There was a time between being the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and just the plain ol’ Fresh Prince that Will Smith was dead broke and it was a chance encounter that Smith’s dried up career took a drastic 180.
While we’ve been following Will Smith’s movement on Instagram, where he’s been blessing the masses with snippets of the wisdom he’s accumulated over the years, the Bright star has also been giving us a deeper look by way of his Youtube channel and most recently took to the platform to upload a “Storytime,” where he takes a minute and sits right there and tells us how he become the prince of a town called Bel-Air.
In the clip, Smith tells us the story all about how his life got flipped turned upside down following the success found in his Grammy-award winning career alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff. He explains that when the duo’s third album failed to live up to the expectations of their triple-platinum He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper sophomore effort, his money had dried up and he was up to no good and started making trouble with the United States’ Internal Revenue Service for failing to pay his taxes.
“Being famous and broke is a shi–y combination,” he explains. “Cause you still famous and people recognize you, but they recognize you while you’re sitting next to them on the bus.”
It was at his girlfriend’s request that Smith then paid a visit to the Arsenio Hall Show, and it was on that set that he met Benny Medina who would later become his manager. Medina informed Smith that he was working on a pilot show with Quincy Jones. Medina and Smith pulled up to Quincy’s house (maybe around seven or eight) where he was asked to give an impromptu audition for the show. Despite refusing at first, Quincy Jones convinced Will Smith to “take 10 minutes right now and you can change your life forever.”
The rest is practically history. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air went on for six seasons from 1990-1996 and Will Smith (spoiler alert) turned out to be one of the biggest names in Hollywood for his impressive work on-screen for years to come.
The moral of the story? “Always say yes and I guess listen to your girlfriend,” says Smith.