One of the most popular rap acts of the mid-1980s was DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. Lighthearted hits such as Parents Just Don’t Understand and Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble introducted the duo’s family-friendly style of rap to the masses through radios everywhere, and in 1998 the pair appeared on the pilot episode of Yo! MTV Raps, elevating the duo’s status to Beastie Boys/Run DMC levels. In 1989 the group won the first rap Grammy ever.
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince’s Platinum & Gold Collection is just one of three greatest hits collections released by record companies over the past few years. Others include Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince – Greatest Hits and Very Best of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. All of these have similar tracklistings, and should be available in the bargain bin of your choice.
Younger fans of the genre may not remember pre-gangster rap artists such as the Fresh Prince, who bordered on novelty act with hits such as Parents Just Don’t Understand, Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble, I Think I Can’t Beat Mike Tyson and A Nightmare on My Street. Humorous lyrics and non-abrasive beats made the duo accessible for all ages. The group’s silly music videos appealed to younger fans while the humorous and fluid rhymes kept older crowds entertained. With the group’s overall light tone it is easy to overlook how good DJ Jazzy Jeff actually was; a pioneer of the turntable field, Jeff’s skills are highlighted throughout the disc.
No Fresh Prince compilation would be complete without the group’s massive hit single Summertime, which appears here in its original format (previous packages have contained remixes or edits). Summertime hit #1 on the US R&B charts in 1991 and earned the group their second Grammy.
The rest of the collection’s songs are pulled equally from the group’s five studio albums, from 1987’s Rock the House to 1993’s Code Red. Conspicuously missing are Will Smith’s solo efforts (Gettin’ Jiggy with it, Men in Black, Welcome to Miami, Just the Two of Us, Wild Wild West, etc.) For those you’ll need to pick up the first of presumedly multiple solo Will Smith Greatest Hits albums.
01. Parents Just Don’t Understand
02. A Nightmare on My Street
04. Boom! Shake the Room
05. Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble
06. I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson
07. I’m All That
08. He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper
09. Too Damn Hype
10. Pump Up the Bass
11. Rock The House
12. Just One of those Days