Classics: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Boom Shake The Room (Mr. Lee’s Extended Club Mix) (Jive)
Named “the most powerful actor in Hollywood” by Newsweek back in April 2007, Will Smith also happened to make quite some noise musicwise. This along with Philly-based DJ/producer Jazzy Jeff. Together, they managed to become the first Hip-Hop act to receive a Grammy Award. This for ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand’, from their 1988 ‘He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper’ album.
The pair picked up a second Grammy for ‘Summertime’ in 1991. This before scoring a #1 in the UK two years later with ‘Boom Shake The Room’. One of the definitive highlights from their 1993 ‘Code Red’ effort along with ‘Can’t Wait To Be With You’ featuring Christopher Williams. If not ‘I’m Looking For The One (To Be With Me)’. And as many jams marking an evolution in the sound of the twosome towards fiercer horizons with the New Jack Swing most likely dominating the production around.
As a result, ‘Boom Shake The Room’ pretty much deserves its title. Takin’ its whole dimension on a hypnotic and subtle amalgamation of samples. From The Temptations‘ ‘The Jones’ as remixed by Dr. Bob Jones and Ray Hayden. To the Ohio Players‘s ‘Funky Worm’. Not to mention Brass Construction‘s ‘Movin”. The whole with production and arranging work by the likes of Chicago Hip-House artist Mr. Lee…
“Boom shake the room!” Looks/sounds like they pretty much made it as a matter of fact. Don’t you think?
The first word comin’ to mind about the meeting between Philadelphia DJ/producer Jeff Townes aka DJ Jazzy Jeff and emcee/Rapper Will Smith aka The Fresh Prince is chemistry. With the twosome spreading a rare easiness. Obviously meant to be jammin’ together, they went on to regularly take the floors by storm during their 6 years of collaboration.
A collaboration which has given birth to 6 albums between 1987 and 1993. And, by that, 25 singles with a bunch of serious gems and no less than 2 Grammy Awards.
‘Rock The House’, their debut-album saw the light on Word-Up. Eventually bringin’ them to the attention of Jive Records. But also gettin’ them to tour with Public Enemy and Run DMC. Meanwhile its follow-up – ‘He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper’ – got them to earn their first Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 1989 for ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand’.
The 90’s would get the duo to reach a higher status. This with the help of more in yer face concept. From the memorable ‘Summertime’, interpolating Kool & The Gang‘s classic ‘Summer Madness’ which stands as their biggest classic ever. Eventually seeing them getting their second Grammy. This in addition to their swingin’ version of Anita Ward‘s ‘Ring My Bell’ and ‘The Things That U Do’.
‘Code Red’, their final album back in 1993, confirming their inclination for the Swing. This with ‘Can’t Wait To Be With You’ featuring Christopher Williams on a sample of Luther Vandross‘s ‘Never Too Much’. But also ‘I’m Looking For The One (To Be With Me)’ with production work courtesy of Teddy Riley and his brother, Markell. And, last but not least, ‘Boom Shake The Room’ to be added to their greatest classics.
Although the twosome have remained in good terms, they came their respective ways after the release of ‘Code Red’. With Smith comin’ up to act full-time.
In 1998 Jive eventually came with a Greatest Hits compilation and two previously unreleased songs. But the duo didn’t return, no more than record any new material. They could be seen though sporadically performing together, like in 2005 in their hometown. Then, more recently, during the Summer of 2017 in Croatia and England. On his side, DJ Jazzy Jeff has been a regular for instance at the memorable Masters At Work parties during the Winter Music Conference in Miami, FL.