Will Smith goes solo in latest project amidst controversy with Jada Pinkett Smith

Stephen Nartey October 26, 2023
Will Smith. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Will Smith is taking on a new venture by starring in a forthcoming podcast series created by Wondery and Audible. This news comes in the wake of a revelation by his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, that they have been privately separated for the past seven years, despite making a public appearance together at the Oscars last year.

During that event, Smith’s emotional reaction to a joke made about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hairstyle, influenced by alopecia, made headlines as he confronted comedian Chris Rock.

Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, despite their separation, continue to present a united front to the public. During a recent stop on Jada Pinkett Smith’s book tour for her memoir, “Worthy,” Smith referred to her as his “best friend on this planet.”

However, Smith’s upcoming project is a solo one, as he is set to host the “Class of ’88” podcast series, scheduled for release on October 26. The eight-part limited podcast series, “Class of ’88,” is a collaborative effort by Wondery, Audible, Westbrook, and Awfully Nice. It will be exclusively accessible on Amazon Music and Audible, with episodes released weekly on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

The podcast’s focus is on the impact of hip-hop in the United States since its inception in 1988. Hosted by Smith, the series will provide his distinctive perspective and personal anecdotes, exploring pivotal moments, albums, and artists that have driven the evolution of hip-hop music, according to the Daily Mail.

The year 1988 had a profound impact on various aspects of culture, spanning from fashion to film and from the emergence of iconic artists like Public Enemy to the rise of The Fresh Prince. This period saw the birth of superstars and styles that continue to influence contemporary music.

For Smith, one of the pivotal moments in hip hop during that year was the success of his and Jazzy Jeff’s single “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” which became a standout track from their second album, “He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper.”

In the present day, Smith has achieved status as one of Hollywood’s top stars, with a remarkable filmography that includes blockbusters like “Independence Day,” “Men in Black,” “iRobot,” “Seven Pounds,” and his most recent 2022 release, the historical thriller “Emancipation.”

DJ Jazzy Jeff has continued to make waves in the music industry by spinning records and creating innovative melodies worldwide. He is credited, along with DJs Spinbad and Cash Money, as a pioneer of the ‘transformer scratch’ technique, as noted by the Los Angeles Times.

The “Class of ’88” podcast series, enriched with archival material, interviews with hip-hop luminaries, and personal anecdotes from Smith unveils untold stories from the pivotal year when hip-hop triumphed over the obstacles that sought to hinder its ascent.

The series will include interviews and narratives from influential artists who left a mark on hip-hop in 1988 and beyond. The lineup features iconic figures such as Queen Latifah, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, Fab Five Freddy, Rakim, and DJ Red Alert.

In a conversation with Billboard in September, Smith expressed his deep connection to hip-hop, which has been a central part of his life for over four decades.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 26, 2023


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