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  1. DJ Jazzy Jeff Talks New Album With Will Smith: 'The Timing Is Perfect' "He has never stopped rapping," says DJ of his partner BY JASON NEWMAN October 9, 2015 French Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff DJ Jazzy Jeff says "the timing is perfect" as he records a new album with Will Smith Kevin Mazur/Getty It's been 22 years since Will Smith (then known as the Fresh Prince) and DJ Jazzy Jeff released their fifth and ostensibly final album, Code Red. But unlike other pioneering groups like A Tribe Called Quest and Fugees, the group's end was not predicated on infighting or ego. Smith's acting bug became a full-on fever and Jazzy Jeff became an in-demand DJ who still performs more than 150 shows a year. The childhood friends have remained close, and their reunion, revealed by Smith in an interview with Apple Music earlier this week, was hiding in plain sight for years: Jeff regularly DJs the wrap parties for Smith's movies, with the rapper inevitably hopping on the mic to perform a medley of the duo's greatest hits. But this week, Smith announced the duo's reunion with plans for a new album and the first world tour of their career. The rapper told Zane Lowe he has recorded 20 to 30 songs — which may or may not appear on the album — but the duo are taking their time in recording new material. "Timelines are a thing of record companies," Jeff tells Rolling Stone. With Smith releasing his first verse in more than a decade last week, the prolific DJ spoke to Rolling Stone on the past, present and future of the pop-rap pioneers. Where are you in the recording process? Will's been recording. We had a really good conversation because he wants to get back in recording. One of the things that we talk about is going from all of these stupid, giant, million-dollar studios to now having the ability to record something in a hotel room. We laugh about the amount of material we would have put out if we had had those resources [in the Eighties and Nineties]. I want to just start recording to get him back into this space that there are no rules anymore! Every time we do an impromptu show, he's like, "Man, we can go out and we should go out." And I'm like, "I'm already out. I'm waiting for you!" Do you have a recording timetable yet? Not yet. I know just with the schedules, it will be in sections. It could be any time like, I'm home for two weeks and we're going to get together and do something. That could really start off with me sending him something and him recording it and then us getting together. But the only way that I will [record the finished track] is if we are in the studio together. That's how it's always been. I’m not worried about me at all. I think the beauty of it is that he started it, and he's ready to go. "The beauty of it is that he started [recording], and he's ready to go." Was it always in the back of your mind while touring all these years that you guys would release another album? Let me put it like this: You don't retire from an art. This has always been inside of him and he's always wanted to do this. He has never stopped rapping. It's just that being the biggest movie star on the planet, you don't have enough time. There has never been a time that he didn't jump on my microphone when we're together, because that is in his blood. You think you're going to be around a basketball court with Michael Jordan and he is not going to shoot? That'll never happen! I’m just happy that he's at the point where he's like, "You know what? I really want to do this." And the whole idea is he realizes he wants to have fun. I can tell the level of enjoyment he has from doing it. So he performs and says, "This feels good. We should record." When did that go from general discussion to you both seriously considering an album? Every time we would get together, he would talk about, "Yeah, I'm thinking about it. I got a concept for a record." The last time we got together seriously was in the spring when he started Suicide Squad and I went up [to see him] and we talked for four hours. I just finished the Dayne Jordan project and I played it for him from beginning to end and he was just like, "Wow." And I just went on to tell him like, "Listen, I did this all by myself. This wasn't through a record label; we just went in and did it." And all of that is foreign because you almost felt like someone has to co-sign you to make music. If you got the talent, we got the studio and the resources and you don't need a record label. That's what this generation does that we've never done. Did Will think that the two of you would have to go label-hunting? No, no. It's not that he thought that. It's just he's never done it any other way. Before I did Dayne Jordan, neither had I. So I’m sitting back like, "I own a studio and I can make music." I got a videographer on the road and we started shooting videos, so we shot a video in Dubai. Who shoots a video in Dubai besides Jay Z and Kanye? This is exactly what you would do on a Sony and now you have the resources to do it by yourself. All I did was share that information with him, like, "Dude, you know what we can do now without any boundaries?" He mentioned having 20 to 30 songs recorded. How many of those were with you versus his solo stuff? We haven't even gone to the studio yet. He's done all of this while he was doing Suicide Squad. So we haven't gotten in to do the stuff that we are going to do, which is next level. One of the conversations that we had was just talking about jumping. You gotta jump. If Jaden goes into the studio and he hears something hot, he records it and puts it out in 24 hours. And from the perspectives of Will and myself, you're like, "What?" I said, "You know what? Just drop it." And he kept saying, "What does 'drop it' look like?" Classic Hip-Hop Format Rescuing Radio Stations » Will did a verse off of [Kanye West's] "Clique" when it first came out. He rapped it for me and it was huge. And I looked at him and said, "Why didn't you put that out?" And he just looked at me. I'm like, "Wait, you wrote an incredible verse off of a really popular song. That is what they do! Just drop it!" But he just sat on it. In the Zane Lowe interview, he talked about being scared to record new music. Do you think it was fear? I don't think it was a fear thing. He was really trying to grasp the concept of just putting it out. You got something that is hot and great and that is it. I told him to just put it on SoundCloud and you could see the wheels turning like, "Oh ****, I can really do that?" That is a very hard concept. It's like they opened the gates to the prison and nobody ran. Everybody just stood there because you are used to be incarcerated that you're like, "I'm not going to run. What if something happens?" Is it true this will be your first world tour together? Yeah, it's funny. When we were doing the Run-D.M.C. tour, we'd go to New York and Mobile, Alabama and do a lot of that stuff. When we got to the point of being bigger, it was during the Fresh Prince [of Bel-Air] years, so we couldn't really tour like that. We didn't have six months to just go all over the world. Has anything been solidified for the tour? I don't know. What I tell people is, "If Will says, 'Listen, we're going on tour,' we're going on tour." That’s my partner. Anytime he needs me, I'm there. If it's like, "Yo, we're out," we're out. Let me know so I can make some arrangements and we're gone. Rappers and producers are finding success at older ages now more than ever before. Do you think the climate is right for a new album after 23 years? The timing is perfect and it was just something that clicked. I think a lot of it is just the understanding of the space. You've got to look at it like, us, Dr. Dre, LL Cool J all came up together, and now everybody's in a different professional space, but your fanbase is still there. We are the first generation that's growing older with hip-hop. So think about it: We didn’t know how to handle that. You try to figure out: Is hip-hop the music of the youth? And it's like, yeah, it’s the music of the youth . . . when you’re young! We didn’t have the media outlets that cater to a more adult demographic because we are the first. So now, you got Boom [classic hip-hop radio] stations and Sirius XM's BackSpin and everybody loves that. Now you got a station that plays Big Daddy Kane's "Ain't No Half-Steppin'" and "Raw," but they'll also play him if he makes something new. The outlet is finally catching up to the music. I keep saying, "Seriously, did you think Rakim lost it?" Rakim just didn't put out music because where would his music be played? There comes a time, and this is weird to say with us being hip-hop lovers, that you outgrow Hot 97. Is it a chicken-and-egg scenario between recording the new album and booking a tour? Wouldn't one influence the other? It's not like we don't have material to do. When we go out and perform now, we don't do new material. Now, as you get to the point that you can add new stuff on, ah man, this is great. I just think it's the perfect time. Now there are no boundaries. Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/dj-jazzy-jeff-talks-new-album-with-will-smith-the-timing-is-perfect-20151009#ixzz3o4zErFae Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/dj-jazzy-jeff-talks-new-album-with-will-smith-the-timing-is-perfect-20151009
  2. Why in 2016 would a Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince tour matter? Will is 47, Jeff is 50, and they haven't released an official album together in 23 years. I think you have to understand hip hop and it's history and where it is now to understand it's importance. Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince paved the way for hip hop becoming popular, acceptable and worthy of recognition (First Grammy Award). They have sold over 40 million records and yet have barely toured. Will has always been busy with a TV show, a movie career and bringing up a young family. Right now seems a perfect time to celebrate the legacy of Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince. They have millions of fans young and old who found great joy from their music. It wasn't always serious, it was sometimes lighthearted, fun, feel good music. It's the kind of music that stays with you, that brings back positive memories. How can you not listen to Summertime and think of a warm sunny day and family barbecues? I think over the last few years Will has gotten away from what made him so successful, what made him so popular. The world tour and a return to music is exactly what the world needs right now. We want the Fresh Prince back, the YouTube views for Will & Jeff doing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme on Graham Norton are a clear indication of the love people still have for some Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff. I think hip hop right now is really imbalanced. There is a lack of creditable female emcees, strong and positive messages and true artistry. The fact that young people think Will should stop rapping because he is 47 is a true sign of ignorance. I can't think of any other genre where a musician is told he has to stop making art because he's older. Is that what you would really say to Miles Davis or Charles Mingus or Donald Byrd? Would you tell James Brown to stop because he's older? Hell no! In fact with age comes wisdom so the music Will would create now would most likely be far more powerful than when he was younger. I know he has plenty to say. This Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince world tour should be a true celebration of what their music has done in the world. It has opened up doors to TV and to hollywood, to mainstream chart success and it has brought joy to so many people. No one ever did what Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince did now let's see them put on one of the great hip hop tours of all time.
  3. Tickets are now available to a lot of the australian shows for the australian fans out there.. Melbourne, December 5th at the Prince Bandroom: http://princebandroom.oztix.com.au/?event=47443 Sydney, December 6th, boat party at Sydney Harbour, only a few tickets remain: http://www.moshtix.com.au/v2/event/the-soda-factory-boat/73487 Perth, December 6th, Cypress Hill & Jazzy Jeff in Perth: http://tickets.oztix.com.au/default.aspx?Event=47365 it's a 6 hour flight from sydney to perth so they are really cramming the shows in to do one in sydney jump on a plane and then do a show in perth on the same day.. not sure if that's best for Jeff & the crew or the fans.. Anyway the melbourne venue is better than last year..better sound.. hopefully jeff gets a good turnout for these shows..
  4. This is the full Jazzy Jeff Block Party Mix Tape straight from the archives. Jeff did this in 1993. This is his second best mixtape behind "The Vibe I'm On..." in my opinion.
  5. Evolution is the long-anticipated new Slum Village album, featuring founding member T3 along with Young RJ and Illa J. Slum Village was founded in the early 90s by three childhood friends: Baatin, T3, and rapper and producer J Dilla, who all grew up together in the Conant Gardens neighborhood of Detroit, MI. After leaving Pershing High School, the trio began to forge a path into the Detroit underground hip hop scene and quickly found themselves steadily gaining popularity, where they originally went by the name Ssenepod. Even though the group has suffered many heartaches and member changes over the years, Slum Village always finds a way to reinvent its brand. The Evolution of Slum Village continues with a reinvigorated energy, as founding member T3 holds down the legacy along with the Grammy-nominated producer Young RJ as well as young prodigy Illa J at his side. Evolution also includes the talents and skills of Havoc(of Mobb Deep), Raheem Devaughn, Jazzy Jeff and Rapper Big Pooh, amongst others. TRACK LISTING 1. Braveheart (feat. Havoc (Mobb Deep)) 2. Rock Rock (feat. DJ Jazzy Jeff) 3. Let It Go (feat. Blu) 4. Forever 5. Scared Money (feat. Early Mac) 6. Summer Breeze 7. The Line (feat. Focus) 8. Hustle (feat. Vice / J Ivy) 9. Bout That (feat. Joetka) 10. 1 Nite (feat. Vice ) 11. Greatness (feat. Joetka) 12. Riot (feat. Rapper Big Pooh / Joe Scudda)
  6. http://www.jazzyjefffreshprince.com/blog/moonchild-be-free-jazzy-jeff-james-poyser-remix/ dopeness! love it
  7. Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince are going to perform for the troops in Fort Hood, Texas at a special After Earth screening. Nice!
  8. Off the back of the excitement of the JJFP fresh prince of bel air performance. Announce a Will Smith Jazzy Jeff concert at O2 Arena London. with special guest appearances from the cast of the fresh prince of bel air. It would sell out in 20 minutes. They could film it and make it a great blu-ray. I can see it man!
  9. Wow!!! What a beat!!! Can't say much for the rapping though..
  10. Twitter: http://twitter.com/djjazzyjeff215 [137,000 followers] Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/djjazzyjeff [45,000 Likes] Instagram: http://instagram.com/djjazzyjeff Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/jefftownes Vimeo: vimeo.com/djjazzyjeff MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/djjazzyjeff
  11. Well this has worked out amazingly well. Jazzy Jeff is touring Europe from October 3-14. I'm going to be in the UK from October 5 for a month! October 3 - Madrid, Spain - Joy Eslava October 4 - Leeds, United Kingdom - Mint Warehouse October 6 - Biel, Switzerland - Coupole October 7 - Belgium - Venue TBA October 9 - Middlesbrough, United Kingdom - Spensleys Emporium October 10 - Neuchatel, Switzerland – Venue TBA October 11 - Warwick, United Kingdom - Saint Bar October 12 - Berlin, Germany - Tube Station October 13 - Lugano, Switzerland - WKND October 14 - Stockholm, Sweden - Café Opera October 15 - London, United Kingdom - Jazz Cafe October 20 - Cape Town, South Africa - International Convention Centre
  12. brand new Jazzy Jeff/ Mint Condition Track from their new album.. "Girl of My Life" http://soundcloud.co...girl-of-my-life
  13. this is doppe!! http://maimounayoussef.bandcamp.com/track/i-got-a-man Working with The Roots certainly has its perks. Five years ago, local singer/MC Maimouna Youssef sang the hook to the Philly crew's "Don't Feel Right" and earned a Grammy nomination for her work on the song. And if you look fast enough, you'll see a teenage Youssef on Dave Chappelle's Block Party, jumping abundantly with rappers Dead Prez as they perform "Hip-Hop" in front of a raucous Brooklyn crowd. Since her turn with The Roots in 2006, Youssef has proven her worth as a double-threat performer, with formidable singing and rapping talents that draw comparisons to Lauryn Hill. Here, Youssef slows it down with "I Got A Man," the affectionate first single from her debut album, The Blooming, which comes out next month. The song, co-produced by DJ Jazzy Jeff and Demeien DeSandies, is offset by a quiet, touching backdrop, allowing Youssef's voice to shine.
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