@ The Album @
This album compiles some of wills best music and it certainly has a great sound to it, will has a very unique style of rapping but in a few places he does get caught out and his lyrics don't make sense or just sound a little off. His tracks like Girls aint nothin but trouble and fresh prince of bel air are his more well known tracks and both these songs have a similar style of hip hop music but because they are tracks apart on the CD you get a lot of variety rather than just random hip hop tracks all over the place. Tracks like men in black and miami are more pop or rnb music and the beat may be slow but they both feel really upbeat.
Generally will smith has a very upbeat tone to his voice despite sometimes his lyrics talk about sad or harrowing things, or just generally negative things like girls being a problem in his life yet he still seems to make it sound like a good thing. Will also uses quite a lot of sound effects and noises to back up what he's saying like car horns if he's talking about beeping at girls and I've heard this on many tracks before but when will does it it sound quite good, very relevant and fitting with the theme of the song, and it doesn't happen every five seconds just every now and again in a few songs
A lot of wills tracks have scratching in them but he mainly uses it at the start of his tracks and then they go until the chorus and sometimes they never come back, its nice to have this sort of thing in hip hop tracks because its common to include them but you hear this great scratch and then it disappoints because as the track builds up the scratching stops. Freakin It is the best example of this, it just doesn't have a great feel to it when the scratching ends.
Most of his songs like men in black, prince of bel air and wild wild west got used in films and TV shows and on this album they are either extended or uninterrupted unlike in the movies and its great to have these songs on here but also mixed in with his less well known songs so this album does have great variety and thats what makes it quite enjoyable for me.
@ Overall @
A fantastic album with lots of variety and interesting effects. His lyrics are good but on some tracks they seems a little off, not really wills style but none the less, a recommended album.
The joys of Will Smith, the kind of man you would want as your next door neighbour. He is forever smiling and bubbly and this always comes across in his music. One of the few rappers I could happily take a whole sitting off, this album collects his finest moments.
Who is he:
Star of the sitcom Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, rapper and major Hollywood film star.
On ths album:
The first few tracks chart his early less impressive years. 'Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble' won't ring many bells, but it is a good glimpse at how Will started his music career. His raps are just as fluid and his delivery assured, but they lack the finesse of some of his newer efforts. Of the older stuff, the brilliant 'Summertime' remains a true anthem. I dig this out every summer, the lyrics capture the spirit of summer perfectly and the warm melody and sound of crowds cheering just adds to the magic.
The huge number one 'Men in Black' samples 'Forget Me Nots' to dramatic effect, it is a slick, catchy and perfect piece of pop rap. 'Miami' is sample driven again and just sounds so cool and fresh, you can picture playing it with your car roof down. Will was really in his element here as he laments the joys of living in Miami. I also love 'Gettin' Jiggy Wit It' which has a funkier twist and an addictive little chorus hook which will have you humming all day.
Apart from a couple of earlier dud efforts, the new stuff still sounds hip and is great to whack on when you need to brighten up your day. Twelve tracks should keep you busy too
The best of the best on this CD by the 20+ year veteran rapper. Released in 2002 with an unknown records sales figure.
Each track reviewed.
1. Girls Aint Nothing But Trouble [1988 Extended Remix]. The 1987 released single of the album Rock The House with DJ Jazzy Jeff was a massive success, the first song that put will smith on the map.
2. Parents Just Dont Understand [Single Edit]. One of my favourite songs and one of the most popular songs which awarded both Will Smith & Jazzy Jeff the first ever rap Grammy. A hilarious song all about the parents.
3. A Nightmare On My Street [Single Version]. The scary halloween song with a video made but was later completely destroyed because of copyright issues due to A Nightmare On Elm Street. A funny but scary song.
4. The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. From his brilliant tv programme the full version goes on for nearly 3 minutes but its weird to listen to without the programmes intro to watch.
5. Summertime. Probably his most famous track of all earning yet another grammy and flying straight to number 1 for Hot Rap Tracks and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Single. It also still played today on radio stations every summer.
6. Just Cruisin'. Not one of my favourite tracks hes done, sounds like hes trying to replicate a summertime anthem but the beat doesnt really work the remix version is far better.
7. 1,000 Kisses. Featuring his wife Jada Pinkett Smith this is definetly a love song with them talking about how they love each other features a short snippet on the start of the song from Wills album Born To Reign from his son.
8. Men In Black. A great song for a great movie, probably the best song performed by the main actor ever, a great beat to movie linked lyrics.
9. Gettin' Jiggy Wit It. From a solo point of view possibly the most popular song Will has sung, it stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks and won another Grammy for The Best Rap Solo Performance.
10. Miami. Another famous and success full single, all about Will hanging out in miami and what happens when he gets there, climbed to number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 but to number 3 in the UK charts.
11. Freakit It'. A good song but i wouldnt say a greatest hit but the video was filmed throughout his home town and responds to most people who still doubt him today.
12. Will 2k. Featuring K-Ci and coming off his highly successful album Willenium this track was planned to be number one for the millenium but only reached number 2 in the UK and 25 in the US, a great party song to dance to.
13. Wild Wild West. A good track but a bit of a boring film and since the lyrics relate to it you can kinda guess whats coming, but despite this went to number 1 in the US charts but also claimed a Razzie Award.....figure that out.
14. Nod Ya Head [The Remix]. I question myself over and over on this track.....do i love it more than the original.....and i do, its brilliant more focused on the rap and beat and features a great guitar backing.
15. Just The Two Of Us. Dedicated to his son Trey which grabbed alot of peoples attention going in at number 2 in the UK and 20 in the US.
My final thought.
A great greatest hits album and can be picked up dirt cheap now a days, if you do like Will Smith or just Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince this album will od nicely for you.
Will Smith is excellent as an actor - fact !
But is Will Smith excellent as a rapper ?
Many agree and disagree on the fact whether he is but i must say that he is great as a musician, his raps are clean as most of you know (no swearing) which is a nice change as most rappers these days have to swear in almost every song (which is getting rather boring and repetitive.) His songs in this album 'Greatest Hits' is his best from his career from year 1987 to the year that this was released being late 2002 (25th november 2002 to be exact)
A full rundown of the songs on this album are:
1 Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble
2 Parents Just Don't Understand
3 A Nightmare on my Street
4 The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
6 Just Cruisin'
7 1,000 Kisses feat. Jada
8 Men In Black
9 Gettin' Jiggy Wit It
11 Freakin' It
12 Will 2K
This album for me truly is his greatest hits, I love the laid back beats that have a certain edge to them, I love the way he fills his songs with so much energy and vibe that it makes you want to jump along with it, and i also love a lot of his lyrics. The best songs on this album in my opinion are:
Summertime - Excellent song, great laid back beat
1,000 kisses - Great lyrics, nice smooth playing song
Men In Black - Funky song, great rhythm
Gettin Jiggy Wit It - funny and full of energy
Miami - laid back, chilled beat
Will 2k - full of energy and fast paced
Just The Two Of us - nice slow beat with good lyrics
Parents Just Dont Understand - Funny song, relates to most teenagers
This album is great as its a change to most of your rappers we hear today, it has very chilled out beats that goes very well with the very inspirational lyrics.
Its defintely one of his best if not best albums in my opinion and you should listen to it if you like will smith (Like ME) or if your a fan of more old skool hip/hop rap (like me also :) )
A great album, excellent songs, great beats and fantastic lyrics
"Greatest Hits" is a compilation album of the best recordings by Will Smith during his career from 1987 to the year that this was released, in 2002. Will released a normal album earlier on in the year and a few track from it managed t slip onto this, so at the time it included all of his greats (and to be honest, I hated his last album 'Lost and Found").
Will Smith is a pop rapper from West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and found fame as part of a duo with DJ Jazzy Jeff in the late 1980s. As his career progressed he became an actor and starred in the "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", before taking lead role in films such as "Independence Day", "Men In Black" and more recently, "I Am Legend". Will Smith differed from many Hip Hop acts because he wasn't interested in any lyrics about money, cars and girls, he's more about have clean fun. he currently stands as he leading figure in pop rap, a sub-genre which will have no profanities and can be understood by the mainstream audience.
1. "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble" (Remix)
Album From: "Rock the House"
We are kicked off in a big way with the pair's debut single, breaking them into the music world in a big way. Although this debut didn't make as big an impact as others or many of the records which they went on to make, it was needed to get to boost them into the limelight.
The title pretty much tells what the whole record is about, so I shouldn't have to explain it. The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff showed us how their style was slightly different to most Hip hop of their time and this allowed them to move on where others couldn't.
** Four Stars**
2. "Parents Just Don't Understand"
Album From: "He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper"
Here is a great display of how rap was 'back in the day' you know, before any Hip Hop artists had money, and they rapped about things close to them, here is something quite originally, but something which everyone can relate to. The only reason why I didn't like it too much was because it hasn't been something which has been played any time between it's original release and now, unlike many of his other records.
The Fresh Prince raps about many teenage issues which we are all aware of, and makes the situations sound funny when you hear about how parents don't comprehend the importance of some things which they may not understand, such as reputation amongst peers.
3. "A Nightmare on My Street"
Album From: "He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper"
No offense to the pair, but this track is terrible. It probably would have been more relevant at the time, but now Freddy Krueger has no place in society, so i cannot relate to this track at all. I didn't find it funny and I didn't really like the music, but if you were there at the time then you may like to here this throwback record.
4. "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"
Album From: -
Everyone knows this on, it's the theme tune to his hit nineties TV show, "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", so I'm sure I don't have to explain, it's a classic.
Album From: "Homebase"
Directly following on from the preceding record, her is yet another classic from the pair, but this one is more personal to me as it is extremely nostalgic and reminds me of family barbecues in the nineties, no worries just fun in the sun.
This one is all about just relaxing, because that's all what Summer is about, so DJ Jazzy Jeff gives us a slow winding beat, "Summer Madness" by Kool & the Gang, which allows you to settle down and the Fresh Prince just tells you how to make the best of this time where everyone seems to be in a fun mood.
6. "Just Cruisin'"
Album From: "big Willie Style"
This is a track found on his debut solo album, and didn't really see too much publicity. It's not that special as a track, but I liked it. It is a very calm track which as you probably gathered from the title, is just about relaxing and just taking time to get to know yourself.
I felt that this track fitted in well, but I would have been able to live without it, I think that it would have been better to leave it out and put in something with popularity already to fill this stop in the LP, because I think this is the reason for the album.
7. "1,000 Kisses" (feat. Jada)
Album From: "Born To Reign"
This is quite a funky song as it takes on the sample from Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much" and takes other aspects of the classic into this pop rap version. I felt that he was very successful in making this transition.
Will talks about how he has no problem translating his love for his woman into this, "1000 Kisses", I felt that it was very inventive and something quite different for him and I prise him for doing so. I can't say it's a favourite of mine, but I liked it.
8. "Men in Black"
Album From: "Big Willie Style"
Most will know this track as it is one of his most famous tracks. This came from the soundtrack to one of his most famous roles as J in Men In Black.
This track can be likened to "Wild Wild West" in the following album as it is a song which shares a title from a movie he stars in. The idea for the song was initially shunned however to turned out to be a success with the video as it gained a Grammy award in 1997.
9. "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"
Album From: "Big Willie Style"
This bares many similarities to "Freakin' It" from the next album he released. i feel this way because it is obviously a pop rap track with a lot of appeal to many different audiences. It one which anybody can dance to and most will enjoy it.
This one managed to reach #1 in America and it stayed in this position for 3 weeks. I also topped the rap charts, something impossible now because that is dominated by gangsta-orientated activity, unlike Will Smith's style.
Album From: "Big Willie Style"
Its obvious what this is about, Miami. It's a big party track and encorporates many styles which the Florida city is known for. This includes salsa, which comes about in the breakdown.
Nate Dogg comes for the chorus of this tune, he suits this very well as his style is very smooth. Here he goes away from the more street version if rap to accompany Will Smith.
11. "Freakin' It"
This is what Big Willy was all about at the time. He brought us with straight Hip Hop, it was perfect to dance and so it had appeal for everyone. He brought dance moves along with it so it helped it even more.
This followed on very well from the last track as it is a great one for the clubs as the preceding tune. This highlights the time when he stood as a leading Hip hop musician, despite the fact he was so different from most others at the time.
12. "Will 2K" (feat. K-Ci)
Album From: "Willenium"
This was a great song for the Mill- Yo excuse me, Willennium. It was a track which went back in time to each decade to celebrate when we get to the changover to 2000. K-Ci helped Will in his efforts for this which was the first and biggest party of the century or possibly Millenium.
This is a big party anthem and should be used everytime people go back to this time when everyone was excited all the time to see what was in store for us.
13. "Wild Wild West"
Album From: "Willenium"
This was the soundtrack for a film which this artist starred in, in 1999, "Wild Wild West". Humourously at the beginning of this track Will is heard to ask his son Jaden, then only 18 months old, which song to put on the album next and he clearly says this one.
The track samples Stevie Wonder's "I Wish", and he actually appeared in the video for it playing the keyboard for th track. This track allowed the lead singer of Du Hill to break free, this was Sisqó. One of the members of the group actually quit on set for the vider, as he decided to go in pursuit of a solo career in gospel. Sisqó took advantage of this loss and decided he should also do so, but in the world of R&B.
I can't say that I agree that the hook or vocals make me think of the Wild West, but as an entire package, it does work. I enjoyed this a lot.
14. "Nod Ya Head" (Remix)
Album From: "Born to Reign"
This is the remix to the soundtrack of the second 'Men In Black' film, "Black Suits Comin'", I feel that it was a very strong record, but it was forgotten too easily, so as soon as I hear this I was excited to hear a much more exciting arrangement with identical lyrics.
Will raps under persona of Jay in the film with lots of lyrics connected to the film, but he also shows this by rapping in a much more in-you-face manner, which he isn't really known for. This shows how he has lots of sides to his raps.
15. "Just the Two of Us"
This is not a cover of the original Bill Withers song. It was simply inspired by it, so only the chorus is what makes the tracks so similar. Will first came out with this track after writing out the lyrics for a children's book, later he translated this into a rap track just by adding the beat.
This track is an emotive one a Will tells us the story of what happened after the birth of his son, Trey, he is the lesser known son of the artist as he was born to a mother who is no longer associated with Will. He goes into detail about his hopes and aspirations for his son, and says he will always be there for him.
As this is taking all of the best songs throughout the career of Will Smith I believe that "Boom Shake The Room" should be on here, it is one of my favourite tracks by him and DJ Jazzy Jeff, but I can understand that it wasn't included because it would be more suited to a compilation of the best tracks from the duo rather than just Will. Apart from this I can't really see any space for any tracks from Will as a solo artist , so this LP has been done well.
In conclusion, this is a good album and includes everything that you would expect from the album with a few little extras. There is room for improvement, but what's good in the LP far out-weighs the rest of the compilation. Will Smith's career as a musician is shown in the best way as his success are highlighted and some less popular gems are brought to light.