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Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff recently made a splash when they debuted "Get Lit," their first new collaboration in nearly twenty years, at the Livewire Festival in England. The track draws inspiration from a handful of musical styles like downtempo and reggae and blends them into an explosive EDM track that brings the 90s duo into modern-day music. Have a listen:
Before the new song, Will Smith (i.e. the Fresh Prince) got the audience feeling good and told them to bring out their lights. He explained that he wanted to create a feel-good song to combat the "chaos and confusion" in the world. He continued and said,
I wanted to make a record that reminded each and every one of y'all to let your light shine.
But it has been a hot minute since Will Smith was last in the music game. Instead, the Suicide Squad actor has been dedicated to his career in films. So, the collaboration marks a milestone for multiple reasons, not just because it is the duo's first effort since "Lovely Days" in 1998. This new track is the first new music from Smith since 2015, when he dipped his toes in the water with a verse on the remix of the song "Fiesta" by Colombian dance-music group Bomba Estéreo. Before then, it had been a full ten years since Will Smith released the LP Lost and Found.
I'm trying to get the ideas to come out right. I'm shaking the rust off, knocking the dust off.
Around that time, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff announced that they had plans to go on tour together in 2016. That plan never came to fruition, but it seems like they continued working on the details. In fact, Jeff said Smith had been recording again. He said,
One of the things that we talk about is going from all of these stupid, giant, million-dollar studios to now having the ability to record something in a hotel room. We laugh about the amount of material we would have put out if we had had those resources [back in the day].
At that time, DJ Jazzy Jeff told Rolling Stone he was trying to encourage Will Smith to get back in the ring instead of dabbling. Jeff said Smith would often get excited whenever they did an impromptu show. Jeff said,
Every time... he's like, 'Man, we can go out and we should go out.' And I'm like, 'I'm already out. I'm waiting for you!'
Luckily for DJ Jazzy Jeff, the wait might be over. This song is a lot of fun, and it is great to see Will Smith and Jeff together again. Times have changed. Will Smith's son and daughter might be head-to-head with him when it comes to popularity in the music biz these days. But the quality of Smith and Jeff's work is still sharp.