Will Smith Has Four Grammys And It’s Fucking Bullshit

Before starring in shitty blockbuster movies and becoming a Scientology sympathizers, Will Smith started his career in show business as the MC of the early hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. For anyone unfamiliar, I urge them to take a peruse through their discography. Here’s a little sample.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Will Smith is the corniest rapper in the history of hip hop. He raps about respecting your parents and eating your vegetables. He doesn’t swear. There’s absolutely zero edge to him. But I think it’s that which made him successful. He offered this non-threatening alternative to the gangsta rap that was so misunderstood and popular at the time.

The production is generally tight (word to DJ Jazzy Jeff) which makes his monotonous flow and weak ass rhymes bearable. Every song basically sounds the same. It’s like each subsequent release sounds like a worse and worse caricature of itself. In what is largely considered the golden age of rap and hip-hop (late 80s to late 90s), I could not believe that this man has somehow won FOUR Grammys. FOUR.

In 1988 he and DJ Jazzy Jeff won their first Grammy for “Parents Just Don’t Understand”, a song about the struggles of going shopping with your mom and getting your ass beat for stealing your dad’s Porsche. By some miracle this load of hot garbage beat out “Push It” by Salt-n-Peppa, one of the most iconic hip hop beats ever recorded.

 

In 1992 the duo’s “Summertime” beat out “O.P.P”. and “Let’s Talk About Sex” , two of the most quintissential hits of the 90’s. To this day I’m down with OPP and I have absolutely no idea what it is. I’ve had “Let’s Talk About Sex” stuck in my head for like 15 years. “Summertime” is an admittedly good track, but in my opinion pales in comparison to the cultural monoliths that “O.P.P.” and “Let’s Talk About Sex” havce become.

 

In 1998 the “Men In Black”, the theme song to the titular blockbuster movie, somehow beat out “Hypnotize” as best solo rap song. HYPNOTIZE. BY BIGGIE. LOST TO THE FUCKING MEN IN BLACK THEME SONG. Hypnotize, the last song Biggie released before being killed in a drive by shooting and the first single off “Life After Death.” Hypnotize, one of the greatest songs in rap history, lost to what was essentially an ad disguised as a rap song. Let that sink in.

 

In 1999 “Gettin Jiggy With It” beat out Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life”, Lauryn Hill’s “Lost Ones”, and Wyclef Jean’s “Gone Til November”. I will concede that “Gettin Jiggy With It” is a pretty good track. But Smith’s win was all politics. Jay-Z boycotted the ceremony because the organizers decided they wouldn’t be showing the rap nominations on the TV broadcast. The Academy wasn’t going to give the award to the guy bashing them in the media and calling them out of touch. What the actual fuck were these people smoking? Get the fuck out of here. I’m actually so mad as I write this.

 

This is further proof that all award shows are total shams and simply exist to perpetuate and consolidate the power of the industry bourgeoise. I think these awards were  a function of an industry that was either afraid of or simply didn’t understand rap music. Smith, the vapid and non-threatening MC that he was, served as a character wholesome and palatable enough for mass consumption. I’m not saying Smith’s undeserved success was a conspiracy by industry executives to use Smith as some kind of Manchurian Candidate designed to declaw rap music. But I’m not not saying it.

 

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