Will Smith is returning to his hip-hop roots by reuniting with DJ Jazzy Jeff for a performance for A Grammy Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop. The upcoming event is scheduled to be filmed on November 8th at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California. D.J. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince join a stacked line-up of hip-hop legends for the event that includes Arrested Development, Cypress Hill, Queen Latifah, and Spinderella.
This event is significant as it represents one of Smith’s first public appearances following the incident involving Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars. After Rock poked fun at Jada Pinkett Smith’s short hair, Smith stepped on stage and slapped the comedian. As a consequence, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences imposed a ten-year ban on Smith’s attendance at its events.
Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff Hold Two Major Grammy Milestones
Of course, Will Smith holds a hip-hop first as far as the Grammy Awards are concerned. D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince made Grammy hip-hop history twice. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until the 1988 Awards on February 22, 1989, that a dedicated rap/hip-hop category was introduced. During this groundbreaking ceremony, their catchy pop hit, “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” became the first-ever hip-hop recording to win a Grammy for Best Rap Performance. Despite this achievement, they were not invited to perform at the show that year.
One year later, on February 21, 1990, the dynamic duo made history as the first hip-hop act to grace the stage of the Grammys. Smith expressed his gratitude, dedicating the performance to the rappers who had supported them in the previous year. Smith and D.J. Jazzy Jeff then performed the now classic “I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson.”
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. weighed in on the upcoming event. “For five decades, Hip Hop has not only been a defining force in music, but a major influence on our culture,” he said. “Its contributions to art, fashion, sport, politics, and society cannot be overstated. I’m so proud that we are honoring it in such a spectacular way on the Grammy stage. It is just the beginning of our year-long celebration of this essential genre of music.”
A standout moment at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 5 was the extended “50 Years of 50-Hop” segment. This marked the beginning of a year-long celebration of hip-hop, showcasing its significance and undeniable influence in the music industry.
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