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New York Times Willenium Review

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Album Of The Week


Published: November 19, 1999

WILL SMITH: ''Willennium'' (Columbia). Will Smith describes himself as hip-hop's ''Mr. Clean'' and challenges other rappers to write just ''one verse without a curse.'' He's sold millions of albums doing just that; in his spare time, he's a sitcom star and a bankable action-movie hero. He has plenty to boast about, and he does, but what saves him from sounding sanctimonious or overbearing is an all-conquering affability.

He doesn't claim to be the toughest, the wildest, the most underground or the most innovative rapper, just a clever word-slinger who's delighted and amused by his own success. He and his original partner, D. J. Jazzy Jeff, are the album's executive producers; songs are unashamedly built on recognizable tunes. ''Willennium'' is cheerful, benign and mildly trendy; quick on the uptake, it includes a rap over a Tito Puente mambo.

And it doesn't expect a long shelf life; ''Will 2K,'' rhyming about a New Year's Eve party over the Clash's ''Rock the Casbah,'' expires on Jan. 1. JON PARELES

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Well I was just browsing along the internet and noticed this review, it's kinda unfortunate critics judge Will's rap abilities off his singles but really most of them are idiots who think Lil' Wayne's the greatest rapper alive, lol

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