Jump to content
JJFP reunite for 50 years of Hip Hop December 10 ×
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince Forum


Recommended Posts


It seems like a lifetime ago that DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince warned us that Girls Aint Nothing but Trouble. Some 20 years later, the Prince has been crowned Hollywood royalty, while Jeff continues to solidify his icon status as a versatile producer. The Philadelphia jock made his solo debut in 2002 with The Magnificent, whose languorous beats were sometimes too smoothed-out for their own good. But on his second LP, The Return of the Magnificent, Jeff reaffirms his affinity for subtle arrangements, sampled break beats and deft scratches.

This time out, Jeff enlists a group of better-known friends and ramps up the production. On Jeff N Fess, Jazzy resuscitates Gang Starr Manifest beat with layers of congas, while Rhymefest crams in witty wordplay (Even though my neck aint icy/The jewels in my head is pricey/The Jews at my label, they like me). He also updates the classic Substitution break to create Supa Jean, a lesson in irresistible feminine swagger by Jean Grae. Jeff proves equally adept at constructing moody hip-hop grooves. Take The Garden, which features a solemn Big Daddy Kane reflecting on raps fallen heroes, from Jam Master Jay to Big Pun.

At times, though, the nostalgia feels overwrought with unnecessary remakes like “Go See the Doctor 2K7, with Twone Gabz, and Brand New Funk 2K7, featuring Peedi Peedi. There are also collaborations that look good on paper but dont live up to their potential for instance, Method Man’s undistinguished rhymes on the scratch-heavy Hold It Down and Raheem Devaughn awkwardly phrased chorus on My Soul Aint for Sale.

Thankfully, those are just minor distractions on an otherwise solid effort. With artists like J-Live (Practice) and De La Soul Posdnuos (Let Me Hear U Clap) stepping up and delivering standout performances, The Return cements Jazzy Jeff as more than just Will Smith’s bespectacled sidekick's a prince among beatsmiths. BRETT JOHNSON

Edited by bart5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...