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Will Smith · Lost and Found by Billy Glick

Will Smith died at the age of twenty-five shortly before he was due to star in Independence Day.1 His work with DJ Jazzy Jeff was entered into the canon of archetypal hip-hop and Jazz did a tribute with Sting. Certainly, Will would still be behind Pac, Biggie, and probably even Eazy E on people's lists of the Top 10 early 90s rappers cut down in their prime, but his name wouldn't invoke the disdain it does today.

In the interceding ten years since his fictional death, on an alternate timeline, things to proceed as they have. Will becomes a movie star, loses any grit he once had and records a series of admittedly terrible albums with, nonetheless, decent intentions. Now, thanks to magic or something, family-friendly Will is doing an interview for Hitch at a radio station in Philly when he notices twenty-five-year-old Will, goofy, but legit, swaggering by and flipping him the bird. How would he try to make it up to himself?

By making an album, Lost and Found, featuring Snoop Dogg and Timbaland, which rips off Usher's "Yeah," gentrifies Ludacris' "Act a Fool," disses Eminem for dissing "Willenium" and samples every annoyingly catchy song of the last year and a half, of course. One critic described Will's album as "Sesame Street rhymes over Playskool beats."2 But, listen carefully to the giant-ass-**** brass of his original-Spiderman-theme-sampling opener "Here He Comes" and you will hear a man's soul laid bare. He sees the peak of his career's arc fading in the rearview mirror. Maybe he's getting a bad rap. Maybe while 50 and The Game try to reinvigorate thug culture in hip hop and Usher releases another lame slow jam about infidelity, Will is thanklessly forging a middle road. Maybe people would actually give a damn what he had to say if he didn't take such a goddamned holier-than-thou attitude about it. On "Could U [sic] Love Me" he questions whether people only say they love him because of his money and fame, but as he constantly repeats how much he's worth and one wonders whether he would love himself if it weren't for the money.3

Lost and Found is Will's return to the streets. In fact, he boasts that his hiatus from the industry gave him ample time to practice his flow. But the music is terrible, and the lyrics and ego often betray the potential of the album's message. The video for "Switch," the first single off the album, is a testament to Will's dancing and for the first

fleeting seconds, it's like watching an episode of The Fresh Prince. Then he starts mock-spanking his dance partner

and yapping about his career in movies. Perhaps a better

choice for single would have been "Pump Ya Brakes." It's continued on page 14

got a catchy beat, a concise chorus and features Snoop Dogg. Too bad every aspect of it is blatantly stolen from Ludacris. This from the man whose single features the lyric "don't download, go out and buy the album." So if we all listen to Will's "manifesto" of mainstream-moral-high-ground-taking-drug-free hip hop, we'll all soon be dancing in the club, sipping dubious beverages, but otherwise saying "No" to drugs and not letting anybody rile us up while we objectify the living **** out of women.

Billy Glick is a second-year Architecture major who thinks it's a drip that he can't feel a drip on the strip.

http://www.the-declaration.com/2005-04-28/1059

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Seems to me that the guy guy who gave that review on we the voices.com was already mad at Will. Maybe he tried to give his demo tape to Will or sum type of crazy business investment like Keith B Real in BWS :kekeke: and Will had Charlie Mack throw him out. I'm glad ppl who actually heard the album defend Will. Now for the another guy :grin: Billy Glick yeah thats sounds like sum 1 who really listens to hiphop music. Billy is just hatin cause he probably wishes he was Will.

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what bugs me the most is people think he's imitating Ludacris on Party Starter. These idiots don't realize Luda let Will use his hooks and his vocals are on the track. We need to let these fools know at least this. Will ain't imitating nobody

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Yep. ditto mimi. C these ppl didn't even listen to the album or even read the little booklet that cd comes with. Cause if they did they would have saw Luda's name there. But they don't probaby don't even know luda's real name. But it's like ppl keep saying that Will is biting off of other ppl.PLEASE. What about ppl that bite off of him. But i guess thats ok cause he ain't a rap legend. whatever. like that fool who said from wethevoices.com he don't consider Will to be a hiphop great a grammy doesn't matter. If it wasn't for Will they would have never taken rap serious and it would never be category. :angel:

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Popmatters

WILL SMITH

Lost and Found

(Interscope)

Rating: 7

US release date: 29 March 2005

UK release date: 28 March 2005

by Mike Schiller

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:. comment on this article

"But aaaaaaaaaaaaah, Calm down Willy

You don't wanna drop the bomb now Willy

Keep a nice flow for your mom down in Philly

On the news you go if you blow and act silly, you know"

— "Mr. Niceguy"

With apologies to Jim Abbott, I can only imagine what it must be like trying to garner any sort of respect in a game where you're basically playing with one hand tied behind your back. It's no secret that Will Smith refuses to "curse" in his songs, a credo that he mostly sticks to for the entirety of Lost and Found. That's fine, and eminently doable. Trying to battle without curses, however, is another thing entirely -- it's like chopping a dictionary in half and telling an artist he can only use the words from 'N' to 'Z'. Even so, the curseless battle is a major part of Lost and Found, which finds a surprisingly confrontational Smith taking on everyone from Eminem to the Christian Far Right, with a fair number of traditional Will Smith party bangers interspersed throughout the proceedings to lighten the mood.

And somehow, some way, he made it work.

Here's the secret: Even the battle tracks play like party tracks. Smith is at his best when he's in Fresh Prince of Bel Air mode, taking down his subjects with a little sarcasm and a lot of smirks, complete with all of the nouveau-riche raised-in-Philly inflections that might imply.

Rap radio (and the type of artist it favors) is generally Smith's favorite target of derision, which I suppose is understandable enough given that no matter how many copies of his albums he seems to sell, he's never really taken seriously as a hip-hop artist. "Get that (I wish I woulda made that) / Lean back (I wish I woulda made that) / I wish I woulda told the girls to drop it like it's hot," he reflects, doing his best Fat Joe and Snoop impressions, while also noting that "Summertime" seems to be all he's known for anymore. Still, "I Wish I Made That" is so friendly and good natured in its sound that Smith's listeners and detractors are more likely to laugh at his impressions than to take the song as any sort of rallying cry. This is a shame, given that the social commentary of lines like "ignorant, attacking, actin' rough / I mean, then will I be black enough? / Oh wait maybe I'll jack a truck / Full of cigarettes, guns & drugs & stuff" gets lost in the atmosphere.

Seriously, Bill Cosby must eat this stuff up.

He mentions Eminem, Larry Elder, and Wendy Williams (twice) as well, but the worst he can do as far as personal insults are "fat and ugly" for Wendy and "Uncle Tom" for Larry. He's actually more effective when he's not saying anything, brushing off his enemies because he's got more important things to do -- like, say, lamenting the state of the world. Tapped as the second single from Lost and Found, "Tell Me Why" starts with a poignant tale of Smith trying to explain the events of 11 September, 2001 to his son, finishes with a bunch of other, unrelated "why" questions, and brings the ubiquitous Mary J. Blige along for the ride. It's lyrical ground that's been tread millions of times before (most recently and similarly by Jadakiss in his own "Why?"), but Smith does a fantastic job with it, kicking out the sensitive style talking to his son and then unveiling a far more aggressive, ironically Eminem-esque yell as the song climaxes toward the end of the second verse.

It's over the course of that climax, however, that the major paradox of Lost and Found is most obvious -- one line of the song yells "Why the f*** can't love seem to conquer hate?" That's right, Smith drops the f-bomb, and then promptly censors himself with an all-too-audible BEEP so he can keep saying he never curses on his records. Much as it's obvious that he's trying to include the word to add power to the song, the fact that it's bleeped out means he's trying to have it both ways, implicitly asking the philosophical question of "if I say the f-word and nobody actually hears it, did I really say it?" That aside, if Smith was really trying to set some kind of example, why is it that his definition of a curse word seems to be limited to things you can't say on prime time TV? And the guest appearance from Snoop Dogg, on "Pump Ya Brakes"? Trying to bump up your credibility is understandable; including a guest who regularly extols the virtues of pimping and weed in the most profane of ways is not, even if he keeps it clean on your record.

Of course, the moral dilemmas only really come into play if you're looking to buy the album for your kid. Assuming none of that bothers you, Lost and Found is a playful mix of the old, fun Will Smith (D.J. Jazzy Jeff even shows up to produce opener "Here He Comes", riffing on the old Spiderman theme song) and the new, serious, and even sort of angry Will Smith. Every "Ms. Holy Roller" (a diatribe on the exclusivity of born-again Christianity) is tempered by a "If You Can't Dance (Slide)" (whose title should make the subject matter obvious enough), the two types of tracks coexisting peacefully in a mélange of tight Neptunes-lite / Timbaland-style beats and Smith's typically smooth flows. Plus, if you're just buying it for the single, there are three versions of "Switch" here to keep you dancing into the night.

Somewhere along the way, Smith lost his musical appeal, be it via constant, blatant commercialism or simply a decline in skills. Now, it seems, he's found the qualities that made him such a joy in the first place; the only question remaining is whether anyone is still listening.

— 22 April 2005

Friday, April 8, 2005

CD reviews

Will Smith, "Lost and Found"

By Mekeisha Madden Toby / The Detroit News

Only in hip hop can a musician be nominated for an Oscar and still drop albums. Will Smith is an attractive and talented Hollywood star. Does Smith or "Big Will," as the 36-year-old husband and father calls himself, really need to rap? And what's up with the thug gear he's sporting in photos on the CD jacket? Sorry, but Smith is too GQ and too old to be a hood. Back to the music. Smith attempts to answer the unlikely rapper question on several tracks on his new album "Lost and Found," in which Smith attacks those who have attacked him on "Mr. Niceguy" and "I Wish I Made That" in which he pays homage to rappers he admires. And while the album does have a few hits, it's really hard to take it seriously. That said, if you can get beyond the movie star-rapper's persona, you will nod your head to the Ludacris-esque "Party Starter," smile in agreement with the message on "Ms. Holy Roller" and perhaps even dance to "Pump Ya Brakes," featuring Snoop Dogg. Good luck with that. GRADE: B

IGN

Will Smith - Lost and Found

A reported return to form that, like most of Smith's recent musical efforts, it's about half effective.

April 19, 2005 - I've been a fan of Will Smith's for decades; you know, back when he was the Fresh Prince, and Jazzy Jeff wasn't an indie trailblazer but the other half of rap's most commercial act. "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble," "Here We Go Again," "Jazzy's Groove," and of course "Summertime" ranked among my favorite rap songs of all time, and I knew the lyrics to each and every one of them backwards and forwards. As a solo artist, however, Will Smith's success has been decidedly inconsistent; for every "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" there has been a "Nod Ya Head," and his rhymes have matured without necessarily building on his initial appeal- namely, as a squeaky-clean but talented alternative to his hardcore competition.

Lost and Found purports to be a return to form for Smith, and like most of his recent musical efforts, it's about half effective. His rhymes are typically dexterous, weaving stories and teaching lessons in nearly equal measures while keeping the proceedings light, but the problem that pervades the songs is their defensive approach to decades of criticism: rather than just assembling a top-notch collection of singles, Smith wants to really say something, and he really wants us to know that he's trying really, really hard to say it. The opener, "Here He Comes," samples the Spider-Man theme, matches it with a shuffling beat a la Busta Rhymes "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See," and throws a party-starting gauntlet that the rest of the album can't sustain; even a track called "Party Starter" seems lackluster by comparison.

That isn't to say, however, that Smith fails to return to some of his former glory. "Switch"'s uptempo throwdown should earn it a spot atop Billboard charts as one of the catchier hip-hop singles in recent memory, while "Ms. Holy Roller" borrows from the City of God soundtrack and proselytizes about the perils of religious piety; "Mr. Niceguy"'s underwhelming guitar feedback is done significant service by Smith's spike-tongued delivery before "I Wish I Made That/ Swagga" responds to criticism that he's lightweight hip-hop while referencing Fat Joe and Snoop Dogg.

The production is serviceable but less substantial than if Jazzy Jeff blessed the tracks (if his own Magnificent LP is an indication); but overall the disc suffers from a lack of aggressiveness that Smith seems to have reserved for his film roles. I doubt that few fans wonder where Smith's abilities on the microphone went since his meteoric rise to movie star success, so expect big numbers for this record commercially; but for folks like myself who loved the Fresh Prince back in the day when he brought "Brand New Funk" to the masses, Lost And Found is a little bit too much of the former, and not enough of the latter.

Definitely Download:

1. "Here He Comes"

2. "Beauty"

3. "Promised Land"

-- Todd Gilchrist

Overall Score 7.5

Draven

Monday, March 28, 2005 CD Review: Will Smith - Lost & Found

Will Smith has had quite a career, music, television, film, and he has been successful at all of it. Will Smith was one of the first rappers I listened to, I remember when he and Jazzy Jeff burst onto the scene in the late 80's. They had a unique, and radio friendly style. They made hip hop accessible for the masses. They also provided a safe way for surburbia to ease into hip hop. That is not a criticism, it's is just that Smith has chosen to take a positive route with his music which is a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of music which has a much darker aura. This new album is no different in tone than the past. It has an upbeat feeling, positive lyrics, and a lot of skill.

Will proves that he hasn't lost any of his skills since his last release back in 2002. His acting hasn't affected his ability to flow on a mic. I felt funny typing that, but hey, when in Rome. It is true though, he has a great voice and this album proves that he can still rap with the best of them.

Lyrically the album is strong as well. He squares off with those who have accused him of going soft, and its true, you don't need to swear in order to make a good song. There are a variety of targets that he takes aim on throughout the album. People like other rappers who have made hits that he likes, a past girlfriend who since finding God has become holier than thou.

But besides taking aim at others, there is a healthy helping of straight up party music, including the first single, "Switch." There is also a song where he wonders about world events, and the insanity involved. The album is a mixture of party music and social commentary, all wrapped up in a way that is easy to get into.

Rap is not my typically my forte, and being so, I have had some difficulty in writing about it, but the album is very good. Lots of great beats, some great rhymes, and that trademark Smith charisma. And of course there are moments that I identify with, such as "If U Can't Dance (Slide)" considering my considerable lack of rhythm! Then there was the nostalgic moment when i recognized the sampled rhythm of the opening track, "Here He Comes," as the theme song to the original Spider-Man cartoon. On top of all that, Smith can still tell a good story, as evidenced in "Pump Ya Brakes," featuring the talents of guest Snoop Dogg.

Bottomline. Smith is on top of his game with this release, proving once again you don't have to be crude in order to exhibit clever wordplay which also displays social relevance. And again, there is no denying the charisma and skill exhibited by Big Will. Now if he could only diversify his acting .....

Recommended.

kidzworld 3 stars

Will Smith - Lost and Found

Will Smith went from rapping as a teen in Philadelphia to starring in the hit 90's sit-com, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He went on to become a big-time movie star and release music hits like Gettin' Jiggy Wit It, Miami and Men in Black. Having recently starred in Shark Tale and Hitch, Will Smith has just released Lost and Found, an attempt to show off his rougher side while continuing to be a positive role model.

Will Smith - Lost and Found Facts

Like most of his hits, the first single, Switch, will get you dancing.

Snoop Dogg makes a cameo on the track Pump Ya Brakes.

Dueting with Mary J. Blige on Why, Will talks about the difficulty of explaining 9/11 to his kids.

Buddy Jazzy Jeff helped produce the album.

Will makes an appearance at Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards on April 2nd.

Will Smith - Lost and Found Hot Tracks

Lost and Found, I Wish I Made That/Swagga, Could You Love Me, Party Starter.

Jacob Sahms - Hollywood Jesus

Will Smith: Lost and Found

Will Smith’s latest, Lost and Found, caught my eye (because he will always be the Fresh Prince!) but there were a few songs I had to add to the blog! “Ms. Holy Roller” lashes out (initially) at Michelle, who has of late come to know Jesus, and now condemns Smith. He raps back that he has known Jesus since Sunday School and Easter, that “I always strive to be righteous, my version of God/The reason I never write verses with curses inside/The reason I never purposely hurt persons/I’ve applied many teachings of God/Searching the reaches of God.” He believes God knows that he is doing his best to live his life for God—he doesn’t curse, yet I find it interesting because this woman must know now how he feels. The song closes with spoken words from Smith: “The greatest atrocities ever committed on this planet have been in the name of God/This country was founded by the Puritans, for the expressed purpose of oppression-free worship.” He obviously feels strongly that Jesus requires much from him but that it cannot be interpreted for him by someone else.

“Why” relates the shock of 9/11 as it ran through the lives of Smith and his children that morning. “Souls are captured/Dreams are stolen, hearts are broken/Evil blatantly rewarded/Hate surrenders, Love exalted/Hope elated, negativity is shorted.” The circle of understanding is negative impact by evil but by the end, the future seems brighter. A strand of murdered people from the past (far and recent) is rapped through as Smith continues to question what he should tell his kids. Once again, the closing words bring conclusion to the struggle: “But for me I try to see the bright side/Sometimes it be like the goodness it be tryin’ to hide/Then try to flee but it can’t it’s deep inside/Sweetie, you be the light for others, make ‘em believe in God.” Like many of the Psalms, “Why” expresses frustration at evil appearing to gain the upper hand and sadness at lives lost, but it resolves to set a good example and stay focused on God in the end.

The faith elements aren’t always apparent (“Switch,” “If You Can’t Dance”) but the overall gist allows Smith’s beliefs to shine through. Fresh Prince is growing up and his expressions of faith grow with him.

houston chronicle

'Lost and Found' by Will Smith

By DAN LEROY

Hartford Courant

Lost and Found

Will Smith

Interscope

3 stars ADVERTISEMENT

You can eventually push even Mr. Nice Guy too far, and the famously mild Fresh Prince has apparently had enough. I Wish I Made That/Swagga finally takes aim at the critics who have sneered that he's "too white." "Oh, wait, maybe I'll jack a truck fulla cigarettes and guns and stuff ... then will I be black enough?" he demands. Hip-hop has been long overdue for such a Cosby moment, and good for Smith — who could have simply abandoned music for movies by now — for providing it.

The problem with the rest of Lost and Found, Smith's first album for Interscope and an attempt to present a harder-edged Big Willie, is that it deliberately neglects his two strengths: familiar, recycled pop hooks and feel-good rhymes. He needed a Kanye West or Just Blaze to produce this comeback but got Timbaland instead; the harsh, sample-free boom-bap is ill-suited to Smith's breezy style, and his stabs at topicality (an attack on born-again Christians; the belated 9/11 song Tell Me Why) sound forced.

omguide

WILL SMITH

LOST AND FOUND

by Brian Blair

Will Smith - Lost And Found

(Interscope)(buy it!)

Reviewing a Will Smith album is something of an exercise in futility. Even if you write a glowing review, there's a large number of people that won't go near the album because they believe Smith forfeited any semblance of credibility years ago. On the other hand, those that are inclined to give the rap veteran a chance aren't interested in someone discussing the finer points of the music. They're much more interested in hearing one of those patented, hook-laden singles for which Smith is known before they purchase the set.

Still, it's worth a shot.

Right from the start, Smith gives his critics tools to attack him. The album's lead-off track, "Here He Comes," uses the theme to Spiderman as its backing track while he checks off ego caresses. Even for Smith, it's a little too cutesy to take seriously. That mistake is followed by "Party Starter," a stand club song that lacks any discernible hook.

Whereas previous efforts were collections of pop-injected hip hop numbers, Lost And Found spends much of its time on going after various targets. "Mr. Nice Guy" explores the squeaky clean image Smith has developed and takes shots at Eminem, and radio talk show hosts Larry Elder and Wendy Williams. Then, on the album's title track, Smith goes after rap music, in general, with one of the better pieces on the album.

"Ms. Holy Roller" sees Smith going after a longtime acquaintance named Michelle that has become a proselytizing Christian after a lifetime of decidedly non-Christian behavior. Ironically, in between verses that are meant to show his Christian pedigree, Smith spews a few lines that drip with contempt for the born again friend. At one point, he says of Michelle's new outlook, "Your attitude is the same arrogant, fearful fundamentalism that fueled the hatred of the Crusades and the attacks on 9/11." As right as he may be connecting extremists of any religion together, the words seem out of place in a song where he says to her, "I adore you, all I hope for you is freedom from misery."

With "Tell Me Why," he moves his attack to a larger target and rhymes about the total disregard for human life by various people or groups. It may stand as one of Smith's more impassioned pieces – he even breaks tradition and slips in an F bomb that gets bleeped – but the piece never comes together to draw the listener in. Even Mary J. Blige's powerful vocals on the chorus fails to take the track to the next level.

There's also an easily forgettable teaming with Snoop Dogg on "Pump Ya Brakes" that"s probably meant to help Smith cross into the credible side of rap. And, despite dissing him only a few tracks before, Smith apes Eminem's hit "Stan" with his own stalker story, "Loretta."

Smith has an ability to offer up catchy moments and they're scattered throughout the album but, overall, the album fails to excite. Tweaking his sound has only served to diminish some of the selling points of his previous works. He might be better off sticking to the $20 million a film gig that he so proudly declares on the album.

ottawa express

Lost and Found

Brendan Murphy

Any time a CD jacket folds out into an eight-panel signed poster you can be sure that the album is going to be balls. Which is a shame, because way back in the day the Fresh Prince was a dope storyteller backed by Jazzy Jeff, one of hip-hop's early icons, though it now seems impossible to separate him from his mega-fame. The album? Derivative, rehashed production, simplistic choruses and a bunch of songs transparently lifted from his last movie character. Listen to his feeble attempt at jacking Eminem's crazed fan letter (changing Stan into Loretta) if you think I'm just being a jerk. **** this and **** him, I'm pretty sure he just made this album to show his kids that he used to be a rapper.

The Cauldron

Music Reviews Will Smith

Published: Monday, May 2, 2005

Article Tools: Page 1 of 1

After dropping the moniker "Fresh Prince", Will Smith seemed to become swept away in a sea of commercial music and movie stardom. Just when it seemed that he was going to be a has been rapper, going out with the wack single Nod Ya Head as his last will and testament, he reports himself Lost and Found on his new album.

This album is definitely not what listeners would expect from the rapper who made Gettin Jiggy With It. This album is filled with social commentary, Will's thoughts on a brainwashed rap industry, disses, (yes disses), religious substance, and overall lyrical "fresh-ness", the former freestyle king of Philly returns to show audiences that just because his goatee has gone a little gray, doesn't mean he's lost his skills.

This album truly gets back to Smith's roots in hip-hop. Shining stars on the LP are Holy Roller, Mr. Nice Guy, Lost and Found, and I Wish I Made That/ Swagga. These are not typical commercial songs and thought they only make up four songs on the album; they have more prolific commentary than two hours of radio listening. Holy Roller documents those who find religion and use it to judge and spite all of those around them. In a statement at the end of the song Will says that it is this type of religious judgment and persecution that fueled the hatred behind the attacks of September Eleventh. In Mr. Nice Guy the former Prince strikes out at all of the people in the industry that have spoken poorly of him, including Eminem and Wendy Williams, fire that you wouldn't expect to spew from the mouth of Agent J. Lost and found speaks on the almost taboo, but necessary subject of hip-hop's drowning state within the commercial market. I Wish I Made That/ Swagga displays more lyrical fitness than Will did when he beefed up for Ali.

All in all, this album blows others out of the water and is most definitely worth the purchase price. Will should've gone back to the Fresh Prince, maybe King at this point, because he successfully returned to the skills he had once lost.

thehoya

Smith Gets Fresh on New Album

By Emma McGill

Hoya Staff Writer

Friday, April 22, 2005; Page B3

Courtesy Interscope Records

WILL FINDS HIS WAY: Will Smith’s ‘Lost and Found’ demonstrates his rapping chops.

Will Smith answers back to the posers of the rap world with his new album “Lost and Found.” No longer playing the role of “Mr. Nice Guy,” Smith jumps back onto the rap scene with bolder lyrics and harsher beats.

It’s no secret that Will Smith hasn’t been taken seriously of late in the rap world. At times considered a sell-out and at others considered a softy, Smith’s life as a squeaky-clean superstar has put a serious damper on his rap reputation.

“Lost and Found” proves to his fans and the rap world that Smith’s rhyming skills are on par with any of the other rap superstars today. While his lyrics fight back at all those who have taken potshots at him in the past, his music testifies to the fact that his bite backs his bark.

Catchy and danceable, Will Smith’s beats are mostly original, although he does borrow some famous songs, tweaking them all with a tinge of “Big Willie Style.” Laced with hostility, his rap/hip-hop tracks criticize religion, war and his contemporary rappers who exploit sex, drugs and violence to gain publicity.

“Lost and Found” shows Smith’s dark side. Creating a cool combination of brutally honest lyrics and fresh hip-hop beats, Smith has roared back onto the music scene and proven that he has what it takes to make it to the top in the rap arena — and he didn’t need to cuss or get shot to do it. (9 out of 10).

rocky mountain telegram

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CD reviews: How will hip-hop remember Smith?

Cox News Service

Thursday, May 12, 2005

CD: Lost and Found by Will Smith (Interscope)

With his new album, Will Smith faces a paradox that is not unique. Many rappers struggle to maintain relevance after achieving Hollywood acceptance in a music genre that prides itself on societal unacceptance. See West Coast rappers Xzbit and Ice Cube for examples.

Smith recently lamented in the press that he wonders how his great music career would have been if he had focused on it as he did his acting. That potential shows itself on the opening cut, “Here He Comes,” a reunion with producer Jazzy Jeff. The slick track uses the theme from the “Spider-Man” cartoon.

Will Smith's much-improved lyricism on his new album impress even the hardest of hard-core rap fans? Or will he just become a parody of himself with this album's manufactured dance grooves?

To doubt Smith's spot among hip-hop's royalty just because he lacks the thug talk would be ignorant. His albums' sales rival rap's highest grossers. He was the first rapper to win a Grammy. It's just a matter of which side he ends up in hip-hop's double conscience.

essential magazine

Lost & Found - Will Smith

An A-list actor, comedian, writer and pop/rap megastar, Will Smith likes to keep himself busy! And he also likes nothing more than a bit of cross-media promotion. So it is no surprise that he has released his latest album on the back of his recent smash-hit film, Hitch. This new collection features the hot new single, Switch, which is featured in the film, and is a fine example of what Will Smith does best: take hip-hop sounds and turn them into first-class pop records. Although working with some of the biggest producers in the industry (name-checks include Jazzy Jeff and Snoop Dogg) this album does not push any musical boundaries. But that’s not what Will Smith is all about. We’ll leave all that serious stuff to rap purists like Jay-Z and Eminem. Lost and Found is commercial rap with a sugar-coated pop twist. Its oh-so-now production and slick and twitching numbers will have fans begging for more. With his talent for knowing what the public wants, you can see why Will Smith finds it so hard to pigeonhole himself into just one medium.

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Thanks for all the reviews, Tim. It is unfortunate to see quite a few negative reviews in there, though

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Two questions about this albume

Why would will wanna make songs like "get Back" "Lean Back" and Drop It Like It's Hard"? Those are horrible songs. Did He say this as a joke?

Why Is half of the songs so depressing?

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The 3 songs he says he wishes he made was "Get That" (Get that dirt off ya shoulder - jay-z), "lean back" (fat joe) and "drop it like its hot" (Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell)

hes just jokingly saying it saying he wishes he made those hits and thought of those ideas.

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