Rapper Will Smith began shooting a new TV sitcom this week in 1990 called “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
“I’m playing a kid from West Philadelphia and I get into a fight with a couple guys and my moms is like, ‘You know, the neighborhood is pretty bad, you’re a good kid, I think that you should have a better shot at life, I want you to move in with your aunt and uncle in Bel-Air,’ ” Will Smith explained. “So I move out to Bel-Air and it’s like I’m a fish out of water, and I’m just like, ‘Oh yo, this is all that,’ and my head is spinning and everything. I’m just tripping out.”
While the show had roots in the 1960s sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies,” it was also loosely based on the life of Warner Bros. Records executive Benny Medina. Medina grew up in South Central Los Angeles and moved to Beverly Hills to live with his wealthy Jewish family.
(“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” aired from 1990-1996.)
Tone-Loc was in the studio working on his Cool Hand Loc album, the follow-up to the hugely successful Loc-ed After Dark.
“I think I’m more funky this time,” Loc said. “And before I never really paid attention to my voice until everybody made this big deal about it after the album. So now I try to use it to every advantage I can on the album. I think it will be better than the last one.”
On the last one, Marvin Young, a.k.a. Young MC (“Bust a Move”), was brought in to help out with the lyrics, but Loc said don’t look for Marvin this time out.
“I wrote the ‘Wild Thing’ song. I wrote it nasty … it was all my concept and the fellows who made the music were really hyped on the music and they knew the song was gonna get played in the radio,” Loc said. “They didn’t wanna have those types of [nasty] lyrics on there so they went to Mr. Marvin and asked him to write the song. But they didn’t tell me they went to him. They said that they just wrote it down and just to try it this way. I didn’t have a problem with it, but you know after a long time you get tired of it, hearing somebody else take all the recognition for that you did.”
Out in SoCal, gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A were throwing a pool party. The shindig boasted a wet T-shirt contest, a lot of bikinis and, of course, a lot of hip-hop.
“If we woulda done this in Compton it woulda been a big mess and a lot of people wouldn’t have come,” N.W.A’s MC Ren said of the group’s home turf. “We wanted to do a lot of stuff in Compton, it’s just police woulda turned it over and stopped it and everything. Out here, it’s cool. They got it. The guy they renting the house out from, he owns the whole canyon, and most everybody in here’s from Compton, so it’s cool.”
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