, I'll have an
Are all your rap stories based on real-life experiences?
WS: For the most part they're based not on real-life experiences,
but on legitimate emotions.
JT: Damn that was smooth! That's the first time I've heard
that one-legitimate emotions-yeah. Shit!
WS: (laughs) Oh my God. I'm sorry! I'm sorry!
Can you give us some special tips on how to write rap?
WS: Write about stuff that you know and feel, rather than
try to follow the trend of what the music is doing. That's
always been our success. We just do what comes natural to
us. If you write about things you know, you'll never run out
of material. Like you, Santi, for example. If you wanted to
write about really cool hairstyles, you could do it, man (laughs).
In fact, you look like my manager. He's actually the guy who
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (Will's hit sitcom) is based on.
Really? Is The Fresh Prince of Bel Air still screening
in the US?
JT: No, they ended it.
WS: (laughs) There's a new season starting.
You guys write a lot about girls and having fun. Did you
always like women this much?
JT: No, we used to like guys back then.
WS: Yo, come on now, man; they print stuff like that (leans
towards tape recorder) That was Jazzy Jeff1 Yeah, I mean,
just being a kid that's what your into - you want a nice car
and you want women digging you. But you know about that, Santi,
because that haircut puts you in that arena, man. And, oh
no. (looks down at my feet) I didn't see the boots. I did
not see the boots! Jeff, Jeff (points to me) Studmeiser! Studmeiser!
What famous women would you like to write rap about?
WS: Halle Berry. You know the lady from Eddie Murphy's
film Boomerang? Yeah, she's fine.
JT: And Miss Piggy. Straight up, man; she had a little sexy
thing going with Kermit.
WS: She was too much of a bully on Kermit, man. She thought
because she was this big pig and he was a little frog, she
could just push him around. I didn't like her attitude.
If you guys could double date, would you take: a) Madonna
and Janet Jackson
WS: Wait a minute, could we double date with janet and
leave Madonna out of the equation?
No, I want to know who'd have Janet and who'd take Madonna.
WS: Well, I mean I'm the studier of the two.
JT: He'd take Madonna. I'm a sensitive guy.
WS: Yeah, I'd have to have Madonna because Jeff is sensitive
and Janet's more sensitive than Madonna.
How about b) Salt 'N' Pepa?
WS: Salt 'N' Pepa.yeah, we'd go with them. We'd pretty
much date anybody, man.
And c) Jennie Garth and Shannon Doherty?
JT: Yeah, we'd.
WS: Sshh! That's 90210, we'll pass on that one. What's next?
(laughs) Shannon Doherty seems like she'd be a wild date,
running people over. It would be like a Bonnie and Clyde-style
Why did you call your new album "Code Red"?
JT: Because "Code Blue" didn't look right.
WS: We tried green, yellow, even "Code Turquoise".it didn't
have the same flavour.
Seriously, did it have anything to do with A Few Good Men?
WS: No, it's different. Code Red signifies an emergency
which is to alert everybody to our explosion back onto the
scene. So, our firs single was "Boom!" After you have a Boom,
you have a Code Red, you know to warn everybody that there's
better yet to come.
So what does it take to make a room go boom?
JT: Some dynamite would help!
WS: It's all a bunch of attitude. How you step in decides
how the people are going to react. If you step in confident
and strong, then people will generally give you what you want.
If they feel you're in control, they'll give you the energy.
Whatever happened to Vanilla Ice?
WS: He melted.
JT: He made his money and he's chillin'.
You guys are big basketball fans, have you ever yelled
out something to a player during an NBA game?
WS: We always yell to the players because we know them.
There was one player, Rick Mahorn, who Jeff yelled out to.
He said, "Get your lazy ass up and make the shot."
What's Jeff's most annoying habit?
WS: You talk to him and he gives you the listening face,
but doesn't listen at all.
JT: What? (laughs)
Finally, what's something about each other no-one would
WS: Jeff is a junk food addict.any trash that he could
JT: He has gas a lot. Really bad gas. It's not the loud kind,
it's the atomic bomb kind!