Krakow, Poland – Before Will Smith was making millions as an actor, the West Philadelphia (born and raised) entertainer was one Hip Hopís foremost feel-good MCs. Along with his trusty DJ/producer, Jazzy Jeff, he evolved from rap stardom into a staple American pop culture thanks to his role in NBC’s hit show The Fresh Prince Bel-Air.
While in Krakow, Poland covering the Red Bull 3Style World Finals, HipHopDX caught up with Jeff — one the judges for the five-night competition — to get his thoughts on a potential successor to the Fresh Prince role. With rumors a reboot popping up recently, DX asked Jeff which rapper could fill the giant footprints left by his megastar partner-in-rhyme. In his eyes, there was one choice that stood head and shoulders above the rest.
“I think Chance The Rapper] would be a really good Fresh Prince,” Jeff told DX. “‘Cause Chance always seems to have a lighthearted demeanor. Heís got a serious side to him but Chance is always smiling. Chance is always trying to do something really positive. I think Chance would be a really good Fresh Prince.”
Jeff, who played Jazz on the sitcom, not only cited Chanceís charisma as a selling point but also noted that the Chicago MC’s fearlessness and big-picture thinking make for a favorable comparison to Smith.
“Chance is a trailblazer and Will has always been a trailblazer,” he noted. “There has never been an ĎI canít’ in their vocabulary]. I think I really got a lot that from Smith], that ĎThereís no Plan B. Plan B just means you think that Plan A can fail. Itís just ĎThis is what Iím gonna do and I just need to do it.í Thereís no ĎI hope it happens.í It may take a little time but Iím just gonna do it.
“And I think for Chance to be as young as he is, to remain independent, to understand just even a little bit about the music industry, I think is great because itís very easy to fall into those pitfalls. Itís very easy for someone to bring you a suitcase full money, and it changes your entire perspective instead realizing, ‘I probably could have 10 suitcases full money if I just keep my product to myself.’”
Check out more HipHopDX’s coverage from the Red Bull 3Style World finals here.