Will Smith is reflecting on his career as a rapper.
The actor is the one of the guests on the new season of Netflix’s “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman”. The episode, which was filmed prior to the slap incident at the 2022 Oscars, saw Smith opening up about his reputation as a family-friendly rapper.
He made a career for himself in the 1980s as half of the pop-rap duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, whose hits were humourous in nature.
“That was really our major distinguishing quality at the time,” Smith said, via Billboard. “It was comedy, it was punchlines, it was fun. We stood out in a really good way. We sort of had our own lane.”
When asked by Letterman whether he felt “pressure” to drop his music career in light of the rise in popularity of gangsta rap, the star denied it.
“Not pressure as much as it was always that I was soft. I hated that, being called soft,” he admitted. His “soft” reputation partly stemmed from the fact that his music was relatively wholesome, and didn’t feature any profanity.
This decision was fueled by advice from his grandmother, who found some of his early drafts of songs when he was 12.
“Dear Willard, truly intelligent people do not have to use words like these to express themselves. Please show the world that you’re as smart as we think you are. Love, Gigi,” she wrote to him.
The release of the third season of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman” was delayed by two years due to the pandemic, but finally dropped on Netflix on May 20.