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DJ Jazzy Jeff Was Asked About The Will Smith Oscars Slap And Shared His Personal Thoughts

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince Homebase CD cover
(Image credit: Sony Legacy)

If there’s one ride-or-die person Will Smith has had by his side since the beginning of his career in hip-hop, it’s Jeffrey “DJ Jazzy Jeff” Townes. Following Smith slapping Chris Rock on the Oscars stage, leading to the actor to resign from the Academy and be banned from attending Oscars ceremonies for the next decade, what does his OG partner think of the whole thing? 

The duo broke out into the music industry together as DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince after previously being childhood friends in West Philadelphia. They have remained friends ever since, and per DJ Jazzy Jeff’s recent words, he still has Smith's back through thick and thin: 

Don’t get it twisted that this would be something that he’s proud of. It was a lapse in judgement, you know? And I think the thing that I’ve realized is I don’t know too many people that have had the least amount of lapse of judgment than him. I can name 50 times that he should’ve smacked the shit out of somebody and he didn’t. So for him to have a lapse in judgment, he’s human. And I think a lot of the criticism comes from the people who don’t think people like that are human.

DJ Jazzy Jeff added his own voice to the Will Smith Oscars conversation during an interview with Chicago radio station WGCI-FM (via Yahoo!). As the record producer shared, Will Smith’s viral slap was a “lapse in judgement” after over 30 years in the industry where he didn’t have many previous incidents in the spotlight. Jazzy Jeff recalled many times that Smith maybe could have resorted to bad behavior, but kept things civil. 

Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff worked together on hip-hop hits like “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Summertime.” The artist also played a character named Jazz in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After Smith went on to pursue his career in acting, DJ Jazzy Jeff went on to become a major record producer for artists such as Eminem, The Roots and Darius Rucker. 

Townes follows another Fresh Prince co-star to come to Will Smith’s defense as he faces consequences within the movie industry for his actions. Tatyana Ali, who played Ashley Banks in the ‘90s sitcom commented that while Chris Rock “didn’t deserve to be hit,” she has seen that Smith has a “big heart” and shared that she believes in him. 

During the 2022 Oscars telecast, Chris Rock took the stage to present Best Documentary Feature, but before the Academy Award was given out, he told a joke pointed at Jada Pinkett Smith. Will Smith proceeded to walk up on stage and slap the comedian before yelling at Rock to get his wife’s name out of his “fucking mouth.” Not long after, Smith accepted his first Oscar for his performance in King Richard

The Academy has since taken action that has resulted in his resignation from the organization and a ban from the ceremony for ten years. Smith’s upcoming movies are also in jeopardy considering two of his projects, Fast & Loose and the next Bad Boys film, have since been placed on pause. We’ll keep you updated about how Will Smith’s career moves forward following the incident here on CinemaBlend. 

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