Will Smith and his old partner, DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jeff Townes), are reuniting for a music tour!
Speaking Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Smith announced that he and Jazzy Jeff are going to go on tour — something they never got the chance to do, Entertainment Weekly reports.
“I never actually had a chance to go on tour [with Jeff], so I really want to get out there and do it for real.”
Between 1987 and 1993, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince recorded five albums, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Their second album, He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper, which dropped in 1988, produced arguably the group’s biggest hit, “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”
While the pair was producing best-selling albums and dropping chart-topping tracks, however, they were never able to go on tour. That’s because the production schedule on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air got in the way.
“In that time we just we were getting started and I never actually had a chance to go on tour, so I really want to get out there.”
Since Fresh Prince ended, Smith has focused mostly on his acting career, although he’s produced some music in the time as well — always as Will Smith. In the past few weeks, however, the Concussion star, now 47, has been working on music whenever he’s not in front of the camera. Last month, he surprised fans by appearing in Bomba Estéro’s “Fiesta” remix.
Last month, Smith told Beats 1 Radio that he’s got about 30 tracks in the works.
“I keep a stash. I have six or seven that I really like, that I’m trying to get the ideas to come out right.”
When Smith and Townes reunite for their tour, Smith says it will be a mix of old and new music.
Since The Fresh Prince of Bel Air ended, Will Smith has gone on to become a bankable Hollywood superstar, mixing up appearances in summer blockbusters, such as the Men in Black trilogy and Hancock, with more artsy films like Ali and Seven Pounds. His latest project, Concussion, tells the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist who discovered a link between repeated concussions suffered by NFL players and brain damage.
DJ Jazzy Jeff — aka Jeff Townes — meanwhile, has worked in relative obscurity compared to his writing partner and Fresh Prince co-star (although Smith was, without question, the star of the show, Townes appeared several times as Will’s friend “Jazz,” usually winding up being thrown out of Uncle Phil’s house). While Smith has been acting and performing, Townes has been producing. Among the acts he’s helped develop are The Roots, Eminem, and Darius Rucker. He’s also an in-demand DJ, performing about 160 gigs per year.
Despite their different career trajectories, though, Smith and Townes have remained partners and best friends. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in October, Townes noted that the two perform together “four or five times per year” at movie premieres or parties where Townes is the DJ. And whenever they’re back together, Smith brings up the idea of a reunion.
In fact, Townes and Smith have been kicking around the idea of a reunion tour for some time, Townes says, but their respective careers have gotten in the way.
“The time is right on so many different levels. It’s simple as Will has been my partner for 30-something years. I’ve been waiting for him just to say, ‘Let’s go.'”
As of this post, no official date for the DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince reunion tour has been set (nor is it clear if Smith and Townes will tour under those names), but Smith hints that the tour may be happening as early as summer 2016.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]