Will Smith disclosed the origin of his and DJ Jazzy Jeff‘s 1991 hit song “Summertime” on July 23 in honor of the album’s 30th anniversary. The initial track was featured on the duo’s fourth studio album, “Homebase.”
In an Instagram Reel, a 15-second multiclip video, Smith shared that “Summertime” was a sample of a 1974 instrumental track “Summer Madness” by Kool & The Gang. The initial clip showcased DJ Jazzy Jeff playing on the turntables with the caption “when you realized you sampled it before the internet did” as he remixed both songs.
As the recording continued, the “Bad Boys: For Life” star excitedly began jamming and citing the song’s first verse’s lyrics, which lasted until the video faded out. In addition to the track’s secret, Smith also shared that “Homebase” turned 30 years old as he captioned the clip, “We dropped this album 30 years ago!! Truly summer madness @djjazzyjeff.” Upon hearing the news, fans flooded Smith’s comment section with nostalgic memories of the “Summertime” song. Many claimed that summer didn’t begin unless that “anthem” played.
“30 years later still the Summertime anthem 🏆.”
“My all-time favorite summer jam. It brings all kinds of the best childhood memories. 🔥🔥❤️❤️❤️.”
“It ain’t Summer till I hear this joint!”
“FOREVER A BOP!”
“Summer doesn’t start until this anthem is played. Thank y’all for this FOREVER classic.”
Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff began working together in the 1980s after initially meeting at a house party where Jeff was performing. The duo, who went under the moniker DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, debuted their first single, “Girl’s Ain’t Nothing But Trouble” in 1986. Shortly after, the pair released their first studio album “Rock the House.”
In 1988 DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince dropped their second album, “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper.” The record was an instant success nationwide and producing numerous hit singles such as “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” The initial track later won a Grammy award for Best Rap Performance.
The group’s third album, “And in This Corner…” was released in 1989, a year before Smith transitioned to acting, landing the lead role in the “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Despite being the star of NBC’s hit sitcom, Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff continued to make music. In 1991 they returned with “Homebase,” which spawned the hit “Summertime.” The title track landed the pair their second Grammy award.
Their final album “Code Red” was released in 1993.