Will Smith – Big Willie Style (1997)

Jared Fisch, For Eastside

If you like his acting, you will love his music. Will Smith will have your fingers tapping by the end of the first song. On his first solo album Big Willie Style (1997), Smith combines his aspect of rap with the beat. His catchy tunes will have most hip-hop fans humming along. Although it is slightly dated, his music is great for people of all ages. Unlike many modern rappers, Smith does not use foul language.

If you have ever seen his show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Smith’s theme song had viewers all over trying to memorize the lyrics. His song, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” will have the same affect. He spits out rhymes with ease as the words roll off his tongue and it seems as though the words were meant to be together in a melody.

As a fan of rap, I enjoyed this album thoroughly. I liked the way in which he combined rap and the tune of the song. This album does not contain “hardcore gangsta rap” which was prominent at the end of the millennium, but instead has a primarily “boom bap” hip-hop feel to it. Smith’s music incorporates not only his vocals but piano, drums and other instruments that make each song worth listening to.

The only criticism I have for this album is the intro. As a fan of Smith’s acting, I think the introduction was a letdown in that he began the album with a monologue instead of drawing listeners in with his talent. If he started with a catchy tune, he would have caught my attention right off the bat, but instead he started slow. Otherwise, I enjoyed listening to this album.

With Big Willie Style, Smith proved that even a “nobody” from Philadelphia can make it big.