DJ Jazzy Jeff is struggling to make sense of it all. When you insist that the man born Jeffrey Townes is a certified hip-hop legend, he seems uncomfortable with such a notion. Yet, the stat sheet doesn’t lie. As one half of the highly influential late ‘80s rap duo Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, the celebrated tandem sold millions of albums as they helped push the rugged boundaries of hip-hop to Middle America. The irony? The kindler, gentler young men from the otherwise two-fisted area of West Philadelphia presented a PG alternative to the hardcore likes of Public Enemy and NWA. Indeed landmark songs like “Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble,” “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” and “Summertime” garnered Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince universal acclaim. Still, there were the critics who dismissed the MTV darlings as mere pop fluff.
Never mind that. Jazzy Jeff went on to stake his claim as one of the most celebrated hip-hop turntablist of all time; an underrated talent that made the music industry take notice after forming the successful production crew A Touch of Jazz—an outfit that has hammered out hits for everyone from Jill Scott to Michael Jackson. Jeff’s gregarious partner Will Smith? He conquered Hollywood, becoming one of the biggest box office stars to ever walk God’s green earth. From the Fresh Prince to his own Magnificent album series, Jazzy Jeff looks back at a history-making career that spans more than two decades.—Keith Murphy
To read Jazzy Jeff’s full commentary click HERE
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